Florida it’s Illegal to Power Your Home with Solar Panels—Thanks to Lobbying

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With roughly 1.5 million Floridians initially without electricity from the damage inflicted on Florida’s energy infrastructure, many in the Sunshine State are now questioning why it’s so difficult for people to utilize solar energy.

The simple answer is that one of the major electrical suppliers in the state – Florida Power and Light (FPL) – has utilized a massive lobbying campaign, directed at state lawmakers, to create legal barriers to disallow people from powering their own homes with solar panels without being subject to power companies.

In fact, current Florida state law makes it illegal.

This is the definition of crony capitalism. Companies lobby government officials, who then vote in favor of the corporate position — often for a quid pro quo in the form of financial support for the officials’ reelection campaign.

Any solar panels erected on a home must be connected to the local electrical power grid.

So, if you want to build an off the grid home – it is illegal to install solar panels on your home.

Just ask Robert Tarr who, according to WFTV, spent more than $60,000 for a system of 32 solar panels for his roof. But even though his house can generate enough electricity to run indefinitely without being hooked to a power company, legally, he still has to be connected and pay the Leesburg Electric Department for power he doesn’t even need.

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“So you can be completely free of the grid?”  Channel 9’s Jamie Holmes asked.

“Yes,” Tarr said.

“But they make you attach to the grid,” Holmes asked.

“Yes,” Tarr said. “I have a problem with it, OK? I think if I want to be totally independent of them, I should be allowed to be,” Tarr said.

If Tarr were to stop paying his electric bill, reports WFTV, he said Leesburg would shut off his power. City officials could also revoke his certificate of occupancy for not being hooked up to the system.

So, if this family wanted to defy the power company and remove his solar from the control of the power company, the government could revoke his certificate of occupancymaking it illegal for anyone to live in the home!

Rest assured that any attempt to resist one’s removal from said home would be met with the olice force and violent escalation.

The extreme crony capitalism at work in Florida is astounding, and nothing less than draconian.

With roof-mounted solar panels becoming an increasingly inexpensive means of producing cheap renewable energy, the fact that the state panders to the old energy dinosaurs to stifle consumer-friendly innovation is nothing less than infuriating.

In fact, Project Drawdown, which is a broad coalition of researchers, scientists, graduate students, PhDs, post-docs, policymakers, business leaders and activists that have assembled to find and present the best available information on climate solutions in order to describe their beneficial financial, social and environmental impact over the next thirty years has found that widespread solar use would save $3.5 trillion dollars and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 24.6 billion tons over the next 30 years if utilized.

Ironically, solar panels would make for a completely self-sustaining method of energy production if the local electrical grid were to fail during a crisis — like a hurricane.

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Make no mistake, the old energy oligarchy simply refuses to be cut out of potential profits, which is what happens when you no longer need to rely on them for power needs and possess the ability to power your own home.

Instead of owning their greedy intentions, companies like FPL, instead, attempt to rationalize their actions through absurd explanations.

“Operating your renewable system without the bi-directional meter can result in an inaccurate meter reading causing your bill to increase,” FPL claims, which essentially means that for proactively approaching your energy needs, it could result in a potential glitch in their system that will charge you more money on your electrical bill.

They also recommend that all homes powered by FPL, that have solar panels, be connected through the same electrical wiring, and “the [renewable] system must shut down when FPL’s grid shuts down in order to prevent dangerous back feed on FPL’s grid. This is required to protect FPL employees who may be working on the grid.”

Ironically, FPL is basically saying that their workers could potentially be electrocuted if they’re doing maintenance on the grid during an inadvertent or scheduled shutdown, while completely ignoring the fact that there would be NO risk to those workers if the home wasn’t legally required to be connected to the grid!

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If Florida residents were not forced to have their solar panels connected to the electrical grid, which FPL lobbied state lawmakers to require, there would be absolutely no problem.

Aside from the clear environmental and security benefits of producing your own energy, becoming a leader in the solar industry would be a boon for the economy in the Sunshine State.

Sadly, it’s these crony capitalist policies that leave states like Florida in the dark.

Short-sighted policies like these have definitely not served the people of Florida, to which the 1.5 million Floridians without power can most certainly attest.

Please share this story to expose how governmental corruption picks the winners and losers and decimates a free market that could much better serve the people!

Commentary by Jon Masters,

 

 

source, http://thefreethoughtproject.com/florida-illegal-solar-home/

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5 Comments

  1. America, land of the free, home of the brave. You know why it is the land of the free? Because of those that were brave enough to stand up to B.S. like this. What’s next? Is the state of Florida violating several U.S. Constitutional rights with such an action? Where’s the right to liberty (freedom)? Where’s the privacy in being forced to stay connected to the grid so they can tell when you’re home, using electric, and how much, what specific devices are being used such as TV and so on? Total control in being able to shut off your electric power is not freedom. There is an unalienable right or two involved here. Give those rights up and you don’t deserve to have it in the first place because you choose not to fight for them. Nothing is free, and that includes freedom, you have to fight for it until it is yours. Looks like there might be a mass Exodus out of Florida, and then let’s see how long that “legislation” lasts.

  2. Rather than attaching the panels on the rooftop it may be a better option to construct a portable array on a couple of modified trailers that can be moved and stored in case of inclement weather, or other events which may jeopardize the system. I would add a series of VAWTs as well VERTICAL AXIS WIND TURBINES on the same styed mobile system. Redundancy. Florida has a solar residential power generation rebate fund account too, but to my knowledge they haven’t paid sjit to anyone who’s installed solar yet. Pretty screwed up. What’s more fucked up is Governor Slick Tricky Dick Scott was the CEO of a large HMO PPO medical insurance corporation that committed fraud upon the American taxpayer and government by defrauding Medicare out of billions of $ and no one went to jail. In fact no one was ever formally charged with any crime in spite of the state attorney having prima facie evidence of fraud by Tricky Dicky Scott. Scott became super pissed when he asked about this when he ran for governor of floriduh against Chuckles Turncoat Tanman Crist. There’s video of Dicky’s baldheaded mellon turning bright red he’s so fuckin mad at this reporter for asking him about the theft/larceny/embezzlement/fraud. Hilarious!

  3. “……the [renewable] system must shut down when FPL’s grid shuts down in order to prevent dangerous back feed on FPL’s grid.”

    Clarify “shut down”. If that means that one must disconnect their system from the utility (prusembly via a switch that automatically does that even if you are not there), then that makes sense to me.

    I would think a repeatable news source would clarify that glaring bit of missing info before going to press. This puts you in the sensationalized news reporting that ends up distorting reality.

    Imagen one Studio News Network employees son or daughter working in the field repairing equipment getting fried because some guy decides he’s rights pre cludes safety.

    • Your a idiot!!.. The point is he doesn’t want to be on the power grid at all and they are forcing him to stay connected or revoking his certificate of occupancy.
      Just to be clear HE DOES NOT WANT TO BE ON THE POWER GRID THATS WHY HE SPENT $60,OOO.00 UPFRONT!

  4. If you have to be hooked up, then right after the meter outside their should be a disconnect or shut off switch before it goes in the house to the electrical box. That way your still hooked up if needed but i’d bet he’d keep that switch off. Then when your meter outside shows you haven’t used any electric they cant charge you for electric use. They may only charge an account/records fee which should only be five to 10 dollar. My only question would be, Can you put or run 2 meters one for the electric from the grid before the shut off switch, then a 2nd bi directional meter that the solar panels are hooked up to? This way you get an accurate reading of what you use off the solar panels and what the electric company provides.

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