In a hard blow to the budding solar rooftop industry in Florida, the state legislature passed House Bill 741, which phases down the value of net metering, and opens the door for utilities to add fixed charges to solar customer bills. Advocacy organizations FLASEIA, Vote Solar, and environmental groups in the state said they will now call on Governor Ron Desantis to veto the bill.
Once the law takes effect in 2023, payments to solar customers will regress from a retail rate, like the one they pay utilities at around 10 cents a kilowatt, to the “avoided cost” to the utility, a fraction of the retail rate. The phase out will slash payment rates to solar customers by 50% in four years and would drop further still to the avoided cost rate by 2029.
The bill also allows for fixed charges for grid connected solar customers starting in 2026. The broad language in the bill does not set a limit on the fixed charges. Similar fees were proposed in the now-stalled California Net Energy Metering 3.0 and were described as “a tax on the sun.”
“This bill is a nightmare for anyone who believes in energy freedom and the rights of people to choose the energy that works for them and their families. Net metering has helped over 100,000 Florida homeowners make that choice, and utilities are now banking on the state government to strip those rights away and pad their monopoly hold on electricity. Florida has seen its solar industry grow to employ 11,000 people and generate over $10 billion in economic activity. States that enact bad legislation like this will see much of that business growth disappear, and we’re urging Governor Desantis to veto the bill and maintain Florida’s place as a national energy leader. This is a simple choice between helping the monopolies and helping the people.” Will Giese, southeast regional director, Solar Energy Industries Association.
The bill had been faced with bipartisan opposition from Florida voters. A Mason Dixon poll showed 74% of Republicans and 94% of Democrat respondents wanted net metering to remain intact. In the same survey 68% of respondents said they think utilities should make it easier to install rooftop solar, not harder.
Founded on the idea of the “cost shift,” the bills are pitched as a protection for non-solar customers from raised rates through cross-subsidizing solar customers. Studies completed by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab found that 40 of the 43 states and Washington D.C. with net metering programs have a negligible cost increase attributed to solar.
The Berkeley study found that cost pressures from net metering don’t start making a tangible effect until solar penetration reaches 10%. Florida is nowhere near this figure, with 0.86% of households currently topped with solar. Read more about the “cost shift” and a utility-funded coalition that spread the idea in California here.
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“The bill had been faced with bipartisan opposition from Florida voters. A Mason Dixon poll showed 74% of Republicans and 94% of Democrat respondents wanted net metering to remain intact. In the same survey 68% of respondents said they think utilities should make it easier to install rooftop solar, not harder.”
Since the bill passed, doesn’t this indicate Florida legislators are corrupt and probably being payed off?
The giant utility company rapes the consumer again. We will never become pollution free as long as we keep crooked politician in office.
Of course they are corrupt
I thought our life goal was to make the planet better for our children and our children’s children.
Yes, it is. So go for it, off-grid, and make your life count for our future and our great grandchildren’s future.
Corrupt, nearly $4 million in bribes (sorry, I mean campaign contributions) and false claims mailed to voters by the utilities behind this bill.
Looks like Ron will keep his Campaign dollars Coming in! We are already paying extra when We Got Hit Up Big Time by FP&L…. ( Prove me wrong Ron Veto it!)
What?? You think that Florida has a corner on the market for corrupt legislators? They call them “re-election campaign contributions.” A more accurate title is “bribes.” But they make the laws, so they’ve made it legal. IF you don’t vote, you have no room to complain.
FPL hates clean energy. … Fights it with dirty politics
Wow! Incredible corruption! They must really be hating how the solar investment tax credit just got increased to 30% and extended clear out to 2032. That’s a definite win for us!
My home was vacant for 3 years. Duke Energy continued to charge me the same amount it did the last year I used their service. FRAUD!!
I paid the charges so I could prove the fraud I suspected since I first became a customer 10 years prior. The Florida Public Utility Commission decided my neighbors were running an extension cord. Funny they are both customers of Duke and way too much power for an extension cord.
Fl is bought and paid for with your over billed dollars.
I told them to cut the line and am completely off grid. I don’t pay for their failed nuke plant. I don’t pad exec fraudulent activities( see fines levied in other states they “service” under the various names they use or AKA’s.
Surprisingly, I have no outages or spikes that trash my electronics.
My world is Paid in FULL for 20 years.
Dave, hopefully solar panels, batteries, and inverters all continue to fall in price so that a very large number of people will do what you did. I did the same but did it by myself by buying used, but still very good, solar panels, buying the LiFePO4 cells and BMS to make the battery myself and doing all the installation of everything myself. In this way, along with federal and state incentives, the break-even point is only a few years. The incentives are available on everything in the system except for the used panels. But for people who cannot build a DIY system, it still takes many years to pay off. I look forward to that situation continuing to improve, if the inflation problem doesn’t continue to get worse.
Another example where big business can ‘buy/persuade’ the politicians over what the local citizens really want.
What to do?
1. Cover your roof with cheap PV panels.
2. Cash in your gas guzzler for one new EV and one used EV. Make sure both of them have V2G/V2H/V2V option.
3. Bonus: Add 20-50 kW-hr battery bank to garage
4. Go off grid–utilizing the PV arrays +house battery+used EV battery.
I installed a solar system several years ago, and that inspired me to reduce unnecessary electrical consumption. My system usually generates more than I use except for a couple of months when I run a walk in cooler in conjunction with my produce harvest. Even with the extra power I generate, which just happens to coincide with higher system demand (hot summer afternoons), I still have a fixed fee on my bill that supports electrical infrastructure. So this new legislation is simply the utilities buying legislation (think political “contributions”) to benefit their bottom line. It has nothing to do with protecting the rest of their customers from the evils of rooftop solar.
And don’t vote for DeSantis if he signed it. Or any other legislators who voted for it.
I invested a lot to be able to control my electric bill and help Climate issues.
Now they change the rules and want to take $ put of my pocket. No way.
That’s the exact way to go!
Don’t forget that the 26% solar tax credit also covers additional panels, batteries, transfer switches and pure sine wave inverters as long as they are all on your primary home. Adding the transfer switch will allow you to use utility power when the batteries run low, and you can even charge your batteries with the lower cost nighttime utility power with battery chargers. Your batteries are your main source, and the utility is your back up way to charge them or run your home. Unless you connect to the grid and sign a NEM agreement, none of the utility charges for solar will matter. Utilities are destined to become “Backup Systems” and could go the way of “land Lines” from the AT&T monopoly when cell phones arrived.
“and could go the way of “land Lines” from the AT&T monopoly”
We can only hope, Edward!
It is getting clearer as every day passes that the folks voted in to best represent their Constituents have… as Jesus said on the cross…. WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME…
I think you should be able to save money and it should be easy to put a solar system on your roof if a homeowner wants to do that he should be able to especially in Florida it’s called the Sunshine State for a reason and everyone knows it costs a lot to cool your home when it’s hot 80% of the year
This is not the end of solar in Florida. Our local co-op, not under Public Service Commission rules, is set up for solar, similar or worse than the new regs. It actually costs grid tie customers to send power to the grid. A neighbor with a 27kw system and 3 Powerwalls received a $13 credit (one penny/kwh avoided cost) for his power, but was billed $80 just for the privilege of a grid tie. His bill was “only” $368 this month.
The secret to fighting back is Zero Export (ZEGT), ZEGT+battery or hybrid. Ditch the grid tie meter and fees. Self consume the power you can and buy only what you need. It works. I don’t have my entire house on solar, yet, but buy only $10 worth of electricity +$48 in taxes and connection charge. Some of my neighbors have power bills of $600-$1000.
This is an opportunity for solar companies to retrofit existing GT systems to ZEGT or go hybrid to provide power even after a storm has knocked down the lines. My recommendations to the neighbor with the 27kw array is to call his contractor to set the inverters to NOT sell, add another battery and tell the power company to come get their GT meter.
Fla. Needs to get rid of those officials, start a recall of any one who voted for this corrupt bill!
Neil I would like to learn more. Could we chat?
Another group of corrupt politicians. Not doing whats best for consumers. But whats best to get re-elected. Vote the whole bnunch out of office food prices up 40 percent gas at 4.00 a gallon another way to rip off the boters we show them hpw much thier buddies do them on election day thanks Glenn. Billingsley
I have been studying solar articles in hope that a rooftop system would be a savings. Now I do not it’s of real benefit in the near future. I have no idea what the state of the laws are or will be. So be it
Just moved to Florida from a completely off-grid house. Wanted solar To be independent of power issues of FPL.
With all this going on, makes me wonder when are the next elections coming up and how the various reps are voting?
Corporate fascist have always existed in this country and this is just another example of how they use the idea of serving the people while they just serve themselves. The french had to use the gellotine to solve thier problem with these types of people and i fear our country will have to do something that drastic or they will kill us all. Perhaps we should vote these people out of office or better yet sue them into poverty so they can take thier propper place i our society under an overpass instead of making our laws.
It just cost me 50000 to install solar panels No one told me that the Government substanted would take five years to get back so now I have to pay 11,000 out of my own money to get the repayment down and with what they’ve just passed in Tallahassee really sucks you try to do your best with the environment I’m coming up to retirement trying to get my bills down. So I can live On a fixed income. They will Putting a substitute on electric cars next you wait and see
Same situation Paul … coming up on retirement, I am a new Clearwater homeowner and thought solar would be a great way to keep costs fixed once I am on a fixed income. This whole situation is corrupt. There is a push to get Florida homeowners on renewable energy and our dishonorable politicians give the utility the green light to overcharge us instead of reward us for early adoption and being environmentally conscious.
Corrupt politicians. I will vote against these mother efers for sure. I guess bypass the power grid will be the best option. I’m sure they will come up with a storage system to store the extra power.
I believe there is a 20 year grandfather clause. So I’m looking at doing a 15kw ground mount diy in the next few months.
Do it and get your 26% federal tax rebate. The rebate has a carryover clause so even if you cannot get it all back the first year, you can get it back over subsequent years. As long as it is on your primary home, they do not require inter-grid connections or permitting to get the rebate. permits are only required on systems above 50 volts to ground or between conductors. 12 Volt DC to 120 Volt AC pure sine wave inverters are the lowest cost way to go. you will need very large copper or copper clad wire between batteries and your inverters, but all the other conductors will only need to be #10 AWG. I did it and so can you.
Here is a thought, Florida electric companies.
Build your own solar panel power grid to supply the people of Florida with their electrical needs.
Or would that make to much sense???
They actually have been doing that, simply because the sun/solar generation is cheaper for them too, but cheaper for them does NOT mean cheaper for you. They will just take more profit, and probably raise your prices too by lying and saying it costs them more. They are still a protected monopoly.
Thomas Edison wanted to put power plants on every other block powering home with DC electrical power locally. Westinghouse wanted to power homes with AC power that could be produced hundreds of miles away and delivered at AC without the smell and dirt of “Coal smoke” in every neighborhood. Westinghouse won the argument because there was no clean source of electricity in the 19th century. Today we can generate clean electricity on every block or at every home, using batteries as storage and not need that dirty long-distance AC because DC to AC inverters can produce the clean power from DC batteries, charged by clean solar and wind power. Utilities want to keep us in the 19th century as does the Republican party and fossil fuel companies. The Future is DC from the Sun that you produce and use, not from the dirty fossil fuels the utilities overcharge you for. Happy Generating.
So is it illegal to have my own solar system and use it when I need?…can I keep my own sys separate from the grid?!!
It is not illegal for you to install a low voltage 12-volt, 24-volt or 48-volt battery backup system on your home. The national electrical Code says in Article 720, that systems that use lower then 50 volts are not covered or should be governed by the NEC and if your city or county recognizes only the NEC as the official authority on electrical installations then you can build the system and not worry about electrical permits. A ground mounted system does not require any re-roofing or worry about roof leakage or damage caused by high winds to the home. You can call it a battery backup system even if you get 99% of your total power from it and if it is on your primary home, you can claim the 26% federal tax credit on everything you use to build it. You can build it 500 watts at a time and each year’s costs will also get the Federal Tax Credit since there is no limits on solar tax credits as long as you keep adding new solar, batteries, charge controllers wire etc. My system took me 12 years to build, and I claimed all the new installations every year as completed and turned on. There is no limit to the size you build on an off-grid system that utilities apply to on-grid systems.
Florida government should be fired by the people who they are supposed to be representing there actions are foolish and pushing criminal in their actions to take the power company side when they are supposed to representing the public
Am I correct that anyone who puts solar on their home before the end of 2023 will be grandfathered in and still enjoy the benefits of net metering for 20 years and NOT be affected by this new law?? And what are the chances of Governor DeSantis vetoing this law??
No. All solar customers are still potentially subject to new unlimited fixed fees that are only for solar (i.e., the “tax on the sun” fees)
But only if you put your generated electricity back onto the grid instead of installing your own batteries and having a separate system, not tied to the grid, running in your home. you do not sign the NEM agreement with the utility and generate your power locally and use the existing grid power only as backup power. Ask your solar installer about battery backup and the “Transfer Switch” that lets you not send solar power to the grid but only to your home and your batteries.
Typical Florida under republican leadership. Support big corporations, not individual citizens. More trickle down from the right.
So how did that Biden/Harris nomination pan out? Not too satisfied with the Democratic folks in power every time I have to buy gas or most anything now…. not too upset over the mean twitter tweets we used to hate but the whole country is screwed by Democrats now.
I support Desantis in almost all of his agenda and ventures but if he supports this strong arm tactic from FPL, he’s going to loose my support. The world has way too many corrupt and unscrupulous politicians. Like the recent saying, IT’S TIME TO DRAIN THE SWAMP”.
Edward F Dijeau keeps taking about the stupid 26% federal tax credit. But last year the IRS only give me back $30 tax credit. WT F I’m going to recover my initial $6,000 investment? In 20 years?
Btw I like DeSantis but if he doesn’t veto this bill, he can kiss my vote goodbye.
Sergio Or. I also had my solar tax credit curtailed in 2019 but re-filed for it less what they paid me in 2019 in 2020 and got the rest plus 12% interest. File again with your 2021 tax return.
Big business, big payoffs. We need to vot out our current state reps. and show them we are tired of their WE DON’T CARE attitude. I know the rates are set by appointed officials. By who appoints them? Check it out and make up your own minds.
The FL legislature is full of lazy and completely corrupt politicians. They care so little about hurting their constituents that they didn’t even bother to write the original bill. FPL wrote it, and they just rolled over like FPLs little b*tches to give the monopoly whatever they want.
Ultimately the lost tax revenue from crushing the 10-15 billion dollar solar industry and killing jobs will cost the state way more than solar customers were costing FPL (which is pretty much negligible at well under 1% of their customers). So I wouldn’t be surprised if, in the end, we all (both solar AND non-solar power customers) end up just paying more anyway in terms of new/increased taxes to cover the extra profit we’re giving to FPL. It makes no sense.
Putting in solar now,it’s paid for, no money back??
If your solar is on your primary home, not a second home, you can claim your tax credit on form f5695.pdf from the IRS site. You do not have to grid connect to get the tax credit.
I am a Florida electric co-op customer and I already have to pay a fee per kw fee for my system and get way less than the retail price per kw sent back to the grid. Seems to me that this bill was a push by the big utility companies in Florida to punish solar customers. People that failed to do their research believed that they were subsidizing solar customers. It’s sad for Florida and for the future of clean energy in the state.
From sea to shining sea, politicians and/or utility regulators in CA, AZ, FL and elsewhere are attempting to destroy competition and installation of residential solar. But solar cells and rechargeable batteries have been hugely dropping in price over the last couple of decades and more breakthroughs will no doubt be coming, allowing millions to go off grid. So economics will eventually overcome the monopolies and corrupt officials.
You are correct but what will stop them from making it illegal not to be grid tied or outlawing personal generation of power? It would be hard to conceal solar panels especially if the government incentivizes it’s citizens to tattle or even easier to do a google earth view of your property.
Only Coal producing states with utilities owned by the fossil fuel companies would even try to do that but then you can move to sunny California and install them there.
Solarice, I think any politician trying to make personal power generation illegal would be committing political suicide. The entire solar industry would help to get them booted out ASAP.
You think this is a blow to the consumer, I’m an insurance adjuster and what the consumer hasn’t been paying attention to with regards to what this Legislature has done in the past few years is absolutely sickening. The politicians in the state have been sticking it to the consumer for years to their Financial benefit by way of the corrupt lobbyists. Homeowners insurance rates could plummet to a fraction of what they are now if the state would only force Auto and life insurance companies to supplement a property insurance product like they do in other states. Instead these out-of-state auto and life insurance companies reap billions and profits. Also, if the state would simply conduct monthly reserve audits on its current property insurance companies they would catch the financial miss management that is currently Plaguing the industry. For example, avatar and St. John’s insurance didn’t just go out of business overnight. The office of insurance regulation and the department of financial services have known about this for literally years but yet look the other way and did nothing. Instead the consumer is fooled by way of manage repair programs, $10,000 water caps, The removal of the AOB and lack of accountability especially in his own citizens property insurance. For example, how does the governor of the state of Florida make only $135,000 a year roughly but yet the CEO of Citizens make over $600,000? Stop letting them lie to you about the true cost of litigation as it is not the plaintiffs attorneys that are the actual problem but rather, the corruption with the defense attorneys who push forward in useless litigation on claims that should be settled but rather are not so that the defense attorneys can keep on invoicing the Citizens for claims that are clearly intentional under payments. I worked for over 20 years for insurance carriers including states outside of Florida and have never seen anything like this! The news media will not accurately report this because of the hedge funds and contract with Sports leagues who are the main advertisers. For example, the next time you watch a football team play start paying attention as to who the sponsors / Advertisers are and you’ll notice they are mostly insurance companies. Hence, the media by way of both their local news stations as well as the national affiliates have clamped down on what they will report. This bill with regards to the solar is sickening yet, it’s just another blow to the consumer with the hits just keep on coming. Oh and with regards to solar systems, go look at the new changes with regards to how insurance companies will insure roofs in Florida During the next hurricane, the same roofs that the solar panels actually mount to.
My suggestion is to not let the corrupt legislators/regulators and FPL stop you. Go ahead and install solar anyway, if you were originally planning to to that, and get all the federal and state rebates you can, but don’t apply to FPL for net metering. You can get inverters that will use solar power and also use power from the grid whenever there isn’t enough sunlight. This will lower your electric bill all the way down to whatever the basic service fee is. But FPL won’t be able to charge you any of their bogus extra “solar fees” because you aren’t on net metering. You never have to deal with them for any approvals of any kind if you’re not sending power back into the grid. Later on when batteries are even cheaper than they’ve already fallen, you can add a battery and go completely off grid and tell FPL where they can stuff their “solar fees”.
Good news. Didn’t realize this until seeing new PV Magazine article, “Industry efforts prevented Florida rooftop solar bill from being potentially disastrous”.
Another victory was scored for the customers that Palmetto and other PV installers have served, as the “grandfathering” of net metering rates was extended. Now, customers will be able to lock in their net metering rate for 20 years instead of 15. Plus, whatever rate you install solar under will remain locked in for 20 years, so there is opportunity to secure net metering before it goes away by 2029.
So in a way, this should actually spur everyone who wants solar to get on the ball and do it this year! Get Grandfathered into the highest net metering payback rates ASAP!
An electrician friend of mine had an idea on the absolute cheapest way to add solar that is NOT connected to the grid: A standalone electric water heater (since water heating is a BIG part of most electric bills).
(1) Get about 2,000 watts worth of solar panels
(2) Wire them in series to get close to 200volts DC (150-200)
(3) Connect leads to a 50 gallon electric water heater (it doesn’t ‘care’ if it’s AC or DC)
(4) This water heater is used as a “pre-heater” and is piped in upstream of your regular water heater.
Have a licensed electrician & plumber do the work to be on the safe side. Inverter, charge controller, etc. is not needed. You are basically making a hot water “battery” that does most of the work for water heating.
Method does not require inverters, charge controllers, grid tie, etc.
Tax the air. Tax the water. Tax the road. Tax the mule. Tax the wagon. Tax the sun……
I will now start researching the Kubota Diesel generator to be added to my system and go off-grid as soon as I figure this out. My inverter is already Generator ready so should not be a big deal to add
Any one remember how DUKE energy was supposed to build a NUKE plant here in Florida to address the increasing energy needs? Remember how everyone had to pay additional fees PRIOR to the building of said NUKE plant? Pre-Pay for a NUKE plant NEVER built here. When called out on it, DUKE decided to level 100s of acres of dense forest to plant Solar Panels in a Solar Farm. My city was known as a bird sanctuary. I live near the DeBary Power Plant and the chain saws and dropping of aged trees was endless and went on for weeks on end. I saw animals and eagles displaced in a horrific manner. This was a serious cost of wildlife and native flora and fauna and seriously effected a sandpiper and gopher tortoise preservation area. there is no more vegetation for them to eat.
Also, the proposed “savings” never materialized and as a roof-top solar customer, I am now being taxed unfairly by DUKE with the nonsensical excessive fees now accessed. Granted, $30.64 is a heck of a lot better than the $350.00 usual monthly bill. But again you have to ask who is behind this? Must be big Oil and who is heavily invested in it (think ever insatiable greedy corrupt politicians). Thank you ever so much for looking out for your constituants in Florida we ALL Appreciate it so much – not. Enjoy your cash bed.
My friends so now you must keep your system off the grid, buy gridtied limited inverter, that do not feed the grid. You must buy a battery, do not over buy solar panels (overly large array), buy just enough panels to power your largest load for a 24 hour period, let the battery carry you until morning…
Don’t give the the utilities any bus$ine$$!!!
So here it is …power companies like FLORIDA POWER AND LIGHT (FPL) hike the rates up astronomically 3 to 6 times more since taking over says they need the billions $$$ for infrastructure.
then they go after people who environmentally want to protect our resources just so they can put BILLIONS $$$$ in their and our politicians pockets …don’t RE-ELECT them boot them out get someone in who protects the little people not these greedy mf politicians…DeSantis needs to Veto Veto Veto this bill or he’s no better than them…and come election time I WILL LET THEM ALL KNOW WITH MY VOTE even if I have to cross part lines….
If Desantis does veto this bill he can kiss my vote good bye, I’ve supported him on a lot of his agendas, but when FPL dictates what will happen and he listens that’s all for me.
That is doesn’t veto this bill
If Desantis doesn’t veto this bill he has lost my vote.
Is it true that the payback time under the current net metering scheme is only 5 years? In Germany, where I live, the payback time for rooftop solar PV is about 20 years. With a monthly solar tax of 4 USD per kWp, a retail price of electricity of 20 ct/kwh, a feed-in tariff of 10 ct/kWh, and a self consumption of 30% of generated PV power, the payback time would be about 20 years in Florida.
This is why going completely off grid with a solar panel system with batteries and a transfer switch, that has a payback in 12 years, is better. You keep the utility as your back up power but do not put any of your extra electrons onto it. You put all your extra power into the batteries and run appliances or charge your EV during daylight hours when your EV is at home on days off or weekends. After a hurricane, you will still have power while the utility is cleaning up their mess.
He who is not a subject of change will grow old quickly. Veto the Bill!
Edward F Dijeau you should write a book or teach a class. Seriously!
So how do you all feel about the added home value we get from solar? Zillow just reported solar adds 4.6% resale value in Florida (Orlando Area).
The median priced home in Florida is now $354,000, up 29.4% from one year ago, so adding 4.6% for solar would add $16,100 to your resale value.
If homes only appreciate 7.5% solar would add $26,711 resale value in 7 years (I used 7 yrs because that’s the average time people move).
At 15% solar would add $42,826 in resale value in 7 years.
I know this is not relevant to this (insane, disgusting, infuriating, corrupt as hell) bill but I wonder if that is an important factor to consider?
All the information about Solar panels, charge controllers, pure sine wave inverters, fusing and wire sizes are found on “Off-Grid Solar” on U-tube. Most items you need are at Home Depot. Com and other hardware stores. Batteries and inverters are also available at Wal Mart. Enjoy building your system and striking back at the fossil fuel owned utilities.
You’re quite right, Edward. I’m doing it now. It’s quite an adventure and very educational. I’m going the ‘off-grid’ route so using non-grid-tied inverters and buying LiFePO4 cells to build a 48V, 14KWh battery. I’m installing panels on my tall roof and having to buy a safety harness and ropes and make my own panel elevator to get them up there safely. Of course, I could hire someone else to do it but I have the time so why not save the bucks. Lots of items to buy and things to calculate but again, it’s interesting and educational and will pay off much faster than spending a much larger amount on a solar installation company. But for people who don’t want to DIY it, there are many good residential solar installers out there.
Stick it to them anyways Florida go solar and drive the damn electric company out of business. We are not doing this for money savings alone we are doing this for our children so they have a planet like we did when we grew up. I am working on solar no matter what bill is passed because it’s the right thing to do.
I just received my July bill from FPL. Earlier this year, i used very little power and built up a reserve of over 800 kWh. I expected that this reserve would be applied to future bills to reduce future charges. Not so, starting in June, FPL is charging a minimum of $25 each month. They also have a minimum daily charge of about $0.40 per day if you use 0 kWh that day. I realized that FPL is now ‘stealing’ my reserve through creative accounting. to calculate the bill, the first apply reserve against any FPL power used for the month. For July, that reduced my usage to 0 kWh and a minimum daily charge of charge of $8.99. They then apply their new minimum charge bringing my bill to $25 before taxes. The difference, 25 – 8.99 is the amount they should pay me or apply to my charges for the change in reserve. In effect, I’m receiving no benefit for my reserve.
I understand that Duke has a minimum of $30 per month. I’d be curious to know if they used the same creative accouning.
I don’t have a problem paying for power I use, but I don’t like being charged for power I produce.
It’s time to add a battery to my system. I don’t want any power to go back to the grid.
“Time to add a battery to my system. I don’t want any power to go back to the grid.” If you are grid tied, you will still have the $25.00 monthly fee plus the 40 cents a day minimum. This is a “Using the grid as your battery” Fee. The best thing for you to do is keep using them as a battery but double your solar panels going to the grid to build up an 8,000-kilo watt hour Bank rather than an 800-kilo wat hour bank. Then run all your appliance, air conditioning or electric heating to cut down on any amount other than the fixed charges of $37.00 per month. Buying a Tesla power wall or other lithium battery system works out to $8,500. Divided by 144 months or 12 years equals $59.00 per month per battery pro-rated. A lot higher than your $37.00 per month. I built up a 5,200-kilo watt hour reserve and replaced my natural gas heating last winter and saved $500.00 over the previous year’s natural gas heating bill with the left-over banked power by doubling my system from 8,000 watts to 16,000 watts.
The $25 minimum fee includes the 40 per day minimum. So If I produce the same amount of power in a month as I consume, the bill for 0 kWh will be $25.
The problem I’m trying to avoid is when I consume more than I produce, FPL reduces my consumption by using my reserve, and then still charging me $25. I’ll give you an example.
If I consume 500 kWh and produce 400 kWh, FPL will reduce my usage to 0kWh using 100 kWh of my reserve. They then will raise my bill to $25. It’s the same charge as if I consumed and produced the same amount in a month, except my reserve would be reduced by 100 kWh. In effect, FPL is reducing my reserve without any financial benefit to me.
I’m curious what power company you have. If you have a natural gas heater, you probably don’t live in Florida. This seems to be a Florida problem as I’ve seen similar complaints from people using Duke energy. There’s a current investigation about the new law that was passed in Florida. It involves FPL hiring a company out of Alabama to get the law written and approved. Along the way, they violated election laws by producing a fake candidate with the same name as a real candidate that opposed the bill. The real candidate was defeated, and as of now, at least 5 people have been indicted in this election fraud case. Some people expect it to reach the Alabama company and the CEO of FPL as there are documents connecting him to the scheme.
I appreciate your suggestions, but I already have a 9 kW system and have no room for additional panels. My strategy is to avoid a reserve because FPL will simply use it to reduce my usage to 0 and then increase my bill to the monthly minimum. With a battery, I can charge during the day and use battery power at night. I can adjust my usage, charge my EVs, turn the AC down, etc., so that I use enough power to get me to the minimum monthly charge.
Thank you for the additional information. I live in sunny Northern California and because my utility had a larger minimum size to connect to the grid, I opted for off-grid with deep cycle lead acid batteries from Walmart in 2010. With a 12-volt system, I did not need electrical permits from my city and had no connection charges with the utility. You just need the 18 -volt solar panels, available at Home Depot . com charge controllers, from E-Bay, wires from Home Depot and a set of 12-volt, deep cycle/RV batteries from Walmart plus one 3,000-watt pure sine wave inverter from either Home Depot or Walmart. I directly powered 12-volt lights and small inverters from the batteries and the larger window air conditioners, I directly wired from the 3,000-watt pure sine wave inverter. Since you already have solar panels producing power, you would just need a Time Clock running a couple of battery chargers going to the batteries from 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM every day and tap onto the batteries with the inverter directly wired to whatever you wish to power.
Thanks for the ideas. Unfortunately, we live in sunny South Florida, and the solar battery makes sense for two reasons. First as I’ve described, it will keep power on premises to avoid the FPL minimum fiasco. But the second reason is backup in the event of power failure during a hurricane. If an extended outage occurs (like it has in the past), we could hunker down in one room and only use power for that space. We have multiple mini-split AC units, so we would only use the one in the space we occupy. Just having AC after a hurricane can make life bearable.
Edward, even though lead-acid batteries are cheaper initially, don’t you find that LiFePO4 batteries will pay off much better over the long haul? I’m using them and can charge & discharge between 100% & 20% instead of having to limit to 50% DOD on a lead-acid battery. Supposedly you can go clear down to 10% on these without much degradation. Also, I expect there’ll be at least 80% capacity after 3,000 cycles which is over 8 years at 1 cycle per day. During the summer, I’m only having to discharge to 50% so may get more like 5,000 cycles. Also, no sulfuric acid fumes or corrosion, much less space used, less weight to move, and no maintenance and no venting from the lithiums.
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