Florida Utilities Try to Silence Solar Advocates, Despite Strong Public Support for Rooftop Solar

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As the Florida Public Service Commission prepares to review incentive programs for rooftop solar, utilities in the state attempt to shut solar advocates out of the proceeding. This is in spite of strong public support for solar in the state.

Florida utilities are lobbying to shut solar advocates out of a Public Service Commission (PSC) proceeding that will shape the future of rooftop solar in the state.

So far, Florida hasn’t lived up to its Sunshine State moniker. Despite getting plenty of sun, the state has lagged in converting that sun into energy — even though a majority of Floridians support rooftop solar there. Rooftop solar advocates want to help change that, but the utilities in the state want to shut them out.

 

The development, stability, and long-term potential of rooftop solar in the state depend on the utility incentive programs being reviewed in the proceeding. So The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC), which represents the majority of the rooftop solar industry, is seeking to participate. TASC says the utilities are attempting to shut down the programs.

 

TASC advocates for the interests of both Floridian and national rooftop solar companies, to defend against attacks on rooftop solar and fight for strong, stable rooftop solar policies and consumer energy choice. The organization began working in Florida earlier this year when Florida-based Demeter Power Group joined their member companies.

 

“Why would Florida Power & Light, along with the other Florida utilities, object to the rooftop solar industry’s involvement in discussions that will impact consumer access to solar?” asked Michael Wallander, President of Demeter Power Group. “The Alliance for Solar Choice speaks for the rooftop solar industry. This can only be construed as another example of utilities seeking to shut out competition to preserve their antiquated monopoly.”

 

The coordinated effort of the Florida utilities to exclude TASC from the regulatory proceeding runs counter to the interest of those utilities’ customers. With strong public support for rooftop solar and net metering in Florida, utilities should give rooftop solar a seat at the table.