Solar Net Metering Potentially At Stake In Florida

Net metering policies to be discussed at Florida Public Service Commission, tomorrow

September 16, 2020
Contact: Amy Rawe, SACE, 865-235-1448, [email protected]rg

The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) is holding a workshop tomorrow, Thursday, September 17, at 9:15 AM ET, to discuss the future of net metering. Currently in Florida, customers who own rooftop solar receive full, fair retail credit from their electric utility for the excess energy they generate and send to the electricity grid. Solar is beneficial in multiple ways to all ratepayers so it’s crucial to protect this foundational policy.

Support for solar is strong. In 2016, over 4.4 million Floridians cast a vote in support of solar choice. However, a utility front group and the PSC may be quietly preparing to end net metering in the Sunshine State.

At the workshop tomorrow, SACE’s Solar Program Director Bryan Jacob will make a presentation on the comparatively low penetration of rooftop solar in Florida and why now’s not the time to fix something that’s not broken.

Workshop access and net metering resources:

• PSC workshop on 9/17 at 9:15 AM ET: Tune in to the audio/video coverage here
• SACE Webinar 9/10: ‘How Rooftop Solar is Threatened in Florida’ – Recording and slide deck
• SACE Blog post: If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It: Protect Florida’s Rooftop Solar Net Metering Policy

If you have questions before or after the PSC workshop, please call SACE’s media line at 865-235-1448.

Read an excerpt from the blog below, or the entire post here.

If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It: Protect Florida’s Rooftop Solar Net Metering Policy

By George Cavros, Florida Energy Policy Attorney

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

This adage clearly applies to an effort underway in Florida to weaken our cornerstone policy for rooftop solar development – net metering. On September 17, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) will hold a workshop to review the status of the state’s net metering rule, which could lead to establishing a rule-making docket in order to rewrite the rule. If rewriting the rule were to happen, it could squelch rooftop solar development in the Sunshine State.

We’ve seen this episode play out before: a utility front group argues that solar net metering customers are imposing costs on other customers and calls for a change. In 2015, the front group was Consumers for Smart Solar. It was bankrolled by the state’s monopoly utilities who spent over $20 million dollars trying to convince voters to amend the state constitution in a way that would have paved the way for onerous fees and costs on Floridians that power their homes and businesses with clean solar power. A coalition of over 100 groups pushed back on the misleading amendment. Ultimately, it was rejected at the ballot box, with over 4.4 million Florida voters casting a vote in support of solar choice in November 2016.

Fast-forward four years later. Energy Fairness, formerly the Partnership for Affordable Clean Energy or “PACE’” another utility front group with long-established ties to the power companies in the Southeast, issues a misleading report arguing – you guessed it – that rooftop solar customers don’t pay their fair share. The flawed report was used as a predicate for a letter to the PSC by a freshman State Representative, Lawrence McClure, who called on the PSC to immediately review the rule. The result of that is the upcoming September 17th workshop.

You can continue reading the blog here. 

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About Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Founded in 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choices to ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at www.cleanenergy.org.