Save Rooftop Solar

by Bob Moore, co-chair of Sanibel-Captiva Renewable Energy Working Group

Climate scientists overwhelmingly agree that we must take immediate action to reduce the amount of CO2 and methane going into our atmosphere or face devastating environmental consequences. Renewable energy, like rooftop solar, is a critical component of addressing the climate crisis.

There are also economic benefits to investments in solar. Nationally, solar installer is one of the fastest growing, good paying jobs in the country. In the Sunshine State, which produces the 3rd most electricity from solar panels in the country, rooftop solar supports nearly 40,500 jobs.

But those jobs and the savings Florida residents can achieve by going solar are at risk by anti-competitive legislation introduced in the House and the Senate this legislative session.

Senate bill SB 1024 and House bill HB 741 seek to undermine current solar net metering statutes in the state, which are critical to a thriving solar industry. Florida’s net metering rule sets standards for all investor owned utilities in the state to allow rooftop solar to work with the grid. It provides credits to consumers when they produce more electricity than they use, and those credits offset the cost of energy they draw from the grid when they need it.

As a state, we should be encouraging innovation in renewable energy, including supporting expanded adoption of rooftop solar. By contrast, these bills would:
• Remove language from statute calling for the state legislature to promote the spread of clean, renewable energy;
• Codify anti-solar utility talking points into law (these bills were first drafted by Florida’s largest utility);
• Reduce the amount that utilities compensate for customer-generated clean and renewable energy;
• Allow utilities to impose new charges, fees, and minimum bills, which hurt Florida consumers.

We need to speak out in support of solar energy here in the Sunshine State. Currently rooftop solar accounts for less than 1% of electricity generated in the state. We need to let this emerging industry expand without monopolistic controls. Please ask your representatives in the Florida House and Senate to provide strong leadership to oppose these bills. Florida should be a leader in addressing climate change through renewable energy and promote market competition and job creation for Floridians.

Representatives in Lee County:

Senator Ray Rodrigues Representative Adam Botana
400 Senate Office Bldg.
404 S Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399
422 The Capitol
402 S Monroe St.
Tallahassee FL 32399

Bob Moore is Senior Vice President of a Boston-based healthcare company. He also volunteers his time with local nonprofits. He is co-chair of the Sanibel-Captiva Renewable Energy Working Group and co-founder with his wife, Ariel Hoover, of the Lee County Chapter of the Climate Reality Project. Bob and his wife power their home with solar using the LCEC net metering program. Contact information:

Comments (3)

  1. In 2020 my wife and I replaced the rusting 33 year old roof on our Sanibel home. Part of our consideration was to add a new solar system on top of our brand new metal roof. We invited two local solar contractors to provide price proposals for a new system that would include battery backup storage for power outages. The best case pay-back would take 14.6 years, which I was told was not bad. We seldom stay in a home for half that time.

    Besides the outrageous investment required to “save the planet” our beautiful white roof would be totally covered in black solar panels. I mean literally, it would take panels spread out all over our roof to meet our needs. Plus, we figured that we’d constantly be concerned about wind damage during hurricane season. And what about the 40 year roof warranty if we did so? Then another reality hit when we heard how much wall space would be required for the battery storage panels. It was absolutely ridiculous.

    Therefore, despite our best intentions we nixed the project. $63K out of pocket was too high of an investment for solar power. I can only imagine what those prices would be today with the sky high inflation that President Biden has unleashed on the nation. Like most folks on Sanibel we want a clean environment, clean water and clean air just as much as we want no bad storms and “normal” weather. But from our experience the solar industry is not quite ready to convince folks like my wife and I to become customers. Technology is improving. Maybe some day it’ll work out. But, for now, without substantial government rebates or downright governmental mandates the 1% number cited in the article for American solar homes sounds about right.

    One other real world example of the solar industry’s challenge is my GenX son in metro Atlanta. He was convinced that he’d install a solar system on his home in 2022. There seemed little doubt he was going to do so. That is, until he got the pricing. Neither he or I realized we were both considering solar.

    Changing the subject a little here… With all due respect, the writer’s affiliation with the “Climate Reality Project” referenced in this article is a bit of a radical organization. I mean leftist leaning. The conjecture that there will be “devastating environmental consequences” and that there is “overwhelming” scientific consensus that we’re all doomed can, without a doubt, be debated. Yes, our climate is changing. Perhaps Man is partially to blame for the ever changing climate we live in. But history and science shows that Earth’s climate has changed for eons. There is nothing that makes economic sense about the USA spending the trillions proposed in the Green New Deal unless you want to force folks to live in the dark ages again.

    One more thing: I sure do wish the Santiva Chronicle would seek out and publish conservative viewpoints every once and awhile…

    • The Santiva Chronicle does not “seek out” viewpoints for publication. We welcome all opinions on important topics to our community as long as long as they presented in a civil and respectful manner. Opinions and letters to the editor may be submitted through our Contact page.

  2. Hi Bob. Your comments are much appreciated. Isn’t it amazing that we in the Sunshine State have to argue for solar power in 2022?!

    All renewable energy options are wanted in Florida, but not by a small number of self-serving contras who have eagerly promoted anti-solar dogma.

    Solar power is in the public interest. The fact that we’re still making the case for solar shows how much work needs to be done in our conflicted state.

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