‘Major win’ for solar PV as Florida governor vetoes net metering changes

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
Email
If passed, the bill would have significantly reduced the benefits of rooftop PV for residential solar customers by adding additional costs and reducing financial gain. Image: BSW-Solar/Twitter.

Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has vetoed controversial legislation to change the state’s net metering laws that would have significantly stripped down the benefits of having residential solar and allowed utilities to add additional charges to customers’ energy bills.

Initially passed on 8 March by Florida’s Senate, the bill – called HB 741 – would have seen residential solar customers pay fixed costs relating to transmission and backup energy generation decided by Florida’s Public Service Commission as well as removing benefits for reducing the utility’s electricity demand.

This article requires Premium SubscriptionBasic (FREE) Subscription

Unlock unlimited access for 12 whole months of distinctive global analysis

Photovoltaics International is now included.

  • Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
  • In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
  • Unlimited digital access to the PV Tech Power journal catalogue
  • Unlimited digital access to the Photovoltaics International journal catalogue
  • Access to more than 1,000 technical papers
  • Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual

Or continue reading this article for free

Moreover, it would have seen rooftop solar owners given a credit at current retail rates until 2024, after which the rates will phase down until the credit is completely removed from 2029.

DeSantis said HB 741 would have allowed public utilities to “impose additional charges to recover lost revenues resulting from residential solar generation that exceeds the public utilities estimate”, adding this would add to the “financial crunch” Floridians are already experiencing caused by high inflation in the US.

A recent poll by Mason-Dixon revealed that 84% of Floridians overwhelmingly supported rooftop solar, with 94% of Democrats and 76% of Republicans supportive of Florida’s current net metering system.

By vetoing HB 741, DeSantis has sent the bill back to Florida’s House of Representatives, where it will be debated further. It would take two-thirds of votes in both the House and the Senate to overturn DeSantis’ veto.

https://twitter.com/alissajean/status/1519421517418962944?s=20&t=9jFM5OoYFB1KJw8allYulA

The veto was warmly received by Florida’s solar sector. “The rooftop solar industry employs more than 9,000 Floridians and gives every Florida resident the freedom to choose how they generate and use electricity,” said Justin Vandenbroeck, president of the Florida Solar Energy Industries Association, which had previously said the proposed legislation would have put US$18 billion of economic activity at risk.

“His decision to veto this bill will allow our industry to continue growing and give more homeowners in our state the chance to lower their electric bills with solar.”

Katie Chiles Ottenweller, southeast director for advocacy organisation Vote Solar, said she was “heartened to see the governor put consumers and energy freedom ahead of monopoly utility profit margins” and hoped the veto would  “sends a clear message that attempts to attack Floridians’ solar rights will fail.”

Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) called the veto “a major win for energy freedom and Florida’s clean energy economy”, noting how the bill would have “undercut the state’s growing rooftop solar market by phasing down net metering and allowing utilities to charge potentially unlimited fees on thousands of solar customers in the state.”

Its president and CEO, Abigail Ross Hopper, said the veto signalled that “Florida’s energy economy is open for business”, branding the state “one of the fastest-growing solar markets in the country”.

21 March 2024
4pm (GMT)
This special webinar will look at one of the most important changes impacting PV manufacturing today; how to establish and sustain new facilities around the world. For more than two decades, policy-makers have grappled with the challenges of nurturing domestic manufacturing sectors. Many countries have tried to create domestic sectors: Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, India, Europe and the U.S. But success stories have been rare. Mistakes seem to be repeated. And all the while, Chinese dominance of the industry has only increased. However, in the past 2-3 years, new drivers have emerged that suggest the dream of a global PV manufacturing ecosystem could be a reality. Join us as we shed light on this.
21 May 2024
Napa, USA
PV Tech has been running PV ModuleTech Conferences since 2017. PV ModuleTech USA, on 21-22 May 2024, will be our third PV ModulelTech conference dedicated to the U.S. utility scale solar sector. The event will gather the key stakeholders from solar developers, solar asset owners and investors, PV manufacturing, policy-making and and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out the PV module supply channels to the U.S. out to 2025 and beyond.
8 October 2024
San Francisco Bay Area, USA
PV Tech has been running an annual PV CellTech Conference since 2016. PV CellTech USA, on 8-9 October 2024 is our second PV CellTech conference dedicated to the U.S. manufacturing sector. The event in 2023 was a sell out success and 2024 will once again gather the key stakeholders from PV manufacturing, equipment/materials, policy-making and strategy, capital equipment investment and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out PV manufacturing in the U.S. out to 2030 and beyond.
26 November 2024
Málaga, Spain
Understanding PV module supply to the European market in 2025. PV ModuleTech Europe 2024 is a two-day conference that tackles these challenges directly, with an agenda that addresses all aspects of module supplier selection; product availability, technology offerings, traceability of supply-chain, factory auditing, module testing and reliability, and company bankability.

Read Next

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
March 12, 2024
Frankfurt, Germany
Upcoming Webinars
March 13, 2024
9am EDT / 1pm GMT / 2pm CET
Solar Media Events
March 19, 2024
Texas, USA