In advance of a Public Service Commission (PSC) workshop held on September 17, 2020, to review the state’s net metering rule, the Compact counties submitted a letter to the PSC Commission strongly defending the state’s existing net metering policies and opposing any potential changes. This position stems from each county commission’s approval of the Compact State Legislative Principles, which state that the counties “OPPOSE any weakening of existing net metering policies.”
Net metering is a state energy policy that allows customers who install rooftop solar to transfer solar power to the electric grid when they don’t use all the power their solar system produces, and get power back when they need it. It compensates customers for any electricity supplied back to the grid, frequently with bill credits, as is the case in Florida. Currently, 41 states, including Florida, have this policy in place; it has been critical to the growth of distributed solar, as well as a mechanism to involve individuals in the market with the goal of increasing competition and affordability over time. Distributed solar has a multitude of benefits, including reducing pollution by offsetting other types of fossil fuel-based electricity generation, avoiding other costs arising from building additional power plants, creating local jobs and promoting investment in our communities, and—as written about in a previous Compact guidance report on Resilient Energy Systems—supporting community resilience by continuing to provide power during an outage.
The letter submitted by the Compact to the PSC was just one of a large chorus of support from the public in support of Florida’s current net metering policy — over 16,000 Floridians weighed in to the PSC prior to its workshop. The PSC Commissioners took note. At the September 17th workshop, Commissioners started the meeting by acknowledging significant and clear concerns about any proposed changes to solar policy in Florida, with Commissioner Polmann indicating that, “Nothing is going to be done without complete and total engagement from the public.”