Florida

Florida is engaged in a robust conversation about the future of solar power within the Sunshine State. Conversations regarding the technology are occurring in the state legislature, courts, regulatory agencies,  and communities around the state.  Florida is in the midst of voting on and gathering support for several different ballot initiatives and amendments to shape the state’s solar energy future.

  • Current and Recent Issues:
    • A constitutional amendment intended to expand the use of solar power in Florida has passed:  On August 30th, 2016, Florida passed Amendement 4 in effort to expand the use of solar power in Florida. This amendment exempts solar devices and equipment from being subject to the personal tangible property tax. For example, a business that currently has solar panels is now being taxed on the panels or devices in addition to their building.  The new amendment will exempt businesses with solar panels from paying this higher tax.
    • Smart Solar Amendment
      • Also known as Amendment 1, would allow individuals and businesses to own and lease solar equipment to generate their own electricity while providing specific legal authorization for the leasing of solar equipment—a practice that occurs now but is not yet specifically authorized in Florida. The Smart Solar Amendment allows state and local governments to continue to protect consumers from fraudulent practices, such as overcharging.
    • Floridians for Solar Choice Amendment
      • Would allow Florida residents to purchase electricity from sources other than the electric grid, which will open and expand the states solar power market.  This initiative will further change public policy by allowing third-party financing for rooftop solar panels from private companies.
  • Supreme Court of the State of Florida:
    • In October of 2015, the Florida Supreme Court issued an advisory opinion that approves the Floridian’s for Solar Choice amendment language.
  • Regulatory Agencies:
    • The Florida Public Service Commission Division on Utility Regulation regulates Florida’s grid and has been active on several issues between solar power generation and the grid.  This includes a vote regarding electric efficiency standards and the creation of solar workshops in order to develop feasible and cost-effective options for consumers.