Advocates Condemn Florida Senate’s Passage of Anti-Solar Legislation
Calls for Governor DeSantis to veto HB 741 grow
Today, in a 24-15 vote, the Florida Senate passed HB 741, a highly controversial and widely criticized piece of legislation aiming to gut rooftop solar net metering in Florida. The Florida House of Representatives also passed HB 741 earlier this week; now, the legislation will head to Governor Ron DeSantis for signature or veto.
Net metering — a practice supported by 93% of Floridians from all backgrounds and political leanings — allows rooftop solar customers to receive full retail credit from their utility for excess energy generated. The program is considered a pillar of Florida’s rooftop solar industry, which supports nearly 40,500 jobs and provides $18.3 billion annually in economic impact.
“This is corporate welfare, plain and simple,” says Katie Chiles Ottenweller, Southeast Regional Director at Vote Solar. “When families and businesses reduce their energy consumption by going solar, monopoly utilities see a hit to their bottom line. The legislature has made the choice to prioritize corporations’ profit margins over the rights of Floridians to control their own energy use.”
Public opposition to the bill has been significant, with tens of thousands of Florida residents contacting their legislators, hundreds showing up for in-person rallies, and dozens testifying at legislative hearings.
“This is a dark day for solar homeowners and consumer choice in the Sunshine State. Today, Florida lawmakers shut the door on energy innovation, capitalism and free-market principles,” says Heaven Campbell, Florida Program Director, Solar United Neighbors. “This reckless government mandate leaves Florida’s consumers powerless and provides investor-owned utility companies complete control of the solar energy market. Solar United Neighbors urges Governor DeSantis to stand up to monopoly utility companies that are leading this effort to put an end to Floridians’ personal freedom to put solar on their property.”
Rooftop solar is an increasingly popular option for controlling utility bills during times of historic inflation, volatile fuel prices and large rate increases—factors causing distress throughout Florida, notably in the Panhandle region.
Solar advocates are now calling on Governor Ron DeSantis to stand with homeowners and small businesses by vetoing the legislation.