VENICE, FL (May 4, 2022) – On Wednesday, April 27, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis sided with Florida homeowners and small businesses by vetoing House Bill 741, the legislation that would have negatively impacted the fast-growing solar industry in the Sunshine State. Longtime partners, Gulf Coast Community Foundation (Gulf Coast) and Solar United Neighbors (SUN) are excited to celebrate this monumental win for solar energy and consumer rights.
The legislation sought to take aim at solar net metering — a popular program that allows rooftop solar customers to receive a fair retail credit from their utility for excess energy generated and shared directly with neighbors. Net metering is a pillar of Florida’s up-and-coming rooftop solar industry, which supports nearly 40,500 jobs and generates $18.3 billion annually in economic impact.
For seven years, Gulf Coast has been a dedicated backer of expanding solar in Sarasota and the state of Florida. Together, with SUN, we’ve expanded access to solar energy to Florida families and helped them save on rising utility bills. Overall, Gulf Coast’s grants to SUN have leveraged over $47 million in local economic impact throughout Florida. “We join our friends at Solar United Neighbors in celebrating Governor DeSantis’ veto of House Bill 741,” said Mark Pritchett, President|CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation. “The opportunity for clean, renewable energy, such as solar, is a win for Florida’s economy, environment, families, and beyond.”
“We’re thankful for the tens of thousands of Florida residents who have spoken up against this harmful legislation since it was introduced last fall,” said Heaven Campbell, Florida Program Director for Solar United Neighbors. “This victory is a testament to what can be accomplished when people from all backgrounds and political affiliations come together in support of fair, common-sense policy. This is a huge victory for Florida’s consumers and their right to produce their own homegrown energy. We applaud Governor DeSantis for protecting Floridians from monopoly utilities and the undue burden of rising electric bills. This ensures a bright future for solar and we can’t wait to help all Floridians bring more sunshine into their homes and businesses.”
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About Gulf Coast Community Foundation
For more than 25 years, together with our donors, Gulf Coast Community Foundation has transformed our region through bold and proactive philanthropy. Gulf Coast is a public charity that was created in 1995 through the sale of the Venice Hospital. Since then, we have become the philanthropic home of over 950 families, individuals, businesses, and organizations that have established charitable funds here. Together, we have invested over $460 million in grants in the areas of health and human services, civic and economic development, education, arts and culture, and the environment. Learn more at GulfCoastCF.org.
About Solar United Neighbors
Solar United Neighbors is a nonprofit organization that works in Florida and nationwide to represent the needs and interests of solar owners and supporters. Solar United Neighbors holds events and education programs to help people become informed solar consumers, maximize the value of their solar investment, and advocate for fair solar policies.