Unfortunately, efforts to shut down a bill that hurts solar customers and the entire industry have failed. It’s been passed by both the Florida House and Senate and is now on the Governor’s desk for signature. So far he’s made no noise about veto-ing it, so we need to put the pressure on to save solar in Florida.
We are urging everyone to contact the governor now and often, asking him to please veto the bill. You can contact him here: (phone: 850-296-0533; email: GovernorRon.Desantis@eog.myflorida.com).
Get talking points from this toolkit, or just tell him:
- You think Florida should be working to be more energy independent, not less
- Floridians have always voted to support solar and this is an attempt to undermine that
- Net metering is the fair way to handle energy exchange, and it is what other states do
- There is no evidence that solar customers raise the cost of energy for non-solar customers
- The recent minimum usage charge should be enough to cover solar customers’ usage of the grid; there’s no need to hit us twice
- Floridians deserve a choice
- We don’t need to be protecting the profits of a monopoly
- HB 741 is a job-killer
In case you’ve missed the initial action, here’s a recap…
Senate bill 1024 and House bill 741 both sought to change net metering practices in the state of Florida. The bills came about through pressure from Florida Power & Light (FP&L), who argued that they were losing money because solar customers were making their own power. Not satisfied with the billions in profits they already make, they wanted to make sure they got the biggest piece of every pie.
After greasing some palms, they got some bills on the table that would allow them to pay solar customers less for the energy they produce. Right now, utilities operate under a net metering policy of 1:1 trade. This means that whatever energy you, as a solar customer, produce but don’t use gets stored on the grid, and you can pull it back at night when you need it without paying for it because you produced the same amount earlier in the day and didn’t charge them for it. At the end of month, they net out the energy (subtract what you sent to them from what they sent to you) and either charge or credit you the difference. This is how solar works in every other state except Arizona (who made this same mistake back in 2016 and it killed the industry).
Net Metering Changes
But for customers whose solar systems are activated after Dec. 31st, 2023 (and, notice, I didn’t say “installed”, I said “activated”, which is something the utility controls), the utility will only pay 75% of the retail cost (but they’ll still charge them 100% of retail for what they pull at night). This drops to 60% for solar customers whose systems are activated in 2026, and then 50% for 2027 and 2028. After that, they will let us all know how much they need to charge us to make sure they don’t lose a dime.
It’s a greedy move, and an unwise one, too, argues Mark Hertling in an op-ed in the Miami Herald titled “Florida’s anti-solar bill helps Vladimir Putin.” The U.S. should be pushing for more energy independence right now rather than less.
The good news is that earlier iterations of the bill were worse, with no step down. Lobbying by solar advocates like the Florida Solar Energy Industries Association helped to cushion the blow for solar companies like us, who have the most to lose, as well as current solar customers who will be grandfathered into 100% net metering, although not exempt from additional fees that the utilities might impose. (Have you noticed the minimum usage fee that has recently shown up on solar customers’ bills?)
Maybe solar customers should switch to another provider, but… oh wait. Utilities are monopolies, so we have no choices.
Solar is a choice, at least for the next handful of years.
But if we want it to remain a choice, we need to stop this bill from becoming law right now.
Please contact the governor today and urge him to veto this terrible bill.
And if you’ve already contacted him, do it again. And again. Let’s save solar in Florida.
No matter where you stand— if you’re a current solar customer, someone who wants to go solar in the future, or someone who just believes that solar should be an option for Floridians without risking punishment by their utility, please speak up. We need every voice.