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Press Release

Rep. Castor + Florida Congressional Dems Urge FL Legislature: Keep and Expand Low-Cost Solar Power in the Sunshine State

State Legislators jeopardizing rooftop solar and jobs in harmful legislative push

Today, in response to the harmful and costly legislation moving through the Florida Legislature (SB 1024 and HB 741), U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) led Florida Democrats in urging state lawmakers to not raise costs on Florida families and business through legislation that would make it harder for homeowners and small businesses to install rooftop solar. Solar power is a cost-saver for Floridians and generates almost $3.2 billion in household income across the “Sunshine State." State legislators should not be in the business of harming job growth and making it harder for homeowners and small businesses to install rooftop solar.

Members who signed onto the letter include Reps. Kathy Castor (FL14), Charlie Crist (FL13), Al Lawson (FL05), Darren Soto (FL09), Ted Deutch (FL22) and Val Demings (FL10).

Castor previously wrote Tallahassee leaders on the dangers of this legislation for Florida workers and families.

The Members’ letter urging leaders to defeat this legislation and instead support efforts to grow solar energy jobs can be read here and below:

RE: Help Floridians Lower Electric Bills: Keep and Improve Solar and Net Metering

Dear President Simpson, Leader Book, Speaker Sprowls and Leader Jenne:

Last year in the United States, 20 climate disasters each caused over $1 billion in economic losses through severe storms, tropical cyclones, flooding events, drought, wildfire, and a winter storm.[1] Florida alone experienced $600 million in economic losses in 2021 from climate disasters.[2] Despite these costs, the state of Florida has failed to adopt policies to reduce greenhouse gas pollution that fuels disasters, more frequent flooding, extreme heat - and thereby increase costs for Floridians. This failure persists even though clean energy is cheap energy: the cost of rooftop solar has dropped by 64% in the last decade and with the right state and local policies to address soft costs, costs could fall even further.[3]

Florida is blessed with abundant and affordable solar energy, and all Floridians should be able to access this renewable resource to help them save money on their electric bills, avoid vulnerability to volatile fossil fuel prices, and catalyze the continued growth of an industry that creates good-paying jobs and strengthens local economies. We write to express our concerns with SB 1024 and HB 741, legislation that would effectively end net metering for rooftop solar in Florida and jeopardize over 40,000 jobs in Sunshine State.

Solar power is a true cost-saver for Floridians and helps reduce harmful air pollution and increase energy resilience. During extreme weather events, rooftop solar and energy storage can provide essential back-up electricity. Resilient, distributed electricity generation is increasingly critical as Florida experiences more severe extreme weather and threats to the electric grid as a result of climate change. Conventional alternatives like diesel generators only harm public health and exacerbate the climate crisis.[4] Florida’s elected leaders should incentivize rapid deployment of resilient distributed solar energy generation paired with back-up energy storage. Congress encouraged states to consider adopting net metering to expand fuel diversity and promote renewable energy.[5] Under existing law, Floridians may receive credits for the excess electricity they send back to the electric grid at retail rates. Recent polling shows that 93% of Florida voters support net metering.[6] Net metering programs have very little impact on total electricity costs.[7] SB 1024 and HB 741 would harm consumers and the growing solar energy industry in Florida.


Economic Benefits of Rooftop Solar


In the State of Florida, rooftop solar:

  • Provides more than 40,000 jobs
  • Generates almost $3.2 billion in household income
  • Provides nearly $3.3 billion in Federal, state, and local tax revenues
  • Adds $10.6 billion to the Gross Domestic Product.[8]


In addition to construction jobs, rooftop solar creates jobs in the high-tech manufacturing, information technology, and professional business services industries.[9] Expanding rooftop solar in Florida through net metering helps diversify the economy and helps draw investment into Florida. There are more than 400 solar energy businesses in Florida.[10] Maintaining the economic engine net metering provides is essential to the stability and growth of Florida’s economy.


Rooftop Solar and Equity


              Distributed solar energy provides unique resilience benefits in the event of extreme weather, like Hurricane Michael in 2018 which left 182,000 customers without access to electricity from the grid for more than a week.[11] Medically vulnerable and older residents are especially dependent on electricity and Florida has the highest percentage of senior citizens in the country.[12] More than 175,000 Floridians are electricity-dependent (based on medical conditions) Medicare recipients; this is the third-highest number in the United States.[13]

In addition to resilience benefits, incentivizing rooftop solar deployment through net metering benefits all Floridians because it reduces air pollution which can exacerbate health problems. Exposure to air pollution increases the likelihood of severe impacts, including death, from COVID-19. Rooftop solar deployment also reduces costs associated with developing new electricity generating facilities and transmission lines. In fact, recent studies conclude that rooftop solar provides net benefits to society, even with net metering compensation factored in.[14]

We support strategies to increase access to rooftop solar energy for all Floridians, including those who rent their homes and/or live in multi-family apartment buildings. For this reason, Chair Castor introduced the Community Solar Consumer Choice Act of 2021 (H.R. 2764) to expand access to solar energy, including expanding net metering for community solar subscribers. Florida should be a national leader and grow the rooftop solar industry.


SB 1024 and HB 741


We agree with the Florida Public Service Commission when it concluded that net metering “is an effective means of encouraging the development of demand-side renewable energy systems that allow participants to offset their energy usage.”[15] We are concerned that SB 1024 and HB 741would harm consumers by limiting access to resilient rooftop solar and harm local jobs and economic growth by crashing the solar energy industry in Florida. We are the “Sunshine State” and should harness low-cost solar energy to benefit Floridians! If enacted, the legislation could increase unemployment and lead to more spending on out-of-state fossil fuels like fracked gas that has harmful impacts.[16] As it is, more than $5 billion leaves Florida’s economy each year to pay for out-of-state fracked gas.[17] Florida is among the most-dependent U.S. states on fracked gas, leaving Floridians exposed to volatile swings in gas prices.[18]


A brighter future is possible – one that charts a future for lower electric bills and less pollution for Floridians. We respectfully urge you to defeat this legislation and support efforts to grow the solar energy industry, attract more investment to Florida, expand economic diversification, create more local jobs, reduce exposure to volatile fossil fuel prices, and protect public health.




[1] U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters”.

[2] Ibid.

[5] Energy Policy Act of 2005, Pub. L. No. 109-58, § 1251 (2005), 16 U.S.C. § 2621(d).

[6] Florida Solar Energy Industries Association (FlaSEIA), Preserve Florida’s Rooftop Solar Industry (2021).

[7] Andrew Satchwell et al, Financing Impacts of Net-Metered PV on Utilities and Ratepayers: A Scoping Study of Two Prototypical U.S. Utilities (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Sep. 2014).

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Audra D.S. Burch and Patricia Mazzei, “Thousands in Florida May Not Get Electricity Back for Weeks,

(The New York Times. Oct. 14, 2018).

[12] Solar United Neighbors and Vote Solar, The State of Rooftop Solar in Florida (Aug. 2020).

[13] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, HHS emPOWER Map (Dec. 2021).

[15] Florida Public Service Commission, Order No. PSC-2019-0509-FOF-EG (Nov. 26, 2019).

[16] Solar United Neighbors and Vote Solar, The State of Rooftop Solar in Florida (Aug. 2020).

[18] Ibid.