This November, Floridians will join Americans all over the country and head to the polls to vote on decisions that will have an impact extending far into the future. This voting season, Florida is being faced with a particularly crucial challenge: Amendment 1. There are proponents on both sides of the issue, and the rhetoric coming from both sides of the aisle can leave voters with conflicting information and impressions. Here at Mirasol FAFCO Solar, we want for our neighbors and our constituents to have the information they need to make an educated decision at the booths this fall. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at Amendment 1 and what it means for Florida’s residents and solar industry.
What is Amendment 1?
According to the Consumers for Smart Solar website, Amendment 1 is a piece of legislation designed with Florida’s electricity consumers in mind. The amendment is said to guarantee homeowners and businesses the right to own solar energy equipment, to safeguard consumers against fraud, and prevent non-solar users from having to subsidize an energy system that they do not use.
Sounds Great, Right?
At first glance, Amendment 1 sounds like a great initiative. After all, shouldn’t all Floridians have the right to use solar energy systems? Yes, they should. And they already do. There is nothing prohibiting homeowners and businesses from installing solar panels on their property. The second benefit means to protect consumers from out-of-state companies that lease solar panels to consumers. That, too, sounds wonderful. But those kinds of practices are already banned in the state of Florida. As for the third benefit, on the surface it seems to be aimed at leveling the playing field between solar and non-solar consumers. The argument goes that those who do not switch to solar should not have to subsidize those who do. But is that what is happening here in the Sunshine State?
What You Need to Know About Amendment 1
The truth is that the proponents of Amendment 1 are not providing all the facts to citizens and voters. The reasons for that are many, but one of the biggest is that a large percentage of those in favor of the amendment are big utility companies like Florida Power & Light and Duke Energy. These companies are throwing their support behind this amendment because they are the ones who stand the gain the most from it. The true nature of the amendment is not pro-solar as its proponents claim. In reality, it is targeting a valuable asset that helps consumers make environmentally-friendly changes: Net metering.
Stay posted until next time, when we will take a closer look at net metering and why big utility companies have set out to destroy it. In the meantime, take some time to educate yourself more on the issues that will affect you and your family in the upcoming vote.