Making energy from the sun seems a no-brainer for the Sunshine State, but cost has proven to be a hurdle. Broward County has taken a big step to cut costs for solar-panel systems on rooftops and homeowners, businesses and other counties are taking notice, a Go Solar conference showed Friday.

Go Solar Rooftop Challenge What: A U.S. Department of Energy program to encourage solar panels on roofs of homes and businesses. Broward County received a grant to help with such key issues as simplified permits. Broward cities participating: Coconut Creek, Dania Beach, Davie, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale, Hillsboro Beach, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Miramar, North Lauderdale, Oakland Park, Pompano Beach, Sunrise, Tamarac and unincorporated Broward County. Broward cities seeking to join: Cooper City, Coral Springs, Hollywood, Lauderdale Lakes, Lighthouse Point, Parkland, Pembroke Pines, Southwest Ranches and Wilton Manors. Counties looking to use Broward as a model: Miami-Dade, Monroe, Orange, Sarasota and Alachua. More information: 954-519-1260 or