Bill opposed by the rooftop solar industry and environmentalists moves forward in Florida Legislature

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Update on 2 March 2022: The bill passed the full House on Wednesday. The original story is below.

A bill in the Florida Legislature could have the effect of limiting rooftop solar power; HB 741 is opposed by environmentalists and the solar power industry.

On Tuesday afternoon it was advanced by the Senate Rules Committee. It had previously passed its other Senate and House committees. In the House Tuesday, several Democratic-sponsored amendments were shot down.

WMNF’s Tuesday Café. I’m Seán Kinane interviewed two members of the solar power community in Florida. Wayne Wallace is the founder and CEO of Solar Source. Scott McIntyre is the CEO and President of Solar Energy Management.

Listen to the full show here:

Net-metering

In 2008 the Florida Public Service Commission approved a net-metering rule, that included credits that utilities give to consumers for electricity generated by rooftop solar systems.

Supporters of the bill say that Florida’s current situation causes people who don’t have solar on their roofs to subsidize owners of rooftop solar since it costs money for utilities to operate the electrical grid.

HB 741 & SB 1024

This bill is ready for a vote in the full House after it passed three committees.

Duke Energy Florida has instituted a minimum monthly bill of $30. So even if you create more energy than you use, you still owe money to Duke.

Our guests estimate that Florida will lose 40,000 jobs if the bill passes. They are part of a group that is advocating against the bill.

Also on the show: Rural Pasco County development

On Tuesday Cafe, we also heard from residents in Northern Pasco County who are trying to protect the rural aspect of their region. In part, that means trying to stop an RV resort near I-75 in the county’s rural zone.

Watch the interview here: