Orlando commissioner lambasts power companies as ‘not fair’ towards solar

An Orlando City Council commissioner took the opportunity to lambast power companies in light of what she says are unfair practices towards her and other solar panel owners.

Patty Sheehan, who represents District 4, made the comments during Monday’s meeting of the Orlando City Council.

“As a person who puts solar panels, I’m a civil servant. I”m certainly not a wealthy person as the way that is being proposed that all these wealthy people are stealing from power companies…that’s not what’s happening at all,” said Sheehan, referring to what she suggests is a negative perception of solar panel owners in the state of Florida.

Patty Sheehan shares her thoughts on net metering and solar panels
Patty Sheehan shared her thoughts on net metering and solar panels during Tuesday’s Orlando City Council meeting

“Basically, I use my roof to generate power and the extra power that I generate, basically goes into a bank account and I use that in other months that I don’t generate as much power,” said Sheehan, explaining the process of net metering.

Net metering in the state of Florida allows power company customers who connect approved, renewable generation systems, like solar panels, to the electric grid to buy and sell electricity back to power companies.

Sheehan and other solar advocates believe that if solar panels generate electricity, power companies should compensate customers for that.

“As a passionate climate activist, and as a good person, I want to do the right thing and I have made a substantial investment in my home to do so, and that was supposed to return into my retirement,” said Sheehan. “It’s basically putting money in the bank and [them] saying ‘We’re not going to pay you interest.'”

She labeled the practice as “not fair” and “not right” and said “we should be doing everything we can” in the sunshine state to generate power from roofs.

“It certainly makes sense.”

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