Florida reduces net metering credits by half. Here is why
Net metering allows residential and commercial customers who generate their own power from solar panels to feed the excess back into the grid. This reduces utility bills. Electric companies, on the other hand, fear they will lose money as a result, which makes them unhappy. As a result, utilities in Florida are attempting to rescind net metering. As a solution, the town of Green Cove Springs, Florida, has approved legislation to reduce its net metering benefits by half and extend them to surrounding areas.
In the great majority of net metering situations, any modifications to compensation are made at the state level, with localities. Particularly those with populations under 10,000. Such as Green Cove Springs, seldom taking the burden into their own hands.
As it stands, the Act cuts customers’ net metering export credit from eight cents per kWh to four cents per kWh. Local solar advocates have criticized this regulation. They contended that reducing the credit would cause existing customer payback calculations to become complicated. They went on to say that it might discourage others from investing in solar in the future.
Florida’s net metering
Florida was one of 47 states with a net metering regulation that permits solar households to earn a credit for power supplied back to the grid. Florida’s policy was initiated via an executive order signed by Governor Charlie Crist in 2007. In 2019, the Florida legislature formalized it.
What was the problem?
In 2016, Florida voters rejected Amendment 1, a utility-backed proposal to curb rooftop solar installation. Despite the No vote in 2016, major utilities in Florida that use fossil fuels continue to oppose the proposal.
Florida utilities believed that net metering from solar was forcing them and their stockholders to lose money. Mike Morina is the executive director of the Florida Home Partnership. He stated in the “Tampa Bay Times” that in January, a utility front group called Energy Fairness issued a study stating that net metering is unfair to customers. Morina wrote:
“Florida has room for growth on solar; there are fewer than 60,000 net-metered systems in the state. As solar grows, it helps avoid the need to build expensive power plants, making it a win-win for everyone.”
I don’t live in Florida, so why should I care?
It is renowned as the Sunshine State. In terms of solar power generation, it is now rated third among states. And Florida should do everything possible to encourage further solar adoption. However, the recent revocation of net metering is likely to discourage further solar investment in Florida. Local solar advocates in Florida have also spoken out against the new net metering legislation. They said that decreasing the credit would cause confusion in existing customer payback calculations and deter new solar investment.
“I don’t live in Florida. Why should I care?” you might be thinking. A couple of reasons:
Florida, for one, has a population of 21.48 million people. That is a lot of people – and a lot of energy use and emissions. And this impacts not only every American but the whole planet.
Second, all states should aggressively promote the transition to renewable energy. Virginia, for example, is compelling its utilities to use green energy and holding them responsible through landmark legislation approved in March. Dominion Energy Virginia must achieve carbon-free status by 2045, while Appalachian Power must achieve carbon-free status by 2050.