Amendment 1 on Florida’s November ballot is deceptive and anti-solar. Backed by monopoly utilities seeking to stifle solar power and keep Floridians captive power consumers, it is bankrolled by Florida’s big power companies and groups supporting fossil fuels. “Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding Solar Energy Choice may sound great for solar in Florida, but take heed. Amendment 1 will do the opposite of promoting solar,” says Susan Glickman, Florida director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.
Why voters should say no to Amendment 1: The language of the amendment sounds appealing, but won’t grant Floridians any new rights. Floridians already have the right to own or lease solar equipment on their property to generate electricity for their own use.
It will change the Florida Constitution to include a presumption that non-solar customers somehow “subsidize” solar customers. No empirical evidence supports this. Power companies should not have constitutional protections to punish Florida residents with charges if they install solar.
It will be used by power companies to attack Florida’s net metering rule, which currently allows customers to receive credit for generating solar power, as well as sending their excess energy back to the grid. This policy is key to making the economics of solar work. Power companies object because it allows Floridians to generate their own power and pay less on their electric bills.
“Take note that Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente called Amendment 1 a wolf in sheep’s clothing, masquerading as a pro-solar energy initiative,” notes Glickman.
What voters will see on the November ballot:
Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding Solar Energy Choice
This amendment establishes a right under Florida’s constitution for consumers to own or lease solar equipment installed on their property to generate electricity for their own use. State and local governments shall retain their abilities to protect consumer rights and public health, safety and welfare, and to ensure that consumers who do not choose to install solar are not required to subsidize the costs of backup power and electric grid access to those who do.
“Vote no to this utility-backed solar petition and stop big monopoly utilities from choking off rooftop solar and keeping a stranglehold on customers by preventing them from generating their own power,” advises Glickman.