Here’s where things stand after the anti-solar bill was vetoed
Yesterday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis vetoed legislation that would have essentially phased out net metering for residential solar customers in Florida, putting an end, at least for now, to months of uncertainty about the future of solar in the Sunshine State.
We’ve been following this story on our blog since the legislation was first introduced in the Florida state legislature late last year. For a detailed rundown on what the impacts of the bill would have been if it had gone into law, you can also read our summary here, but the bill would have essentially ended solar net metering. Net metering is the policy where solar-empowered homeowners can sell energy back to their utility at a fair rate if their solar systems produce more energy than they use. By phasing out net metering, the proposed legislation would have greatly eroded the value proposition of going solar in Florida. In a statement, Gov. DeSantis said he decided to veto the bill because the attack on solar would “contribute to the financial crunch that our citizens are experiencing.”
Obviously, we at Zenernet are pleased with the Governor’s decision. It’s important to note, however, that the veto sends the bill back to the Florida legislature, which will have the option of voting on whether or not to override the veto. It would take a two-thirds majority in both the state House of Representatives and Senate to override the veto and make the bill become law. The legislation originally passed the state House with a “veto-proof” majority, but with less than a two-thirds majority in the Senate. With the legislature currently in a series of special sessions to address a number of other specific issues, it is uncertain whether the legislature will take up the net metering bill again.
The attack on net metering was a top legislative priority for Florida Power and Light, the state’s largest utility, which drafted the legislation and made a sizable campaign contribution to the member of the Florida Senate who originally introduced it. Opinion polls show that an overwhelming majority of Florida voters regardless of their political affiliations opposed the bill, preferring to keep the state’s net metering policies as they are.
We’ll be sure to update our readers on any further developments with the current legislation or about any similar legislation impacting current or prospective solar-empowered homeowners in Florida. For now, at least, we’re pleased that the future of residential solar in Florida looks brighter.