Gulf Coast Community Foundation and Solar United Neighbors celebrating ‘monumental win for solar energy and consumer rights’

DeSantis vetoes net metering bill

Image courtesy Gulf Coast Community Foundation

On April 27 Gov. Ron DeSantis “sided with Florida homeowners and small businesses by vetoing House Bill 741, the legislation that would have negatively impacted the fast-growing solar industry in the Sunshine State,” a joint statement from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation (Gulf Coast) and Solar United Neighbors (SUN) notes.

The two organizations, which long have been partners, issued the statement this week to celebrate the news.

“The legislation sought to take aim at solar net metering — a popular program that allows rooftop solar customers to receive a fair retail credit from their utility for excess energy generated and shared directly with neighbors,” the statement explains. “Net metering is a pillar of Florida’s up-and-coming rooftop solar industry, which supports nearly 40,500 jobs and generates $18.3 billion annually in economic impact.

“For seven years,” the statement continues, “Gulf Coast has been a dedicated backer of expanding solar in Sarasota and the state of Florida. Together, with SUN, we’ve expanded access to solar energy to Florida families and helped them save on rising utility bills. Overall, Gulf Coast’s grants to SUN have leveraged over $47 million in local economic impact throughout Florida,” the release adds.

“We join our friends at Solar United Neighbors in celebrating Gov. DeSantis’ veto of House Bill 741,” said Mark Pritchett, president and CEO of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, in the release. “The opportunity for clean, renewable energy, such as solar, is a win for Florida’s economy, environment, families, and beyond.”

“We’re thankful for the tens of thousands of Florida residents who have spoken up against this harmful legislation since it was introduced last fall,” said Heaven Campbell, Florida program director for Solar United Neighbors, in the release. “This victory is a testament to what can be accomplished when people from all backgrounds and political affiliations come together in support of fair, common-sense policy. This is a huge victory for Florida’s consumers and their right to produce their own homegrown energy. We applaud Gov. DeSantis for protecting Floridians from monopoly utilities and the undue burden of rising electric bills. This ensures a bright future for solar and we can’t wait to help all Floridians bring more sunshine into their homes and businesses,” Campbell added in the release.

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