Net-Metering Bill is a Crash Landing – Not a Glide-Path

Touted as a “glide-path” to allow the solar industry time to adapt, the passage of HB 741 by the Florida Legislature gutted the only pro-solar policy incentivizing the adoption of rooftop solar – net metering with a 1:1 payback.

This law impacts more than just solar contractors but supporting specialties like electricians and roofers, as well. With less than 0.8% solar adoption across the state, the bill was a solution in search of a problem. Without any research to back up their assertions, proponents claimed that net metering was a “cost shift” and a “subsidy” born by non-solar rate-payers, despite the fact that solid research supports the opposite – that rooftop solar provides more benefits to the utility than the utility provides to the homeowner even at the 1:1 payback rate, over and above its environmental impacts.

Now, the bill sits on Governor Desantis’s desk and will likely be signed into law soon. Over the next 7 years, the new law will dramatically increase the payback period making solar even less-affordable for low- to moderate-income families. According to research on solar adopters, in 2018, households making less than $100,000 made up 48% of solar adopters nationally, and 45% were below 120% of their respective Area Median Incomes (AMI). This increase of nearly 10% since 2010, represented the fastest growing segment of the residential solar market. (Income Trends among US Residential Rooftop Solar Adopters, 2020) As the financial algorithm changes, the LMI market is bound to retract significantly.

As solar contractors modify their business plans to account for this new market reality, they are entertaining a variety of strategies from shifting their market focus to higher income levels to incorporating backup battery technologies, and smaller system sizing. In order to help contractors serve the LMI market before the market diminishes, SELF has launched special rates for summer for solar, roofing and high efficiency ACs.

Additionally, to help SELF understand the new market and to help us help you respond to it, please fill out this short survey.

Although it is geared toward Solar Contractors, any data from any other specialty is welcome and will be incorporated. To receive a copy of the results of the survey, please make sure to include your name and phone number and we will text and email the results.

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