Florida utilities want solar gut. Why over here


Net metering allows residential and commercial customers who generate their electricity from solar power to sell electricity they are not using back in the grid. Which saves money on electricity bills.

But electric companies feel they make less money as a result, and they are not keen on that. So in Florida, utilities want to roll back net metering – and have a hearing about it tomorrow.

Florida net metering

Right now, Florida is one of 47 states with a net metering policy that allows solar homeowners to receive credit for electricity sent to the grid. Florida policy was initiated by an executive order in 2007 under Governor Charlie Crist and memorialized in the Florida law of 2019. The law states:

It is in the public interest to promote the development of renewable energy resources in the state … and innovative technologies.

As the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy points out:

Rooftop solar power provides benefits to utility systems that can reduce electricity bills for all, such as generating their own electricity and transmission and distribution (grid) benefits to reduce fuel burned by the utility. It also drives economic growth and jobs, making our communities cleaner and more resilient to weather events.

what’s the problem?

In 2016, Florida voters rejected Amendment 1, a utility-backed measure to limit rooftop solar expansion. But large utilities that use fossil fuels in Florida are still coming back despite a 2016 no vote.

Florida utilities feel that they and their shareholders are losing out on the benefits of net metering from solar. In January, according to Mike Morina, executive director of Florida’s Home Partnership, writing in Tampa bay times Yesterday, a utility front group called Energy Fairness released a report claiming that net metering is inappropriate for ratepayers. Morina writes:

Florida has room for development on solar; There are less than 60,000 net-meter systems in the state. As solar grows, it helps to avoid the construction of expensive power plants, making it a win for all.

But tomorrow, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) – the Utilities Regulation Agency – will hold a workshop to review the state of the state’s net metering rule, which could set up a rule-making dock to rewrite the rule. If the rule were rewritten, it could impede rooftop solar development in one of the sunni states in the US. It would take only three of the PSC commissioners to have a negative change.

Electrac’s tech

“I don’t live in Florida. Why should I worry?” You must be thinking some reason:

One, Florida has a population of 21.48 million. This is why very Of people – and a lot of energy consumption and emissions. And it affects not only every American but the entire world. (Florida may be a peninsula, but none of us is an island.) So while I live in Florida, I’m still worried about this potential rollback, if I lived anywhere else in the world – and I ‘Used to live a lot.

It is the Sunshine State, for heaven’s sake – it currently ranks third among states for producing electricity from solar – and it does all it can to promote further adoption of solar.

Two, all states should actively promote the switch to clean energy. For example, Virginia needs to make its utilities adopt green energy and make them accountable with the Landmark Law passed in March. Dominion Energy Virginia should be 100% carbon-free by 2045, and Appalachian Power should be 100% carbon-free by 2050.

If you live in Florida, you should fight whether you have solar or not. Because eventually, you will do it either at your home or through community solar. Fossil fuels are bad for your health, and we don’t need respiratory health challenges in an epidemic.

You can watch the PSC workshop on Net Making at 9:15 pm ET on the PSC website from tomorrow, September 17.

And if you want to write in net metering rollback, click here.

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