R Street disappointed by passage of South Miami solar panel mandate

WASHINGTON (July 13, 2017) – The R Street Institute is deeply disappointed by the City of South Miami’s passage of an ordinance requiring installation of solar panels on all newly constructed homes, as well as older homes whose owners elect to renovate 50 percent or more of the square footage.

The move, approved in a 4-1 vote by the City Commission, threatens to increase the price of homes in a city where cost-of-living is already way above the national average, and may actually serve as a disincentive to existing homeowners who wish to make their older homes more energy-efficient.

“I am disappointed in Mayor Phillip Stoddard’s championing of this issue,” said R Street Southeast Region Director Christian R. Cámara. “The common refrain throughout this process has been that installing solar panels on all new and refurbished homes makes sense. If it makes sense, why is it necessary to pass a law to enforce the requirement?”

While local and state authorities can and should develop building codes to ensure safety, Miami-Dade County already has a strict building code, due to its vulnerability to hurricanes. Residents should never be forced to purchase an expensive product that serves no health or safety purpose as a condition to develop or improve their own properties, just so politicians can feel good about themselves, Cámara said.

“Government should not pick one industry over another through subsidies or unfair incentives or penalties,” Cámara said. “Allowing energy producers to compete on a level playing field will encourage them to innovate and make their products more efficient and thus more economically viable over time.”

R Street is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization whose mission is to promote free markets and limited, effective government. It has headquarters in Washington, D.C. and five regional offices across the country. Its website is www.rstreet.org.

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