St. Pete hears feedback on mandatory solar proposal

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If you want to build or start a construction project at your home in St. Pete, you could be required to install solar panels.

It’s a new city law that is being proposed and talked about. Most of the people at a public meeting Wednesday were in favor of green technology, but the hang up was - some don’t like being bossed around by the government.

The widespread use of solar panels is good for the environment and will save money on electric bills. The question is whether the city of St. Petersburg should have the right to force you to put them on your homes.

The city’s Energy and Sustainability Committee has drafted a proposal which would require owners to install a solar panel on a 1,100 square foot structure that is newly built, drastically remodeled, or if there are roof repairs that replace 75 percent or more.

Some are supporting the proposal, but others say the city can’t tell them what needs to go on the roof of their own home.

Americans for Prosperity - Florida calls the proposal ridiculous, adding it would cost a homeowner an extra $11,000 or more.

The city says people shouldn’t freak out. It’s merely an idea and nothing is set in stone.

“We are trying to work through the feedback and decide if this is right for our community,” explained Derek Killborn with the city.

Mayor Kriseman’s office says he is supportive of green technology and is interested in having a discussion.