Proposed Bills May Threaten Future Of Rooftop Solar

The growing popularity of rootop solar for homes and businesses is reportedly drawing a backlash from investor-owned electric companies.

Two bills (SB 1024, HB 741) proposed in this year’s session of the Florida Legislation, which opens this week, may make rooftop solar less economically feasible by allowing utilities to seek to refigure how they handle net metering rates.

Net metering , which dates in 2008 in Florida in connection with green energy initiatives, involves the ability of those who own or lease solar facilities to sell any power they generate but do not use back to the utility.

The bills, which news reports document were written by Florida Power & Light lobbyists, would direct the Public Service Commission to draft new rules on net metering with an eye toward entertaining claims by FP&L and other investor-owned utilities that the current rates subsidize customers with solar panels at the expense of other customers. Solar industry officials dispute that claim.

How much or whether the rates would change is unknown. That would be determined by the PSC if the legislation passes and is signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The exposure of the involvement of FP&L, which is Florida’s largest electric utility, by the Miami Herald resulted in complaints from the utility about the story’s fairness, but the utility has not denied its involvement in pushing the legislation.

The first hearing in the Senate will occur Tuesday before the Regulated Industries Committee. Sen Ben Albritton of Wauchula is a member of the committee.

Its first stop in the House is the Tourism Energy and Infrastructure Subcommittee. No legislators from this region sit on that panel.



Posted in Group Conservation Issues.