A new bill – SB 1024 – threatens rooftop solar growth in Florida.
It will be heard in its first State Senate committee on the first day of Session and we’ve already called on our advocates who live in the committee members’ districts to share their concerns with their Senator. While you do not live in one of the key districts for this committee, your State Senator or Representative may be on key committees that will hear this bill as it continues through the legislative process. If you’d be willing to be tapped when your voice can make the biggest difference, please sign up to receive updates and indicate your willingness to speak up for renewable energy.
Florida’s net metering standards were established in 2008, allowing residential and commercial customers with rooftop panels to sell their excess energy generation back to the utility at the full retail electrical rate on their monthly bill. SB 1024 would drastically reduce the reimbursement from a retail to wholesale rate and grandfather existing customers for only 10 years. Installing rooftop solar is a substantial expense, and for those who take it on, a favorable rate for the energy they sell back to the grid is part of the calculation of whether they can afford to make the switch to solar. By lowering this rate to wholesale, it will take individuals longer to recover their costs – making it more expensive for homeowners to go solar, if they do at all.
The change may leave some who have already installed rooftop in a pinch because they can’t recover the cost of solar as quickly as they originally planned, and will likely have a chilling effect on others willing to entertain panels on their property. Florida’s Public Service Commission is the forum where this issue should be considered—and the PSC has been discussing this, asking utilities for more information which has not yet been provided. Instead of letting the transparent and accountable PSC process run its course, this bill would mandate how the PSC should proceed.
Rooftop energy generation is such a small part of Florida’s current energy mix that the concerns about cost to the utilities are at best overstated. It is not in the public interest to slow Florida’s transition to renewable energy, an industry that is still in its infancy and with so much room to grow.
While your representatives do not sit on the committee first considering the net metering bill, we may need your voice in the future to stop SB 1024 and protect rooftop solar. Click here to sign up for our climate updates and alerts so we can call on you when your voice will make the greatest impact.