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: firstname.lastname@example.org.