The clean energy world let out a collective sigh of relief last night, when Florida Governor Ron DeSantis vetoed House Bill 741, a wildly unpopular piece of legislation dubbed the “anti-rooftop solar bill,” which would have phased down the value of net metering and opened the door for utilities to add fixed charges to solar customer bills.
And while the bill’s return to the legislature doesn’t mean it’s quite dead yet, having passed the first time by the exact same margin needed to override the veto, the belief is that DeSantis, a current frontrunner for the GOP ticket in 2024, wouldn’t have vetoed the bill if he believed in the possibility of an override, which could somewhat weaken his campaign.
In our previous coverage, we included commentary from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Vote Solar, however the conversation does not end with those two entities. pv magazine has collected a series of responses from other players across the political, regulatory, and industry spaces, and will continue to update this column with additional commentary points as they come out.
“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. Governor DeSantis understands the value of solar as an economic engine and a powerful tool for energy independence here in the Sunshine State,” said Justin Vandenbroeck, president of the Florida Solar Energy Industries Association. “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.”
Energy and Policy Institute
Alissa Jean Schafer, a research and communications manager at the Energy and Policy Institute, commented on the genesis of the bill:
Smith said, “No monopoly utility owns the sun, nor the right to use misinformation to raise rates on their customers.”
Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar & Storage Association, draws a correlation between the Florida bill and California’s NEM 3.0 controversy:
“Governor DeSantis did not fall for the utilities’ playbook of protecting their profits and monopolies by eliminating competition from rooftop solar. Governor Newsom’s administration should not fall for it either. When it comes to keeping solar affordable, growing, and contributing to our clean energy future, California should be not only keeping pace with Florida, but leading the world.”
Conservative Energy Network
Tyler Duvelius, director of external affairs, Conservative Energy Network applauds the protection of energy freedom in Florida:
“By vetoing this anti-net metering bill today, Governor DeSantis protected Floridians’ rights to energy freedom and ensured solar energy remains a strong economic force and job creator in the Sunshine State. Net metering gives Floridians access to clean, affordable energy and provides an element of choice and competition in the energy market. The practice reduces strain on the grid and diversifies energy sources, benefiting all energy consumers, not only those with rooftop solar.”
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