Florida Should Preserve and Improve Solar Rebate Program
Just a few weeks ago we circulated a petition urging our state leaders to support policies that encourage more solar development in Florida across the board. Shortly after – FPL announced plans to develop 225 MW of utility owned solar without the approval of the commission. It seems like FPL knows that solar is good for their business – heck their sister company Nextera Energy Resources has one of the largest development pipelines in the world – they know solar.
While we love an announcement to build enough solar to power over 27,000 homes – especially here in the Sunshine State – we also have to point out that the coalition of monopoly utilities are fighting to kill the rooftop solar rebates designed to promote solar ownership. While FPL pulls MW out of a hat the real trick is happening at the Florida Public Service Commission. Sleight of hand if you will.
Affordable solar power is ready to put Floridians in charge of our power sources and utility bills like never before. It’s ready to build a healthier, more resilient, more secure energy mix for our state.
I’m not naive – Florida’s rebate programs have been a perennial disaster. The state run program left thousands of home and business owners unpaid and the Utility run programs have actually increased incentives over time as solar prices declined.
It’s high time for a smart rebate program that predictably decreases over time can help consumers like you invest with confidence in solar power. While at the same time putting the local solar industry on a path to zero state incentives with sustainable, predictable growth. Florida should be working to build that kind of strong, self-sustaining new energy economy – not slamming the brakes on progress by ending the Solar Pilot program.
The simple answer is that for over a century, these same monopoly companies have made guaranteed profits by building big power plants – and having their customers harness free sunshine is a threat to their old way of business. Even if a few of them have figured out that building big solar plants is awesome for their business we can’t let the interests of a few power companies outshine the rest of us.
Right now, our utilities have the ear of state regulators at the Commission on this issue – which is why it’s so important for you to speak up. If you live in Florida.