Update: DeSantis vetoes net metering restrictions in surprise move
Update 4/27/22: After weeks of suspense and speculation, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis vetoed the anti-net metering legislation, meaning it will not go into effect. DeSantis stated that the bill would “contribute to the financial crunch that our citizens are experiencing.” Obviously, we’re pleased that the value proposition of solar in Florida homeowners will be preserved, and that homeowners considering going solar in the Sunshine State can now move forward with more confidence.
Stay tuned to our blog and social media for more updates on this development.
Here’s what the bill would have meant for solar customers and those considering solar in the Sunshine State
Legislation that would have substantially revised and, in effect, eliminated Florida’s net metering policy was vetoed by Governor Ron DeSantis in a surprise move.
Florida Net Metering Background
We’ve been following the progress of this law since it was first introduced in the Florida legislature last year. It’s notable that according to an investigation by the Miami Herald, the legislation was originally drafted by Florida Power and Light, the state’s largest investor-owned utility, and that FPL made a large donation to the campaign fund of Florida state Senator Jennifer Bradley shortly after she introduced the bill. You can read our past updates for background here.
Net metering is a catch-all term for a solar billing structure where utilities pay solar-empowered homeowners for energy that gets sent back to the grid when their solar systems produce more energy than they use. It’s key to the value proposition of going solar in Florida and many other states. You can read more about net metering in our guide to solar billing structures.
What did the vetoed net metering bill say?
Unsurprisingly, considering it was written by a monopoly utility, the vetoed bill was designed to greatly reduce the value of going solar and discourage more Floridians from going solar in the future.
The central feature of the bill was to change the way solar customers are credited for the excess energy generated by their solar systems which is sent back to the utility grid. Instead of receiving credit for this energy at the full retail rate, homeowners would have only been credited at the utility’s much lower “avoided cost” rate, undercutting the value of going solar.
The proposal would also have allowed utilities to begin slapping fixed charges on solar customers starting in 2026, without specifying any limit on how much those charges could be.
What does it mean for residential solar?
For currently solar-empowered Florida homeowners, the immediate impacts of the proposal would have been minimal. Homeowners who already went solar wouldn’t have noticed any change to the financial return they get out of their solar investment until the proposed fixed charges for solar customers went into effect in 2026.
For homeowners considering going solar at some point in the future, the proposal would have radically decreased the value of the investment.
The decision by DeSantis is a major win for homeowners in Florida who are seeking a better deal on the energy that powers their lives. With net metering intact, homeowners are free to consider the benefits of solar and see the value of renewable technology.
If you’re a Florida homeowner, there’s no better time to declare energy independence. You can schedule a time to talk with one of our energy consultants today. If you haven’t already, be sure to follow us on social media to keep up with news and analysis of the latest changes in solar policy around the country.