The Sunshine State has been building its solar bonafides lately but until now its laws have largely prohibited the use of third-party ownership arrangements such as solar leases, which help homeowners go solar without paying large upfront costs for a solar system. But thanks to a new ruling from the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) Sunrun can now offer its solar leases in the state.
At the heart of the issue is that Florida does not allow third parties to sell electricity at retail rates to customers. This means that only utilities can make such offerings. After voting unanimously last week the PSC issued a statement affirming that Sunrun’s 20-year residential solar equipment leases in Florida are not a retail sale of electricity, allowing the company to offer the product in the state.
“Residential equipment leasing makes solar more attractive for some customers, and today’s decision confirms that Florida’s ratepayers have that option,” said PSC Chairman Art Graham. It’s the latest move in Florida that reaffirms solar power’s importance and growth in the state.
The decision helps further open up Florida’s residential solar market. The Solar Energy Industries Association said the state could be the third largest rooftop solar market in the country even though it’s lagging behind other states currently.
"Sunrun is delighted to now be able to offer Floridians the opportunity to lease a solar system, enabling them to have clean, reliable, affordable solar power for their homes," said Lynn Jurich, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Sunrun.
In its filing the commission determined that Sunrun’s residential solar equipment lease does not constitute a sale of electricity and that the lease offerings will not cause Sunrun to be considered public utility in the state. It also ruled that lease will not make Sunrun or its customers subject to PSC regulation.
"The commission's vote to grant our petition is a critical step toward broadening access to solar energy for Floridian households," said Anne Hoskins, Chief Policy Officer of Sunrun. "We are grateful for the time the commission and technical staff spent promptly reviewing our petition and our Florida lease product, and look forward to bringing additional solar energy choice to more people in the Sunshine State soon.”
Sunrun said it will start taking reservations for its solar lease in certain markets in the state in coming months.Tweet