According to the Energy and Policy Institute, the Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) — a wholesale power agency owned by Florida’s municipal electric utilities — is trying to coordinate a $50 fixed monthly fee in a fairly transparent attempt to curb the growth of residential solar.
How transparent? Well, Jacob Williams, the FMPA’s general manager and CEO, said exactly that in a keynote address — streamed live on Facebook — to the FMPA board of directors.
FMPA’s Williams mentioned that effect in his keynote as a feature, noting that the “second benefit” of a $50 fixed fee is that it will make “these [solar] net metering customers go away.”
FMPA sells electricity to the municipal utilities, which serve 2.3 million Floridians in 31 cities across the state. The FMPA cannot set rates for each of the municipal utilities, but it has an influence on its members, EPI notes.
A South Florida FMPA member, Lake Worth Beach, is currently coordinating with the agency, according to a July 2019 utility update at a city commission meeting. Lake Worth Beach utility general manager Ed Liberty discussed his work with the FMPA consultant on rate changes. The communications strategy Lake Worth Beach discussed is similar to the one promoted by FMPA.
The EPI dives into just how negatively this could impact the state’s residence, especially low-income, low energy consumers.
— Solar Builder magazine