As the Sunshine State, Florida might seem like it would be a leader in rooftop solar, but it’s taken years for the industry to make incremental progress in the state. Now a new bill threatens to upend that upward trajectory altogether.
Florida Republican legislators have proposed legislation that could threaten net metering — the policy under which utilities pay rooftop-solar owners the retail rate for excess power they produce — and thereby make going solar a lot less appealing to residential customers.
The Senate bill directs the state’s Public Service Commission to create a new net-metering rule that would require customers with renewable generation systems to “pay the full cost of electric service” and not be “subsidized by the general body of ratepayers.” It would also require any energy delivered by a customer’s solar system to the power grid to be credited at a price that would be below the retail rates. Revised net-metering billing could also include fixed charges, monthly minimum bills or electric grid access fees, all factors that would drive up the cost of solar for customers.
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Just like finding a good contractor, finding truthful solar panel companies could be difficult, even in today’s age of internet resources. Though solar panels have their pros and cons, the negatives can heavily outweigh the good. Time and time again, our firm has represented homeowners in legal disputes against solar energy companies for defective work, structural damage, surrounding property damage, leaks, and mold, to name a few. Listed below are the top five cons of applying solar panels to your home.
Roof Specs: Solar panels do not work for all types of roofs. Depending on the shape and size of your roof, solar panels may produce little to no energy. Also, if you have an older roof, the weight of the system could cause roof clasping, and rain leakage risks.
Relocating: If you plan on moving and selling your home, you may want to avoid solar panels. Most panels are by lease and not ownership. Finding somebody to purchase your home in addition to finishing your lease agreement with a solar energy company may not be the best decision.
Leasing vs. Ownership: If a residential solar energy company does not provide leasing, purchasing solar panels upfront, or even taking out an additional loan could be very costly. The average one solar panel could cost up to $3,000.00
Reputable Companies: Finding a reputable company and receiving a reasonable quote could be challenging. Always make sure you find a certified, established business.
Property Damage: If a solar contractor is not certified or inexperienced, this could lead to severe roof damage, which could cost you time, additional costs, and higher homeowner insurance premiums.
If you have solar panel damage and would like to learn about your options for legal disputes in solar energy, please request a consultation today.
John Caravella Esq., is a construction attorney and formerly practicing project architect at The Law Office of John Caravella, P.C., representing architects, engineers, contractors, subcontractors, and owners in all phases of contract preparation, litigation, and arbitration across New York and Florida. He also serves as an arbitrator to the American Arbitration Association Construction Industry Panel. Mr. Caravella can be reached by email: [email protected] or (631) 608-1346.
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