The August primary proved just how much the importance of solar energy is resonating with Floridians. Voters overwhelmingly approved Amendment 4, a measure that provides property tax breaks for business owners. This was a huge step forward for the state and solar energy supporters everywhere.The Florida Supreme Court really dropped the ball by allowing this poorly worded Amendment to go forward in the first place. Take it down by voting no on 1!
However, Florida's regulated power monopolies are now attempting to manipulate and capitalize on this wave of solar support with the creation of Amendment 1.
When voters head to the polls in November, they will be presented with an extremely misleading description of Amendment 1. Masquerading as a pro-solar energy initiative, the proposal highlights how it would grant homeowners the right to install solar panels on their houses – a right many Floridians don't realize they already have, and do not need a constitutional amendment for.
If you take a closer look at the fine print on this measure, you'll see the amendment actually paves the way to drastically stunt Florida's solar energy growth. Amendment 1 would place all solar energy generation under the state's big utility monopolies, giving them the power to financially penalize consumers who install solar and limit solar options in Florida.
So who is behind this deceptive ploy? Amendment 1 is publicly backed by Consumers for Smart Solar — an organization that sounds like a pro-solar advocacy group at first read. However, Consumers for Smart Solar is merely a clever and devious campaign funded by the largest electric companies in the state, including Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy, Tampa Electric Co. and Gulf Power Co.