Protecting rooftop solar in the Sunshine State
At Vote Solar, we know that rooftop solar is a proven job creator, economic stimulus, and powerful tool for mitigating the worst impacts of the climate crisis. That’s why, in 2021, our team advocated for and protected the rights of 1.1 million rooftop solar customers. But even as we continue to fight — and win — rooftop solar faces major threats across the country. This year, one of our steepest uphill battles has been in a state known for sunshine: Florida.
Earlier this month, both chambers of the Florida legislature passed House Bill 741, a bill that threatens to obliterate solar net metering. Net metering allows rooftop solar owners to receive full retail credit from their utility for the excess energy they generate. The practice is hugely popular, with support from an astonishing 93% of Florida voters. It’s also the backbone of Florida’s up-and-coming rooftop solar industry. In Florida, rooftop solar supports more than 40,000 jobs and adds $18.3 billion in economic value. It gives Floridians the freedom to choose solar for their homes and businesses without skyrocketing utility bills. Protecting solar access, and the myriad benefits that come with it, should be an easy choice for lawmakers. That they’ve chosen instead to prioritize the profit margins of monopoly utilities is unconscionable.
There’s no question that this legislation’s passage is an obstacle — but the Vote Solar team never backs down from a fight as important as this one. Thanks to the persistent efforts of our staff, partners, and allies, the version of HB 741 that passed the legislature isn’t nearly as harmful as the one initially proposed late last year. Through strategic negotiations and activism, we were able to secure a delayed onset of fixed charges for solar customers, and stop net metering from ending abruptly in 2023. Despite these improvements, we still firmly believe that the best version of this bill is no bill at all. Governor Ron DeSantis has the authority to make HB 741 disappear with a stroke of his pen. That’s why we’re calling on him to veto it without delay.
I’m thankful to the more than 7,000 Vote Solar members who sent emails, made phone calls, and showed up in person in support of a sun-powered Florida. Seeing activism of this magnitude only reinforces my belief that people are hungry for clean energy progress, and that our collective passion and dedication can stand up to powerful special interests.
Right now, Governor DeSantis has an opportunity to side with job creators and energy choice — and in the process, set a precedent for solar fights that are sure to come. I hope he rises to the occasion by choosing to veto. Regardless of the outcome, Vote Solar will continue pushing onward toward accessible, affordable clean energy for all. Thank you for doing this work alongside us.