GRU plans rate change for rooftop solar payments

solar panels on residential house roof in Florida

Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) has seen a jump in customers installing solar panels and pushing excess energy onto the electric grid, jumping from 165 new installations in 2022 to 424 installations in 2023. 

Throughout the year, if a residential solar array sends more electricity to the grid than GRU supplied to the home, GRU buys the excess electricity produced, a process called net metering. 

GRU currently buys that excess energy at full retail price. But utility staff will present a new plan to the GRU Authority on Wednesday that would change the price the utility pays for the excess energy from new solar installations. 

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According to the GRU backup documents, Florida requires investor-owned utilities to pay the full retail price but municipally-owned utilities like GRU can switch to a different payment rate. 

Jacksonville Electric Authority (JEA) changed its payment rate in 2018, and GRU documents say the electric industry is moving in the same direction. Several investor-owned utilities advocated for a Tallahassee bill that would have given the companies options for net metering instead of the full retail price. Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed that bill in 2022.  

Florida Power & Light supports ending the current net metering requirements for investor-owned utilities. The company said that net metering at full retail price is a subsidy to homeowners with solar arrays that all other customers must pay. 

“We believe anyone should have the right and ability to own a private solar system and put it on their roof if they choose to, but we do not believe everyone should be forced to pay for that decision,” Florida Power & Light says on their website. 

The website adds that the subsidy will increase to an estimated $80 million by 2025.  

GRU looks to mirror JEA’s model and pay the fuel adjustment rate (currently at $0.035 per kilowatt-hour) for the extra energy instead of the current methodology (at $0.0516 per kilowatt-hour in 2023). Clay Electric and Sumter Electric Cooperative have similar models to JEA, according to GRU, paying a reduced price for the extra energy compared with the full retail rate.

Staff’s recommendation for the GRU Authority would be to keep existing net metering contracts in place, but home solar installations requested after April 17 would follow the new pricing.  

GRU backup documents say that solar infrastructure has matured since net metering began and no longer needs the same incentives. The presentation for Wednesday’s meeting notes that local participation in home solar has grown to levels that disrupt equity between those with and without solar arrays.  

The Wednesday meeting will also have an item on GRU’s rollout of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI). The AMI smart meters allow GRU and customers to wirelessly check a home’s utility usage multiple times per day.  

While rollout is underway, the item for Wednesday would allow customers to opt out of the AMI upgrade.  

The current GRU Authority has resigned and applications for the five seats ends Tuesday at 5 p.m. DeSantis is expected to appoint new members within the next month. 

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GRU states customers no longer need the incentive of net metering to move to solar. No kidding. GRU’s sky-high electric rates are incentive enough.


Looks like this Ponzi scheme is starting to mature. Or, is an MLM? It’s not always easy to tell.

I was getting close to thinking I might be able to get serious about solar and actually start an installation, but always had an uneasy feeling that it might turn out like this.

Any time something the ‘big boys’ are pushing hard with subsidies grows to be nearly acceptable, the true colors finally start to appear. I guess all the folks who were able to take advantage of the insider trading are ready to move on to the next item on the agenda.

Tim Monroe

Not a single comment from anyone not associated with utilities? Please do better,

Amy Jo Smith

Putting solar panels on your roof can be expensive! The customers need to look forward to recouping their money. Many of the new customers would be seniors and can use the higher rate and get some of their investment back sooner.


No way, GRU.

You’re trying to both make up for your decades of fiscal incompetence and screw over new solar customers by compensating them for less than what the utility industry is perfectly willing to subsidize. You’d further burden us not only under your increasingly crushing rates for electric but providing less compensation for our cost toward the infrastructure required to maintain residential solar systems.

Jan sugalski


Janice Garry

Where is the other side to the story? How about the fact that solar panels add locally produced energy that does not contribute to billions of dollars in damage from weather events? How about the fact that solar panels lessen the need for expensive new plants? How about the fact that solar panels are a part of the plan to get to zero emissions? The myopic view is not the full view. This story is disappointing and not the quality of journalism I expect from Main Street.

Jan sugalski

You knew this was coming. They will find a way to profit from your solar installation. My advice is to put in a solar system if you can afford it, learn to live according to the power you can generate and store and tell the utility companies to take a hike ( but not a rate hike).