Florida 2024 Legislative Session Recap

By Solar United Neighbors on April 15, 2024

The dust has settled in Tallahassee from a busy legislative session. Solar United Neighbors (SUN) is happy to report that Floridians kept their right to fair credit for the electricity they generate. We tracked other bills related to municipal utility autonomy and electric vehicles. The session ended on a positive note, and we will return next year with even more momentum. Here’s an overview of bills SUN tracked and key takeaways for solar supporters like you. 

Bill to end net metering didn’t come back 

  • Net metering is the billing system used to credit solar owners for the electricity they produce but don’t use themselves. This fair system supports increased solar adoption. This leads to more clean energy and encourages investment in Florida.
  • The state’s monopoly utilities have attacked net metering policy in past sessions. In 2022, lawmakers considered a bill to end net metering. It passed through the legislature, but fortunately the Governor vetoed it in April 2022! 
  • Thanks to the incredible campaign in 2022 to protect net metering, we have not seen a net metering bill return in 2023 or 2024! 
  • You can learn more about net metering in Florida on our website here.

Bill to take away municipal utility autonomy: Died 

  • HB 1277: This bill would have left municipal utilities vulnerable to takeover by investor-owned utilities. This would mean higher utility bills for all customers. We succeeded in stopping this bad bill, even though it was expected to pass. 
  • SUN developed two handouts: an HB 1277 overview and a comparison of electric bills between investor-owned utilities and municipal utilities.  
  • SUN’s Florida Program Director, Heaven Campbell shared these handouts with more than a dozen legislators including at eight in-person legislative meetings in January. We also shared these handouts with partner organizations and advocates. In result, SUN created momentum to keep municipal utility autonomy in Florida. 

Energy omnibus bill: Passed 

  • Energy omnibus bill (HB 1645/SB 1624) includes many provisions and had many iterations during this year’s legislative session. 
  • The legislation will likely raise bills for Florida ratepayers. This is because it lets monopoly utilities pass on the cost of their activities to customers. One example of this is that utilities can increase rates to cover their costs for moving a gas pipeline.
  • There were no provisions in the bill which limit solar rights. 

Electric Vehicles (EV) License Tax: Died 

  • We know many solar home and business owners are also interested in EVs. We tracked a few bills related to EVs. Who doesn’t want to drive a solar energy-powered vehicle? 
  • Lawmakers did not pass a bill to increase taxes on EVs 
    • Initially the bill proposed a $200 fee increasing to $250 for EVs and $50 increasing to $100 for hybrids in HB 107/SB 28. The bill included a study to determine the appropriate amount of an additional EV license fee. However, the bill died. It was also a victory that these provisions didn’t get added to another bill like the omnibus energy bill.
  • EV charger preemption bill: Passed
    • Unfortunately, this bill (HB 1071/SB 1084) passed. It prevents local governments from enacting or enforcing any regulations relating to EV charging stations. This means local governments cannot encourage EV adoption by requiring buildings to install an EV charger.

What’s next

Thank you to solar supporters like you who continue to take action and fight for the energy rights of fellow Floridians. We know that we cannot do it alone, and for this we are grateful. We celebrate the victories and will get to work even harder next session! Are you wondering what’s next? The following are ways you can continue to stay involved in solar advocacy!

  • Join our Solar Action Team (SAT) 
    • If you want to stay in the know and be a part of advocating for solar rights, join our monthly Solar Action Team meeting! We discuss current opportunities to get involved and fight for your energy rights in Florida. 
  • Send some love to your legislator! 
    • We have crafted an evergreen postcard that you can use to let your legislator know why you support solar rights! Reach out to us at flteam@solarunitedneighbors.org if you’d like some postcards.