What is happening
Florida’s monopoly utilities have found a new way to block your right to go solar. It’s called a “minimum bill.” Under a minimum bill, you’re required to pay a certain amount to your utility each month, even if you don’t use any electricity.
Minimum bills unfairly target customers who use little electricity each month. While this harms solar owners, it is unfair to people with energy-efficient homes, part-time residents, and residents trying to age in place.
Minimum bills now apply to customers who receive electricity from Florida Power & Light and Duke Energy.
Why minimum bills are a bad deal for solar
One way to think about going solar is that you’re paying for decades of electricity up front. You make back this investment over time because you’re paying little to nothing each month to your utility.
Minimum bills erode this investment by limiting how much you can save. Under a minimum bill, you’ll have to pay your utility more than you would owe based on how much electricity you used.
This penalizes you if you use less electricity or use credits from your solar energy system to reduce your electric bill. It does so by adding an additional fee.
For example, Duke Energy has a $30 minimum bill. In this example a solar customer’s bill would be less than $30. So the utility charges them extra so they meet the minimum.
Example: How minimum bills impact a solar customerThis table shows a breakdown of a sample bill for a Duke Energy customer under minimum billing. As you can see, their total bill comes out to $25.81. Under minimum billing, they're forced to pay another $4.19 to meet the $30 minimum
|1000 kWh||Total electric usage|
|900 kWh||Electricity generated from solar|
|100 kWh||Net electricity used from the utility|
|$0.1286||Price of electricity per kWh|
|$12.86||Cost of electricity purchased (100 * $0.1286)|
|$12.95||Monthly utility customer charge|
|$25.81||Total bill before the minimum|
|$4.19||Additional charge to meet the minimum|
How did we get here
The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) approved rate cases in 2021 for Monopoly utilities like Duke and FPL must receive permission from the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) before making changes to customer billing. The PSC approved the utilities’ proposal to impose minimum bills in 2021. Groups are appealing FPL’s rates to the Florida Supreme Court. In January 2022, Duke Energy started charging ratepayers a $30 minimum bill. In July 2022, FPL started charging ratepayers a $25 minimum bill.
What can you do about it
Send a personal message to Governor DeSantis. Ask him to take action. We know that the Governor is paying attention. Your messages will be recorded and potentially filed by his office with the Public Service Commission. Use our templated email and instructions to get you started. Tweets are also provided below.