DeSantis Must Veto Anti-Solar Bill to Save Floridians Money and Prepare for the Future
Whether you’re a self-proclaimed “tree hugger” or someone who just wants to spend less money on energy consumption during Florida’s grueling summer months, the truth is undeniable: An investment in solar is common sense for Florida and Floridians.
Over the past decade, solar has grown as a reliable and affordable option for homeowners, but even as the designated Sunshine State, Florida has continually trailed behind other states when it comes to adopting solar.
The good news is, there has been improvement. Back in 2012, the Solar Energy Industries Association ranked Florida 17th in the country for installed solar capacity. In 2021, Florida’s rank climbed to the third spot on SEIA’s list. The low cost of solar panels in Florida, investments by forward-thinking commercial companies, and the state’s net metering benefit — which allows residential and commercial solar customers to store the excess electricity they produce at peak times and use it to power their electricity at night — have contributed to this growth.
Despite the state’s momentum in solar adoption, Florida policymakers have passed legislation — backed by Florida’s largest utility company, Florida Power & Light — that would stifle that growth by gutting the net metering benefit. This benefit has been an essential part of making solar adoption financially feasible for everyone and is supported by 84% of Florida voters.
Nevertheless, the state Legislature has pushed through House Bill 741, which would cut the financial incentives homeowners receive for installing rooftop solar panels by 75%. Florida’s continued solar growth and potential now rests in the hands of Gov. Ron DeSantis, who can either sign or veto the legislation.
Investment in solar energy isn’t just good for Floridians’ pocketbooks, it’s good for the health of our state’s economy. As a business leader in Florida’s solar energy sector, I have witnessed the positive impact that solar adoption has had on homeowners, job growth and economic momentum across the state. Florida’s solar industry is responsible for billions of dollars in economic impact and the creation of more than 40,000 good-paying jobs with an average earning potential of roughly $71,958 per year — a stark contrast to the low-wage industries that dominate our state’s economy. Solar energy adoption has helped both Florida’s families and businesses save money — nearly $1,400 annually for residential homes.
The solar industry is the future and Florida should lead the way in its growth. DeSantis must embrace that future by vetoing this bill and supporting Florida’s solar industry growth, helping to create more jobs of the future, protect savings for homeowners and business leaders across the state, and secure Florida’s competitive advantage in solar energy.
Tim Delcavo is director of Sales and Business Development at Solaria Energy Solutions, a solar panel installation company based in Central Florida. Tim has worked in the Sunshine State’s solar industry since 2020. You can reach him via email or on LinkedIn.
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