The solar industry continues to flourish –growing more than 10,000% over the past ten years, according to Forbes– but navigating the complex legislation and policies still remains daunting for many customers who are interested in solar power installation. At Flo Energy, we aim to fully educate our customers to ensure they understand the key differences between these aspects and shed light on their impact on the solar industry’s growth and development.
State legislation plays a crucial role in shaping the solar industry. States have the authority to enact laws that incentivize and promote renewable energy, including solar power. These legislative measures may include the establishment of renewable portfolio standards (RPS), which mandate a certain percentage of a state’s energy to come from renewable sources.
In Florida, state legislation has played a crucial role in promoting solar energy. The state enacted the Florida Solar Rights Act which prevents homeowner associations from prohibiting solar installations on residential properties. As a result, Florida has seen a significant increase in solar installations. In fact, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Florida ranks third in the nation for cumulative solar capacity installed.
Additionally, different states may provide tax credits, grants, or rebates to encourage individuals and businesses to adopt solar energy systems. Forbes recently published an article highlighting tax credits by state. According to the article, “you can qualify for the [Investment Tax Credit] for the tax year that you installed your solar panels as long as the system generates electricity for a home in the United States.”
Regulatory decisions made by public utility commissions or similar bodies aim to balance the interests of consumers, utility companies, and the solar industry. These decisions often involve setting net metering policies, feed-in tariffs, or interconnection standards.
- Net metering allows solar system owners to receive credit for the excess electricity they generate and feed back into the grid, offsetting their energy bills.
- Feed-in tariffs, on the other hand, guarantee a fixed rate for solar energy producers who feed electricity into the grid.
- Interconnection standards ensure a smooth process for connecting solar systems to the utility grid.
Like many other states, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) has implemented net metering policies, allowing solar system owners to offset their energy bills and maximize the financial benefits of their solar investments.
And lastly, implementation policies translate state legislation and regulatory decisions into action. They involve the practical aspects of solar energy deployment, such as permitting, zoning, and interconnection procedures. Streamlining these processes can significantly reduce the time and costs associated with installing solar systems.
Florida has implemented standardized permitting requirements, which have significantly reduced the time and costs associated with installing solar systems. The Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) reports that the average time for residential solar permitting in Florida decreased from 25 days in 2016 to just 3 days in 2021, making solar installations faster and more affordable for consumers.
Implementing clear and efficient policies can help remove barriers and
facilitate the widespread adoption of solar energy.
Our Flo Energy consultants know that understanding the differences between state legislation, regulatory decisions, and implementation policies is crucial for navigating the dynamic solar industry. By advocating for supportive legislation, balanced regulatory decisions, and streamlined implementation policies, we can drive the growth of solar energy and create a sustainable future for all.
If you’d like to speak with one of our Flo Energy consultants, please contact us at floenergy.solar so we can answer any questions you may have.