Pasco delegation will file bill for waste-to-energy net metering

electric utility rates (Large)
The move is expected to save taxpayers millions.

The Pasco County legislative delegation met Wednesday afternoon to vote on drafting local legislation on net metering for waste-to-energy, which the lawmakers agreed to unanimously. 

The local bill, which will be filed by Rep. Randy Maggard, would allow the county to enter into net metering contracts with electric utilities in the county. 

Net metering would deduct the amount of electricity generated through the county’s renewable resource energy plant— that is, its waste-to-energy plant — from the county’s power bill, assistant county administrator for public infrastructure Mike Carballa said.

Pasco County owns and operates a waste-to-energy facility that generates more than 200,000 megawatt hours of renewable energy by burning more than 330,000 tons of garbage annually, Carballa said. 

“The Board of County Commissioners have made a commitment to waste-to-energy as a strategy for managing solid waste in Pasco County, due to its renewable nature, and long-term benefits to preserving landfill space,” Carballa said. 

By turning to net metering, the county plans on saving taxpayers millions, the county projected an estimated $20 million in savings. 

“It will ultimately save the taxpayers of Pasco County millions of dollars by mitigating the potential increase on their solid waste assessment,” Carballa said. 

The local bill arose as the county’s current power purchase agreement is expiring. 

The bill will be filed in the coming weeks before session, and will likely get attention from legislators with Senate President Wilton Simpson being a part of Pasco’s delegation. 

Net metering is more commonly known for use on solar power where, similarly, the amount of energy accumulated through solar panels is deducted from overall energy costs. In that scenario, electric companies collect the power, amounting to what is basically selling it back to the solar user.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected]



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