As election season heats up, the Presidency is not the only thing that Floridians will be voting on this November. Crafting law is a complex process and extra difficult for most citizens to understand the hidden meanings and agendas.
Without taking a specific position of Amendment 1, we wanted to ensure citizens are well informed as to the potential outcomes of a “yes” or “no” vote.
The Florida League of Women Voters summarized Amendment 1 in the following way:
A YES vote on Amendment 1 would:
Put existing statutory language into the state constitution, making it difficult to change future solar energy policy in statute due to a possible conflict with the constitutional language adopted.
Establish a constitutional rather than statutory right for consumers to own or lease solar-power equipment on their property to generate electricity for their own use, leaving out the ability for third-party providers to install solar equipment on their homes or businesses and then sell that power directly back to the consumers, bypassing the major utilities.
Create an assumption that those who use solar power are being subsidized by non-solar utility customers for the cost of providing backup power and electric grid access and not paying enough for the upkeep of the transmission and distribution system. It then creates a constitutional mandate that state and local governments regulate solar power generators and users to correct the subsidy, potentially leading to increased costs to solar users.
Not explicitly prevent Florida consumers from entering into contracts with a third-party solar provider, but possibly erecting barriers through its definitions and mandate for regulation.
Supporters: Duke Energy, Florida Power & Light Co.; Gulf Power Co.; Tampa Electric Co.; 60 Plus Association.
A NO vote on Amendment 1 would:
Leave in Florida statutes the right for consumers to own or lease solar-power equipment on their property to generate electricity for their own use.
Leave open the possibility that homeowners and businesses could buy or lease solar-power equipment.
Halt a potential constitutional barrier to new laws that would broaden the solar-power market by allowing solar companies to sell electricity directly to consumers.
Protect existing rules that allow net metering, where utilities credit a retail rate to customers generating excess solar power that is returned to the electric grid.
Opponents: Floridians for Solar Choice; Earth Justice; Florida Solar Energy Industries Association; Southern Alliance for Clean Energy; League of Women Voters of Florida.