Solar advocates call on Orlando leaders to support a fair energy system
Nearly 70 solar advocates gathered at the OUC committee meeting on November 9 to support consumer-friendly policies that would allow Floridians to invest in rooftop solar as an affordable and clean energy solution. Residential utility customers, small businesses, and solar workers came together to urge Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and OUC commissioners to support solar growth by continuing net metering. Net metering is a policy that ensures solar owners receive fair credit for the excess electricity they generate.
Monopolistic utilities in Florida have repeatedly attacked consumers of rooftop solar energy and energy freedom. Utilities launched this attack to maintain their monopoly in the face of the increasing reliance of rooftop solar energy. Self-catering utilities are opposed to decentralized ownership and want to maintain complete control over solar energy and new energy sources. Mayor Dyer often followed the wishes of corporate and big business interests.
“Despite the promises of proprietary utilities, energy bills continue to rise and Florida families continue to pay the price,” said Hevin Campbell, Florida director of United Solar. “Solar power is becoming an affordable solution for all Florida residents. Prices are down 36% over the past five years. Net metering reduces costs for all electricity customers by making the grid more efficient. Mayor Dyer and OUC commissioners must stand up against the utility monopoly and act as our champion to protect Solar power on the roofs.
The group is using an online petition to continue urging Mayor Dyer and OUC commissioners to maintain net metering for Orlando solar customers.
“Today’s turnout has made clear that Florida residents will not allow a disinformation campaign against grid metering to undermine local jobs, network resilience, and economic development,” Kate Shells Otenweiler, Director of Southeast Vote Solar, said of the meeting earlier this month. “We call on Mayor Dyer to listen to the voices of the community he serves and protect the right of Orlando residents to control their own energy.”
“Florida is one of the states leading the growth of the solar industry,” said Justin Vandenbroek, president of the Florida Federation of Solar Energy Industries. “If net metering were to be phased out, more than 400 solar companies in the state would suffer and would put the approximately 40,500 Florida jobs supported by the rooftop solar industry at risk. I hope Mayor Dyer and OUC commissioners will make the right decision to keep the lights on for solar businesses in the state. Florida”.
“As a small business owner, I’m tired of navigating government mandates that make my industry less competitive,” said Pete Rosen, founder and CEO of ProSolar Systems. Net metering policies will keep Florida’s solar industry on track for its projected growth of adding 12,045.57 megawatts over the next five years. If Mayor Dyer and OUC commissioners allow proprietary utilities to throttle rooftop solar by eliminating consumer-friendly net metering policies, my entire livelihood and my employees are in danger of losing everything.”
For more information, visit solarunitedneighbors.org/ouc.