Is the ‘Sunshine State’ going to shut down the Sun? Florida’s Republican state legislative leadership, doing the bidding of one of their major donors – Florida Power & Light (FPL) wants to pass an anti-energy freedom bill that would prevent millions of Floridians from accessing affordable renewable energy through rooftop solar, and cost communities thousands of local, small business jobs.
House Bill 741/SB 1024 would dramatically reduce how much utility companies pay homeowners with rooftop solar if they produce more electricity than they use. Currently, customers are paid for excess energy generated by solar panels at a rate equal to what utility companies would charge them for using that amount.
Since 2008, Floridians have enjoyed the freedom to install rooftop solar panels on their homes with the ability to sell any excess power they generate that isn’t necessary to power their homes back to the power grid. Utility companies are required to credit homeowners at a fair rate for the energy their rooftop solar panels produce.
The proposed Anti-Energy Freedom Bill will allow monopoly utilities to credit home solar producers far less than the value of the clean energy they send to the grid and open the floodgates to hidden charges, extra fees, and minimum bills. The bill would even go so far as to insert spurious anti-solar talking points into statute. FPL, the nation’s largest utility company, wrote this bill.
Utilities make money off large power plants and power lines that bring electricity to customers. Now they want to control and monopolize the power of the Sun. We cannot allow large corporations like FPL to prevent Floridians from affording clean renewable energy.
Should this legislation pass it would eliminate over 40,000 jobs, $18.3 billion in state revenue, and $3.2 million in household income. Not only is solar power beneficial for Florida’s fragile ecosystem, but it also helps our state’s economy. Passage of this bill will lead to solar power becoming unaffordable for many Florida families and many locally owned small businesses that install solar panels will likely go bankrupt.
It is time for our state’s legislative leadership to prioritize Florida’s environmental and economic interests. They need to stop playing into the hands of big corporate donors and put Floridians first.