New Poll Shows Bipartisan Support for Rooftop Solar in Florida

Guest Blog | March 11, 2014 | Press Releases

Tallahassee – A new poll finds that more than three out of four Florida voters (77%) support net metering, a successful renewable energy policy that gives residents, schools and businesses full retail credit for the excess solar energy they put back on the grid. Utilities sell that clean energy to the customers’ neighbors at the retail rate even though they paid nothing to generate, transmit and distribute it.

Harstad Strategic Research Inc surveyed 801 likely Florida voters from February 6-11, 2014. Poll results show that broad, bipartisan support for net metering and rooftop solar energy exceeds 75 percent across all key voter groups in the state. Only 13 percent of voters oppose net metering, with 10 percent unsure.

“Preserving net metering and alleviating barriers to financing will keep the Florida solar industry poised for growth,” said Dr. Stephen Smith with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

“Turns out that Floridians really do want to put the sun in the Sunshine State. That slogan isn’t just for license plates – it’s a call to action,” said Adam Browning, Executive Director of Vote Solar. “People are looking for leadership to tap into a powerful source of energy for the state.”

Seventy-one percent of Floridians oppose changing the existing rooftop solar policy by imposing a new fee on net metered solar customers. This policy change has been proposed by large utilities companies in other states as an effort to boost their profits and kill customer choice.

“This poll sends a strong message to Florida utilities that customers won’t stand for attacks on rooftop solar,” said Bryan Miller, President of the Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) and VP of Public Policy for Sunrun. “The findings are consistent with polls nationwide that show overwhelming public support for rooftop solar and opposition to anti-solar monopoly utilities.”

In the past year, utilities have failed at several attempts to stop rooftop solar growth by undermining net metering, which is a policy on the books in 43 states. These utilities are following the anti-rooftop solar playbook put forth by their trade association, Edison Electric Institute (EEI). Many utilities across the country adhere to this playbook, and they have even resorted to dirty tactics to preserve their antiquated monopolies. As demonstrated by the broad support of this recent poll, is unlikely that this playbook would succeed in the Sunshine State.