To see the letter from Rep. Castor's office, click here
Tallahassee, FL -- Members of Florida’s Democratic Congressional Delegation published a letter today urging the Florida State Legislature to oppose SB 1024 “Renewable Energy Generation” and HB 741 “Net Metering” and protect rooftop solar access for Floridians. The letter can be found on Representative Castor’s webpage or linked here.
In response, Luigi Guadarrama, Political Director for Sierra Club Florida said, "This legislation would restrict Floridians’ freedom to control their energy choices, not to mention the thousands of jobs it will destroy. With the ongoing climate crisis threatening our communities, rooftop solar access should be made easier, not harder. Sierra Club Florida is grateful for the stand these Congress members are taking to protect Florida’s growing solar industry."
SB 1024 and HB 741 threaten rooftop solar by directing the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) to reduce how much utilities pay homeowners and small businesses for the electricity they send to the grid, giving utilities allowance to impose excessive additional fees, and outright prohibiting solar access in certain circumstances. Currently, rooftop solar owners are paid at the same rate the utility sells power to all customers, but this legislation would cut that rate by more than two-thirds. Not only would this threaten homeowners, but this would also decimate the rooftop solar industry. These changes would shutter small businesses and cost thousands of middle class jobs.
In stressing the economic role net metering plays, the letter states “There are more than 400 solar energy businesses in Florida. Maintaining the economic engine net metering provides is essential to the stability and growth of Florida’s economy.”
Net metering is vital to making rooftop solar accessible in Florida. By compensating solar owners for the excess electricity that is shared back to the grid, the program helps offset installation costs and encourages larger solar systems. Among the public, net metering remains an extremely popular program in Florida. A recent poll found that 93% of Florida voters support net metering.
“Rooftop top solar is a necessary part of Florida’s transition to clean, renewable energy and the fight against the climate crisis. Having the freedom to choose solar energy allows Floridians to develop backup power, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and lower their electricity costs over time. We must protect and expand access to rooftop solar in the Sunshine State,” said Sierra Club Florida Chapter Director Emily Gorman.
The Florida Chapter of the Sierra Club is ecstatic to have the support of many of Florida’s Congressional Democrats in this fight. Rooftop solar remains one of the most valuable tools America has against the ongoing climate crisis, and protecting the freedom of homeowners and small businesses to access rooftop solar should be a priority for any legislator serious about combating climate change.