Last month Florida Power and Light’s solar hot water rebate program ended with an abrupt notice, earlier than anticipated. The Florida Solar Energy Industries Association (FlaSEIA) protested the cancellation with a letter to the state’s public utility commission, alleging that funds in the program weren’t spent and the utility took funds from the program. Now FPL has responded to the letter.
In the letter FlaSEIA President Wayne Wallace wrote to the commission, he contended that “On August 7 nearly $600,000 of Florida citizens’ money was taken by Florida Power and Light (FPL) from the FEECA [i.e., Florida Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act] solar program. This is in addition to over $1.5 million taken from the FEECA solar program in 2013 with no accountability or disclosure as to the disposition of these funds. FEECA is funded by ratepayers, the citizens of Florida. This money does not belong to FPL and should not be treated as such.”
The solar advocacy organization added that solar contractors were notified on Aug. 7 that the solar hot water program would be ending at 5:00 p.m. that day. “At 4:58 p.m. the FEECA account had $283,000 in the residential program and over $294,000 in the commercial program. At 5:01 p.m. on August 7, the account balance was zero,” Wallace said. He contended that “Millions of dollars of Floridian’s money has been take out of the Florida economy with no accountability.”
The program was set to end Sept. 30. By canceling it early, however, Wallace charged that planned solar jobs were cancelled because of the closure of the program.
FPL said the funds were running out. "I don't know how they wouldn't have known,” spokesperson Mark Bubriski told New Times BPB. He added that the funding was set to expire soon and that all the reservations made under the program will be honored and that no contractors have complained about the program’s end at this point.
However, in the comments on the article at least one person stated: “Not true, Mr. Bubriski. As a contractor I did complain via email to the standard rebate email address, and received a response from FPL's administrator. You HAVE received complaints. I know of others who have done so as well.”
Wallace’s letter to the commission did not threaten any legal action but did call on the commission to hold FPL accountable for the funds and to restore the funds to account.Tweet