A huge victory for solar in the Sunshine State

By Solar United Neighbors on February 24, 2023
Save our Solar rally in Tallahassee

Florida utilities have waged a multi-year campaign to take away Floridians’ right to go solar. This year, they pushed a bill to take away net metering. SUN fought back, and won through advocacy, coalition-building, and grassroots organizing.

In February, SUN organized the Save Our Solar rally at the Capitol in Tallahassee.

We brought 400 people together in support of net metering, one of the largest such gatherings in Tallahassee in almost 10 years. It worked! The governor vetoed the anti-solar bill in April. We spoke with SUN supporter Janice Garry, who attended the Tallahassee rally, about this amazing win for solar.

How did you first hear about SUN and get involved with our work?

In 2018 the League of Women Voters partnered with SUN to offer the solar co-op in my area. I heard about it through them. Despite my oak trees and thanks to the co-op pricing, I was able to go solar. I’m very proud of my solar panels. I’m very motivated to be a part of the solution. 

Why did you decide to attend the rally in Tallahassee? How was it?

Another League of Women Voters member was attending so, I asked if I could hop on board. It was terrific! We met at the state capitol in Tallahassee, and there was quite a large crowd. There were solar companies with staff there. Jobs are very important to Florida’s elected leaders, and I felt that if anything was going to change our legislators’ minds, it would be that. What stole the show was a musical group who had taken songs on the subject of the sun and turned them into hysterical songs about solar. They had us belly laughing.

Why is net metering important to you?

Solar was part of my retirement strategy. Even though it’s going to take me longer to pay off my panels due to the oak trees shading my roof, my retirement budget is not affected by energy price increases. All over Florida people are struggling to pay their electric bills because natural gas prices have gone up. But while they are paying hundreds of dollars, I’m only paying $16 a month. I feel lucky to have invested in rooftop solar when I did!

Why is solar important to you?

If we don’t start using cleaner energy, we are going to slowly boil. Climate change is already causing extreme weather, like hurricanes earlier in the season and wildfires in the West. Solar is a sustainable source of energy. It also creates jobs. After the most recent hurricanes, people are starting to understand that the micro-production of energy can help us become more resilient. People who had solar paired with battery backup never lost power. Many were able to give some power to their neighbors. If that doesn’t convince you that we should embrace solar, then you’re not paying attention!

Read the full 2022 Annual Report