Hundreds of solar advocates, businesses owners, homeowners and industry representatives traveled to Florida’s Capitol from across the state Tuesday to hold a rally against legislation threatening the solar industry.
SB 1024/HB 741 would decimate the growing rooftop solar industry, which supports more than 40,000 local jobs and contributes over $18.3 billion in economic value, by upending a policy called net metering. Net metering allows rooftop solar panel owners to exchange the excess power they generate for a one-to-one credit on their own bills.
“Net metering is at the heart of rooftop solar, and, without it, the industry will undoubtedly suffer great harm,” said Ben Millar, CEO of Sun Harvest Energy. “This legislation severely undercuts the value of the energy homeowners send to the grid. Unfortunately, this will decimate solar’s economic viability, leading to significant job loss and hardship for hundreds of companies.”
In addition to the planned speakers for the event, ranging from solar company owners to faith leaders, the rally featured a special appearance and speech by Rep. Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando). Rep. Eskamani stood with rally attendees gathered on the steps of Florida’s Historic Capitol, voicing support for solar energy in Florida and opposition to the impediments presented by the legislation.
Rallygoers led a walking conversation outside of the Capitol as the Senate Committee on Community Affairs heard the legislation. Despite numerous industry leaders and advocates testifying against the Senate version of the legislation, the committee voted to move the bill ahead.
“More and more people can afford to go solar thanks to net metering, which helps them control soaring electric bills and get a fair credit for locally produced clean energy, shared directly with neighbors,” said Heaven Campbell, Florida program director of Solar United Neighbors. “This bill is punitive, slams the door on innovation, and mocks families’ financial planning.”
News item from Solar United Neighbors
Thomas Strome says
I bought a solar powered house in August only to find the bill is more or less the same as I’ve always paid in a couple of states in the past including Florida without ANY solar panels.
Should Net Metering be gutted, I see the only solution for us.,is to invest a little more, to go completely off grid
If power companies initially welcomed the current arrangement, should we decimate an entire industry to satisfy a new whim ?. Be careful what you wish for, like the current state of affairs. You might just get it..
The rules and regulations as a bureaucratic “industry” of sorts usually have a State PUC, SCC, or ACC that monitors and decides what rulings will take effect or not. Here is where the public should make sure their acceptance or rejection of the rule should become part of the public record. IF and when one of these rulings passes, there usually is a fusillade of court cases and perhaps a class action lawsuit against the application of this poor ruling will help the courts to stop the “bleeding” of the ratepayers with such extortionist actions as solar PV adopters ‘have’ to pay a grid connection fee, when the hypocrite IOU electric utilities are enjoying avoided costs from a distributed generation resource. The carrying of signs and protests are today’s news cycle, a complaint in the docket of a regulating agency such as the ACC, SCC or PUC could be referred to in a future lawsuit, along with thousands of other ratepayers that filed their comments. Another unknown fact is these regulating agencies don’t like it when people are watching and posting negative comments about their docket content. It makes them shy, instead of bold, brazen and ambivalent.
Tom Nicholas says
Who is against net metering? The electric utilities? And why?