How Net Metering Works in Florida

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How Net Metering Works in Florida

Move over California and Texas – Florida has raced past both states in the front half of 2023 to take the top spot for solar installations in the United States. With an impressive 2,499 MW of solar generation capacity installed during this period (compared to 1,648 megawatts added in California and 1,292 megawatts in Texas), the state’s efforts have marked a 52% increase from 2022, according to Energy News Network.

The rise of solar installations in Florida can largely be attributed to clean energy incentives courtesy of the Inflation Reduction Act. This progress has been made despite Florida’s energy policies not being as progressive as those of other states. 

While the state does not mandate utility companies to buy back renewable energy from the grid or host power purchase agreements, Florida does offer solar incentives like a net metering program. Here is everything you need to know to monetize the power of the sun! 

Florida Statue 25-6.065 Interconnection and Net Metering of Customer-Owned Renewable Generation.

(8) Net Metering.

(a) Each investor-owned utility shall enable each customer-owned renewable generation facility interconnected to the investor-owned utility’s electrical grid pursuant to this rule to net meter.

(b) Each investor-owned utility shall install, at no additional cost to the customer, metering equipment at the point of delivery capable of measuring the difference between the electricity supplied to the customer from the investor-owned utility and the electricity generated by the customer and delivered to the investor-owned utility’s electric grid.

(c) Meter readings shall be taken monthly on the same cycle as required under the otherwise applicable rate schedule.

(d) The investor-owned utility shall charge for electricity used by the customer in excess of the generation supplied by customer-owned renewable generation in accordance with normal billing practices.

(e) During any billing cycle, excess customer-owned renewable generation delivered to the investor-owned utility’s electric grid shall be credited to the customer’s energy consumption for the next month’s billing cycle.

(f) Energy credits produced pursuant to paragraph (8)(e) shall accumulate and be used to offset the customer’s energy usage in subsequent months for a period of not more than twelve months. At the end of each calendar year, the investor-owned utility shall pay the customer for any unused energy credits at an average annual rate based on the investor-owned utility’s COG-1, as-available energy tariff.

(g) When a customer leaves the system, that customer’s unused credits for excess kWh generated shall be paid to the customer at an average annual rate based on the investor-owned utility’s COG-1, as-available energy tariff.

(h) Regardless of whether excess energy is delivered to the investor-owned utility’s electric grid, the customer shall continue to pay the applicable customer charge and applicable demand charge for the maximum measured demand during the billing period. The investor-owned utility shall charge for electricity used by the customer in excess of the generation supplied by customer-owned renewable generation at the investor-owned utility’s otherwise applicable rate schedule. The customer may at their sole discretion choose to take service under the investor-owned utility’s standby or supplemental service rate, if available.

Understanding Net Metering

The energy generation of your solar panels hinges on the amount of available sunlight – Florida happens to boast over 237 sunny days per year. With this abundance of sunlight, solar photovoltaic (PV) systems usually hit their peak production around midday, leaving a surplus of solar generated power. Through a system known as net metering, this surplus solar power can be fed back into the local electrical grid, earning you credits that offset your utility bill.

Essentially, the net metering process looks like this: 

  • The electricity utility measures your surplus solar generation using a revenue grade meter that supports bidirectional monitoring. 
  • Credits from surplus solar energy are subtracted from your monthly electricity bill.
  • For months where solar generation is higher than your consumption, the difference is rolled over to the following month.

Does Florida Offer Residential Net Metering?

Yes, Florida offers net metering for residential dwellings. In 2008, Florida implemented a regulation that mandated electric utilities to provide credits to customers who have installed solar panels and contribute surplus energy to the grid. 1

This practice, known as net metering, enabled these customers to gain bill credits for the additional power their installations generated. The policy played a significant role in fostering the growth of the solar industry in the state.

What are Florida’s Net Metering Requirements?

The two largest electricity utilities in the state, Florida Power & Light (FPL) and Duke Energy, offer a net metering program. These two electricity utilities offer net metering for solar power systems up to 2,000 kW in capacity (this is considerably higher than most residential needs). 

Florida uses a three-tier system to classify homeowners based on their solar system capacity. It is important to note your tier, as this will determine your application fees and insurance requirements.

There is no application fee or proof of insurance liability coverage needed for Tier 1 net metering participants, whereas Tier 2 and Tier 3 can see application fees of up to $1000 and proof of liability coverage of between one and two million dollars. 

  • Tier 1: Solar capacity is below 10kW
  • Tier 2: Solar capacity is between 10 and 100kW
  • Tier 3: Solar capacity is below 100 and 2000kW

How Much Can You Make & Florida Net Metering Rates

Make or save?  Many people believe they can make money on going solar but this is not the case.  Many utility companies buy at retail but sell far, far less at wholesale prices. Based on a solar generation of between 1,500 and 1,700 kWh of energy per year, you can expect a typical 5 kW home solar system to produce between 7,500 and 8,500 kWh of energy in the state of Florida based on calculations from the Global Solar Atlas. 3

With an average price of 16 cents per kWh 4 for residential consumers in Florida, a solar output of 7,500 to 8,500 kWh per year could save a homeowner between $1,200 to $1,360.

How to Get Started with Net Metering in Florida

To get started with converting your solar power to savings, you’ll need to enroll in a net metering program with either of the two participating electricity utilities. Residential solar owners must meet the following eligibility requirements. 

Meet Fire and Electrical Codes

To participate, your solar system must meet the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) National Electrical Code4. By adhering to the NFPA National Electrical Code, manufacturers, installers, and users of solar panels can ensure that the systems are safely designed, installed, and used, thereby protecting lives and property. Your installer will be able to provide proof of compliance. 

Inverter Specifications

Your system must have a visible disconnect switch or a UL 1741 solar inverter that is capable of disconnecting from the grid during a power outage.

Power Meter

In Florida, you must have a bidirectional power meter installed by the local electricity utility. Also known as a two-way meter, this device records the amount of electricity consumed and the amount of electricity generated by your home or business. You’ll also sign an interconnection agreement with your chosen electricity utility. 

Pass Inspection

You must have approval from a qualified local inspector. This step is crucial to ensure that your solar system is safe, properly installed, and compliant with all applicable codes and standards. The local inspector will assess your system design, installation, and interconnection to the grid.

Application Fees and Proof of Insurance

When applicable (see information about the three-tier systems above), solar system owners must pay an application fee and provide evidence of liability insurance before interconnection. This stipulation is not valid for solar systems with a capacity of less than 10 kW, a category into which most residential installations fall. 

Let Freedom Solar Power Guide Your Net Meter Journey

Be most powerful with Freedom Solar Power. We offer hassle-free residential solar solutions that are fully compliant with Florida’s net metering programs. Contact us today to start your solar journey! 


Resources: 

  1. Online Sunshine: Florida’s Renewable Energy Statutes
  2. Global Solar Atlas
  3. Energy Sage: Average Electricity Costs in Florida
  4. National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) National Electrical Code

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Willie Nelson for Freedom Solar

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