TAMPA, Fla. — A new bill could impact rooftop solar energy users in Florida. 

Senate Bill 1024 is currently making its way through the legislature, with its backers saying it would bring with it necessary change to keep up with the growing industry.

What You Need To Know

  • New bill in Florida targeting solar energy 

  • Renewable energy generation bill making its way through legislature 

  • Senate Bill 1024

“SB 1024 changes a decade-old mandate called ‘net metering’ which requires utilities to buy excess rooftop solar power at the full retail rate instead of at or below the wholesale rate like all other electricity produced in the state,” said Sen. Jennifer Bradley, who introduced the bill earlier this month.  “The net effect of net metering is that Floridians are being forced to pick up the tab for their neighbors with private rooftop solar. This isn’t unique to Florida. Many states around the country are having this discussion about needed reforms to their net metering programs. “

However, critics of the bill argue it would take away a huge incentive to invest in rooftop solar and could also affect those still paying their systems off.

Pat Potesta, 69, purchased her solar panels about a year ago. She said the money she is saving from net metering offsets her monthly payments on the equipment and then some.

The bill would grandfather in those who already have rooftop solar, but only for 10 years. Potesta is among the many with payment plans for a longer time frame.

We reached out to Duke Energy for comment on the proposed legislation.

“The company is still reviewing the proposed legislation to determine our position. Simply put, Duke Energy is a strong supporter of solar and is committed to providing reliable, dependable, and cost-efficient clean energy to our customers,” said spokesperson Ana Gibbs.

If passed, Sentate Bill 1024 would take effect July 1, 2022.