Florida proposal seeks to boost the solar energy marketOctober 10, 2016
Solar power remains somewhat expensive, but leasing programs can solve this
Sunlight is free, but using this resource to generate electricity is still an expensive endeavor. While the cost of photovoltaic technologies has fallen in recent years, the typical cost of an average household solar energy system capable of generating a day’s worth of electricity is comparable to a new vehicle. This is why many consumers rely heavily on leasing programs, which mitigate the upfront costs associated with solar energy and makes this form of clean power more attractive to consumers. In Florida, a new proposal aims to make leasing solar energy systems much easier for consumers.
Proposal aims to make solar more accessible, but utilities will be able to charge more for solar usage
Currently, Florida does now allow third-party leasing. This has slowed the advancement of the solar energy market in the state by a certain degree. A new proposal, however, intends to change this, finally allowing third-party leasing of solar energy systems in the state. The proposal also seeks to allow utilities to charge solar consumers more money for the electricity that they generate. This has to do with price parity, as utilities suggest that solar consumers pay less for the electricity they generate, but non-solar consumers are forced to pay more in order to compensate.
Homeowners favor the use of leasing programs
A third of the solar power generated in the United States comes from solar panels installed on homes and businesses. Approximately 72% of these installations are currently owned by a third party, typically through lease programs or other agreements. Many states facilitate third-party leasing initiatives as a way to ensure the growth of the solar energy market. Florida is among five states that prohibit this practice, however, but this could change depending on whether or not the proposal is successful.
Proposal could have a negative affect on Florida’s solar energy market
Though the proposal may make solar energy more accessible to consumers, it could also have an adverse impact on the solar energy market. If utilities are allowed to charge solar consumers more, many of these consumers may see benefit in solar power. Moreover, solar companies may have little interest in participating in the state’s solar energy market due to poorer economic prospects in Florida.