Fight for solar rights having day(s) in Jacksonville courtroom

By Angela DeMonbreun on May 15, 2019

Jacksonville utility JEA ended net metering to customers who are solar owners last year. In response, Solar United Neighbors and EarthJustice filed suit on behalf of current and future solar homeowners. We have asked the court to rule that JEA’s decision violates Florida law which distinctly requires that all utilities provide net metering.

Net metering is a billing system that ensures solar homeowners are fairly credited for the electricity their system produces. Electricity generated from solar that is not used by the home is sent back through a solar customer’s electric meter and is consumed by neighbors. Solar homeowners can count the electricity they export against the electricity they consume from their utility, lowering their electric bills.

We filed a motion for summary judgment in February. We argue that there are no disputes of fact in the case and are asking the court to rule on the legality of JEA’s action. On April 5, we had a hearing for our motion. Due to a number of healthy questions from Judge Norton, our hearing ran over time.  

“Judge Norton recognized that this case would impact the Jacksonville community and therefore wanted to ensure there was additional time to vet the issue,” said Earthjustice attorney Bonne Malloy.  Due to availability conflicts, however, the hearing could not be continued that day.  It has been scheduled to be completed June 5 and will be open to the public.

An affirmative ruling should compel JEA to comply with Florida law and again offer net metering to customers which allows customers with solar panels to offset the energy they consume with the energy they produce.

For further background, check out our past posts and actions below: