State regulators Friday determined that one of the country’s largest residential solar companies, San Francisco-based Sunrun, is allowed to lease solar energy equipment for homes in Florida.
The decision, solar energy advocates say, could open the door to making solar more widely available throughout Florida.
“Residential equipment leasing makes solar more attractive for some customers, and today’s decision confirms that Florida’s ratepayers have that option,” Art Graham, PSC chairman, said in a release.
In Florida, a company must be a regulated utility — governed by the PSC — if it charges for electricity. In this case, if Sunrun had charged for the energy its solar equipment generated, it would have been considered a utility and subject to regulation.
But Sunrun doesn’t fall into this category, the PSC said, because it charges customers a fixed amount for the equipment, which is leased for 20 years. To comply with current laws, the leases must be only for the equipment. Even though that has always been legal, it was highly expensive until a measure was passed in August 2016 to roll back taxes on solar equipment.
A proposal to amend Florida’s constitution to allow consumers to buy electricity from a third party died in committee before ever reaching the Constitution Revision Commission’s final votes as a full body. [click for full article]