On September 17, Florida’s Public Service Commission (PSC) held a regulatory workshop to discuss net metering and solar policies. The Commissioners had an option on the table to initiate a rule-making process that would limit – or even eliminate – solar net metering in Florida. For our state to truly live up to its “Sunshine State” moniker, it requires maintaining fair and clear policies for harnessing the power of the sun. And we feel that, in the midst of a global pandemic, an economic crisis, and an active hurricane season, it’s reprehensible to be making moves to roll back a policy as important as net metering, which enables solar owners to be fairly compensated for the extra energy they generate and provide back to the electricity grid.
Floridians for Solar Choice, a broad grassroots coalition that includes numerous environmental groups, advocacy organizations, religious and political action groups, mobilized and the response was incredible. There were more than 16,400 emails to the PSC as well as hundreds – if not thousands – of phone calls. Additionally, one commissioner reported that friends and neighbors who were considering installing solar approached him with concerns about potential changes to the net energy metering (NEM) program.
The good news: The PSC does not, at this time, appear to have the intention of weakening NEM. The overwhelming message expressed during the meeting was that when given the time and the opportunity to collaborate on policy, legislative and regulatory, there are no losers, only winners; this was a theme the Commission appeared to particularly enjoy, much more than the traditional mudslinging. Coalition leaders feel that the PSC meeting was the beginning of a sea change in how Florida advocates, talks, and works with policy makers on solar.
Making your voice heard works. If you added YOUR voice to the battle cry to protect and preserve net metering, THANK YOU! And please know that we pledge to continue to advocate – in partnership with our broad coalition – for clean energy and a brighter future in the Sunshine State.
*Much of the above information was provided through an email from Justin Hoysradt, president of Florida Solar Energy Industries Association. We are incredibly grateful to FlaSEIA for its advocacy, knowledge and hard work on behalf of the solar industry in Florida!