Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has vetoed the recently passed CS/CS/HB 741 – Net Metering bill, which requires the Public Service Commission (PSC) to revise its rules on net metering of customer renewable generation, effective January 1, 2024.
The revised rule must provide that excess electricity used by the customer is billed in accordance with normal billing practices; and electricity delivered to the utility’s grid during the customer’s regular billing cycle is credited toward the customer’s energy consumption for the next month’s billing cycle.
The bill provides for phases in which customers with renewable generation who have a net metering application approved will offset their energy consumption by a specified percentage of the amount credited. It also allows public utilities to recover lost revenue through their rate’s fuel and purchased power cost recovery charge.
“The legislature passed CS/CS/HB 741, which, in part, authorizes public utilities to impose additional charges to recover lost revenues resulting from residential solar generation that exceeds the public utility’s estimate,” states DeSantis in his veto memo. “The amount that may be recovered under this provision is speculative and would be borne by all customers.
“Given that the United States is experiencing its worst inflation in 40 years and that consumers have seen steep increases in the price of gas and groceries, as well as escalating bills, the state of Florida should not contribute to the financial crunch that our citizens are experiencing,” the governor continues. “For these reasons, I withhold my approval of CS/CS/HB 741 and do hereby veto the same.”
“DeSantis helped secure the livelihoods of thousands of solar workers and protected the rights of Floridians to lower their electricity bills with solar,” comments Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “Florida is one of the fastest-growing solar markets in the country with new businesses popping up all across the state. This veto signals that Florida’s energy economy is open for business, and that the rights of state residents should be placed ahead of monopoly utility interests.
“SEIA worked tirelessly with our partners to beat back this bill, which would have raised electricity costs for millions of ratepayers during a period of historic inflation,” adds Hopper. “The solar industry is grateful to Governor DeSantis for making this decision in the interest of consumer choice and protecting businesses, which are now ready to keep investing in the Sunshine State and maintain Florida’s place as a national solar leader.”