Pro-Solar Bill Heads to Florida Governor’s Desk for Signature

The Florida Senate last week passed SB 90, a bill to implement the pro-solar ballot initiative Amendment 4 approved by voters on the state’s August 2016 primary ballot, according to the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE).

The bill extends existing property tax exemptions for renewable energy devices from residential property to all property.

Gov. Rick Scott now has the bill, and he can veto it, sign it or leave it unsigned for automatic passage.

SACE said that, thanks to the bill’s supporters, Florida residents will enjoy lower energy costs as taxes on solar energy systems are reduced beginning Jan. 1, 2018.

“We applaud Florida lawmakers for implementing this important constitutional amendment in the closing days of the legislative session,” SACE Executive Director Stephen Smith said in a May 4 statement. “The importance of moving this forward cannot be overstated: with lower taxes for homeowners and businesses, solar energy development will increase, allowing Floridians to lock in energy savings, create jobs, spur economic development and bring much-needed diversity to the state’s energy mix.”

The bill also includes requirements for disclosures in the sale or lease of distributed energy generation (DEG) systems. Among other things, the provisions include disclosure of tax incentives or rebates used by the seller in determining the price of the DEG system and a description of the assumptions used to calculate any future electric utility rate savings estimates provided to the buyer/lessee.

“[T]he bill includes strong protections and increased transparency for consumers, helping ensure they fully understand solar transactions,” Tom Kimbis, executive vice president for the Solar Energy Industries Association, said in a statement. “Consumer protection is both the right thing to do and critical to the success of the industry, and we congratulate the Florida legislature for advancing these protections without creating burdensome red tape for small businesses.”

Lead image credit: B137 | CC BY-SA 4.0 | Wikimedia

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Jennifer Delony, analyst for TransmissionHub, started her career as a B2B news editor in the local and long-distance telecommunications industries in the '90s. Jennifer began covering renewable energy issues at the local level in 2005 and covered U.S. and Canadian utility-scale wind energy as editor of North American Windpower magazine from 2006-2009. She also provides analysis for the oil and natural gas sectors as editor of Oilman Magazine.

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