Solar panels are expensive. To install them on the average home, it can cost as much as a new car. Solar companies make it more affordable through leasing agreements that allow the companies to sell homeowners energy at a cheaper cost and sell any excess electricity back to the grid. Florida doesn't allow that - yet.
A proposed amendment is making its way through the Florida government that would allow third party leasing. However, it's not all sunny in the sunshine state. A provision of that amendment would allow utility companies to charge solar panel consumers extra. This strategy comes from the utility companies who say it's not fair for solar panel users to sell their energy at non-peak hours, but then rely on the utilities to provide extra energy during peak hours.
If passed in November, the amendment (which is supported by a $12 million PAC funded by four of the state’s largest utility companies) would undercut the economic advantage of installing solar panels in the first place. It’s a solar skirmish that reflects larger questions about the economics of green energy.