Rep. Lawrence McClure, the House sponsor of Florida’s House Bill 741, the companion to Senate Bill 1024, offered an amendment on the controversial bill, which would allow current solar users to retain their financial incentives for 20 years, instead of 10 years, as was originally written.
HB 741/SB 1024 would change the existing net metering structure from one that has promoted the development of renewable energy resources in this state, to one that purports to “continue” development “in a manner that is fair and equitable to all public utility customers.”
The basis for the change to the code relies on the cost-shift argument, with the claiming that, “The substantial growth of customer-owned and -leased renewable generation has resulted in increased cross-subsidization of the full cost of electric service onto the public utility’s general body of ratepayers.”
As it currently stands, roughly 90,000 of Florida’s 8.5 million electric customers utilize net metering to sell electricity back to the grid, and the bill claims that this roughly 1% group of electrical customers is unfairly shifting the cost of supplying electricity back to the other 99%.
SB 1024 calls on the Florida Public Service Commission to set up a successor net metering program by January 1, 2023. The new program is required to:
- Ensure that public utility customers owning or leasing renewable generation pay the full cost of electric service and are not subsidized by the public utility’s general body of ratepayers.
- Ensure that all energy delivered by the public utility is purchased at the public utility’s applicable retail rate and that all energy delivered by customer-owned or -leased renewable generation to the public utility is credited to the customer at the public utility’s full avoided costs.
The bill would also allow utilities to add base facilities charges, electric grid access fees, monthly minimum bills, or other fixed charges to customers’ bills in order to ensure the utility recovers their cost of serving net metering customers. Customers who had their system operational before Jan. 1, 2023 would have their previous compensation rate sustained for 20 more years, as per the new amendment.
Sixteen state-level studies, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, have disproven the cost-shift argument, as has a national study, completed by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.
Berkeley found that 40 of the 43 states and Washington D.C. with net metering programs have a negligible cost increase attributed to solar, and that the cost picture remains this way until solar penetration meets 10% of a state’s generation portfolio.
Additionally, according to the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, when Florida’s utilities last requested rate increases from the Public Service Commission, not one cited lost revenue from rooftop solar customers as an issue.
Of the bill, Justin Vandenbroeck, president of the Florida Solar Energy Industries Association said that, while the organization is still analyzing the full impact of the legislation, “Initial modeling suggests this legislation has the potential to set the rooftop solar industry back nearly a decade. Erasing the thousands of jobs, consumer choice and savings, along with the resiliency benefits that rooftop solar offers to Floridians.”
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What a ridiculous and insulting attempt toward appeasement and rear end coverage by Larry McClure and all the other Tallahassee recipients of Utility companies largesse. Be on notice gang…the residents of Florida are aware of this betrayal, and your day of electoral reckoning is very nearly at hand!
This example of high handed neglect to follow the wishes of their constituents merely reinforces my grounded belief that we have the best politicians money can buy. It seems impossible to me that in a state that has over 300 days per year of sunshine that we should be held at the throat by a multibillion dollar monopoly that earns in the billions annually. I used to love living in Florida. But with the idiots we now have leading our state, making decisions on our [their] behalf’s, and what those decisions are, makes me ashamed to admit I’m now a resident.
I just got my current Duke bill and they’ve added a minimum charge of $30.00 to the bill for Solar customers connecting to the grid. I was under the belief that DeSantis hadn’t signed the bill yet, but that hasn’t stopped Duke from jumping to adding new charges. Go figure, it’s Florida
I teach high school students and we talk about energy at times. How do I explain the need for solar and how it seems there may be a govt block on putting in solar in a financially prudent way? My apology as I had this written and seemed to blank it out….this is second effort.
I have often felt that if an electric company was putting in Solar there must be some financial benefit to the effort. So, I have been timing when to put in solar with my retirement……Maybe that has been a mistake as the new law, if put in, will possibly make the solar not as cost effective.
So now it does seem that going off the grid may be something to consider….though I have watched shows on this it did not seem the right thing for me…now…maybe that is changing…..and maybe investing in a company that provides this “off the grid technology” may be something to consider….however, what if a large company like FPL purchased that “off the grid” company? Would that be considered “vertical integration”?
It seems that FPL is owned by NextEra Energy. NextEra energy is the worlds largest producer of solar and wind energy. They already seem to have vertical integration with FPL. Why would they want any company other than themselves making solar? I had thought that if a family home was making solar for FPL that would save FPL from making more energy farms…..however….it seems there is more profit in making the energy and selling it than having someone else make the energy and buying it….I would think this could be negotiated for win win situation, however, the new laws do not seem to think so….
So is this profitable, realizing one must have profits to stay in business……
James Robo….NextEra Energy chairman, president and CEO and chairman of FPL had a compensation package (salary, stocks, etc) totaling over $22 million in 2020….Many other high paid execs can be found….
So….it does seem to be profitable……and they are helping the general person live…..Just why would there be
a bill stopping the general person from saving some money on energy when energy is such a big topic today?
NextEra donated over $680,000 to federal officials in 2020…so there is some need for legislation….again, understandable….The question still remains….why, in Florida, have a bill that would make it more challenging to have solar? Any input is appreciated…..It will hopefully help explain items to my students…..
Residential solar is becoming more efficient and cheaper to install. When a solar house produces more then it is using the excess goes back to the grid and the meter treats this at the same cost as when it went to the house. The electricity cost includes the distribution and generation costs that the house owner doesn’t contribute to. In essence the grid is being used as electric storage by the solar house for use later. FPL feels this is unfair to the nonsolar neighbors. Partially true. FPL wants to take the free sun energy and sell it to customers exclusively apparently. These objectives are normal for a monopoly utility to try to insure its future income to rise. But with climate change looking and coastal waters rising here in Florida this angle shouldn’t be ignored. We need to get cleaner and if adding residential solar helps this we shouldn’t be fighting against that.
I believe many more affluent homeowners will just get batteries and not send their excess electric back into the grid.
The argument that Florida residents are subsidizing solar users is absurd or that we are using the grid for storage is also fallacious. When you generate surplus electricity during the day your nearest neighbors consume it. They get charged full rates for production and delivery. You get paid for production not delivery. So in effect the power companies want a subsidy from solar users. They are not satisfied with getting the delivery costs they want it all. Also, solar generates at peak hours when the power companies are begging us to turn off ac or heaters to reduce the load on their grid. So this is just an effort by power companies to steal what they can from home solar owners.
Seems to me that the regulated, regional monopolies should be investing in the single home solar solution. I don’t have numbers but it seems that the cost of being a solar provider (installation and maintenance) for a large amount of single homes would be less expensive on an annual basis than maintaining a regional grid. Particularly here in Florida where hurricanes are always a concern. After a storm the likelihood is that most solar customers would be up and running without the need to wait for weeks to get power back. I installed a backup generator years ago because all the power in my area is overhead. If the line to my house goes down in a storm I’m weeks from getting power back. I’ve been lucky but one of my neighbors was out for three weeks as he was on a different section of the neighborhood grid.
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