One of the best ways to save money with solar panels is via net metering. It works by allowing your panels to produce more power than your home uses. The excess power is then sent to the grid and you get credit for the energy you use later. The reality is often more complex.
Net metering has nuances that determine who can access the excess solar energy, how much credit it is worth, and how long they must use it. Utility companies also attack net metering, claiming that customers who use excess solar energy should not be given full credit but rather receive wholesale rates.
Below is a discussion about net metering in Florida. This article explains who can get it and how it works. It also outlines the rules for solar owners. First, you should know something. Two bills in Florida’s state legislature threaten Net Metering.
Florida Senate Bill 1124 was passed and sent to Governor DeSantis. This bill will end net metering for homeowners and businesses that go solar in 2024. This will make rooftop solar economically unfeasible for all and end the state’s solar industry.
Florida Net Metering: How It Works
The current net metering rules in Florida were established by the Florida Public Service Commission in 2008. These rules are a good representation of net metering. However, there are important things you should know.
First, the net metering law of the state does not apply to Investor Owned Utilities. These four companies have customers covered:
- Florida Power & Light (FPL)
- Duke Energy Florida
- Tampa Electric Company (TECO).
- Florida Public Utilities Corporation
About 79% of Floridians are covered by the IOUs. Rest are covered by rural electric co-ops or municipal electric companies. Some of these have their own net metering system.
Policy On Credit Rollover
Florida residents cannot receive credit for electricity used beyond what they use in a month. However, extra credit can be rolled over to the next monthly bill at the full retail price.
Any remaining credits are paid to the solar owners at a lower rate, based on the utility’s wholesale energy cost. These rates are generally around 3-4 cents per kilowatt-hour.
Florida’s interconnection guidelines, which govern how solar systems are connected to the grid, allow for different “tiers” of solar systems based on their size in kW.
- Tier 1 systems are those with a power consumption of 10 kW or less
- Tier 2 systems include those that produce between 10 kW to 100 kW
- Tier 3 systems have a capacity of over 100 kW, which is much larger than most home systems.
Florida offers Tier 1 systems a simplified permitting and inspection process. There is no requirement for insurance and no fee to connect them to the electricity grid. Tier 2 systems may be subject to additional fees depending on the utility. They also require that homeowners purchase $1,000,000.000 of liability insurance.
Although larger systems are more costly in Florida due to insurance fees, they don’t make solar investments less affordable.
Community Solar And Virtual Net Metering
Community Solar A newer concept, which helps those who are unable to install solar panels either because they have an imperfect roof or renters) enjoy some of the savings that solar offers.
A community solar installation is not a system that can be installed on a house. Instead, it’s a subscription-based system that produces roughly the same amount of energy as the average household. A subscription helps offset their energy bills and is usually a bit cheaper than what they would pay without solar. Florida law does not allow for community solar programs. However, IOUs from the state have created programs similar to community solar.
This post was written by Daniel Massaad, owner and expert solar technician at Energy Solutions Direct! ESD Solar offers knowledgeable and efficient solar panel companies in Florida! Our licensed and certified contractors are masters of their craft; with years of experience servicing the great Tampa Bay area and beyond, the choice is simple. ESD excels at offering you the best in solar value!