Florida is known as the Sunshine State for its abundance of sunny weather, making it one of the top places to go solar. Furthermore, Florida offers multiple benefits to offset the cost of shifting to renewable energy. And one of those benefits is net metering.
If you plan to install solar panels, you might be wondering what a solar net metering system is and how it impacts your electricity bill in Florida. Here’s what you should know.
What Is Net Metering?
Net metering is one of the top reasons for adopting solar energy. It’s a billing mechanism crediting utility customers who generate electricity and add surplus or unused power to the grid for distribution. When your solar panels produce more electricity than you consume, you can let it go unused, store it in solar batteries or send it back to the grid.
How Does Solar Net Metering Work?
Consumer-generators earn credits under the net metering system at the rate determined by their utility providers or state regulatory laws. In Florida, the utility companies compensate solar homeowners at full retail price each month, with any surplus credits reconciled at the avoided cost rate at the end of the year.
You may apply the credits from surplus energy sales to reduce your monthly consumption. However, keep in mind that even if you go solar, you won’t be able to go fully off the grid, particularly if you want to use net metering.
Yes, especially when your solar panels generate more energy than you use during the day. Sending electricity to the grid causes your electric meter to run in reverse, but the meter moves forward during cloudy or rainy days.
The utility provider reflects your consumption against your accumulated credits over time. After calculating any deposits, they will only charge your “net” energy usage—the remainder of what you’ve taken from the grid.
As an example, let’s say you produced $10 of excess electricity during the day, which you sent back to the grid. Then you run the central air full blast all night to combat that Florida heat, using $15 of electricity from the grid. In total, you’d pay $5 for electricity during that 24-hour period.
The Impact of Net Metering on Florida Residents
If you’re planning to harness the sun’s energy for power, you should know what solar net metering is and understand how it will impact your household or business. Here are its pros and cons.
- Lower Utility Bills: Using earned credits to offset energy use reduces monthly bills, leading to cost savings.
- Shortened Payback Period: Because of the cost savings potential of net metering, consumer-generators accelerate their return on investment for the solar power system.
- No Actual Cash Payout: You won’t earn cash for generating power under a net metering arrangement; you only get credits from your utility provider.
- Requires Connection to the Grid: You only get net metering benefits if you remain connected to the public grid. It doesn’t give you freedom from the grid; it only reduces dependence.
Understanding Net Metering Laws in Florida
In 2008, Florida enacted its net metering program under HB 7135. The state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) adopted rules and regulations for consumers producing power from sun, wind, water, and other renewable sources through owned systems.
The law aims to increase solar adoption in the Sunshine State as a cleaner energy source than fossil fuels. Other benefits of the net metering policy include a fairer power generation industry and a more resilient grid system due to reduced load.
However, it’s worth noting that the future of Florida’s net metering program was threatened by HB 741 and its companion legislation SB 1024 in 2021. The bill would have taken effect in July 2022, resulting in the following:
- Reduced or eliminated credits for surplus energy supplied to the grid for renewable power-producing customers.
- The ability of utility companies to recover lost revenues from additional solar power systems installed by residential customers.
Fortunately, Governor Ron DeSantis vetoed the bill to ensure that Florida residents continue to reap the rewards of going solar.
Make Your Future Bright
Knowing what a solar net metering system is and understanding its benefits will help you live a greener, more sustainable lifestyle. Learn more about installing solar in Florida with Current Home today.