The Florida Legislature passed a bill (HB 741) to set a timeline for ending net metering.
This will have significant ramifications for the rooftop solar industry. In Florida, the power utility companies must buy back stored “banked” energy from homes that generate more energy than the residents consume. Utility providers can redistribute the energy to non-solar customers by adding power to their grid.
Solar homeowners can save massive amounts of money by utilizing net metering. In a solar panel system’s lifetime, net metering can result in thousands of savings.
The installation of solar roofs and solar panels can be designed to offset all the energy use costs a solar customer would incur within a billing cycle.
The bill is projected to begin in 2023. Solar panel and solar roofing owners of that time would start receiving a 75% credit for their banked energy, then 60% in 2026, followed by 50% in 2027, and will eventually drop to the market rate in 2029.
The solar panel owners and lessees would be grandfathered in for 20 years, which would allow them to maintain their entry credit rate. Without the subsidy, homeowners with solar generators could potentially see an increase in their energy bills.
According to a recent survey by Mason-Dixon, 84% of Florida voters support solar net metering. The net metering program is vital to many of Florida’s homeowners with solar. The passage of HB 741 is clearly in the promotion of corporations and not in favor of homeowners who want to reduce their energy consumption by going solar. By putting corporate income ahead of Floridians’ right to control their own energy use, this legislature has prioritized corporate profit margins.