Solar activists speak out about proposed changes to JEA net metering


Solar activists are crying foul about proposed changes to JEA’s net metering program.

They’ll be airing their concerns at a community forum on solar Wednesday evening at Jacksonville University.

The JEA board is considering whether to adopt reductions in the credit that is provided to customers who send power back to the grid through JEA’s net metering policy. Net metering allows residential and commercial customers who generate their own electricity from a solar system to feed electricity back to the grid.

“The tension between distributed energy and utilities with old business models is being played out across the U.S. in addition to right here in our back yard,” says Sarah Boren, Director of Policy and Progr​ams for the USGBC Florida Chapter.

Boren says the USGBC’s goal is to find alternative energy solutions while also promoting the local rooftop solar industry, which has seen 20 percent growth in recent years, along with other sectors such as development of the “smart grid.”

Meanwhile, JEA says it “has the responsibility to balance affordability, environmental requirements and reliability of its service on behalf of its customers.”

Melissa Ross

In addition to her work writing for Florida Politics, Melissa Ross also hosts and produces WJCT’s First Coast Connect, the Jacksonville NPR/PBS station’s flagship local call-in public affairs radio program. The show has won four national awards from Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI). First Coast Connect was also recognized in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014 as Best Local Radio Show by Folio Weekly’s “Best Of Jax” Readers Poll and Melissa has also been recognized as Folio Weekly’s Best Local Radio Personality. As executive producer of The 904: Shadow on the Sunshine State, Melissa and WJCT received an Emmy in the “Documentary” category at the 2011 Suncoast Emmy Awards. The 904 examined Jacksonville’s status as Florida’s murder capital. During her years in broadcast television, Melissa picked up three additional Emmys for news and feature reporting. Melissa came to WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. Married with two children, Melissa is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism/Communications. She can be reached at [email protected]


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