By Boris Spektor, Senior
On November 8th, voters in Florida will get to decide the future of the Florida constitution with respect to a solar bill, a medical marijuana bill, and tax exemptions for disabled first responders and low-income seniors.
However, Amendment 1 is described in a very deceiving way.
This is the text for amendment 1 on the ballot:
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.
Let’s ANALYZE, shall we?
Line 1, in grey, establishes a right that every Floridian already has! We are already allowed to own/lease solar panels and use it to generate electricity.
Line 2, in blue, establishes that governments should protect consumer rights and public health/safety, something that governments already do, in essence, this does not add any new policy.
Line 3, in black, is a horribly misleading statement that supposedly does not require people who use the grid to subsidize those who do. When this statement is analyzed, however, it can be inferred that it will cause those who are off the grid to pay a mandatory fee for the upkeep of the electrical grid to their house. This essentially would give a blank check to power companies, enabling them to add a “grid maintenance” fee to all customers, even if they don’t pull any electricity from the grid.
In essence, Amendment 1 will be a detriment to the expansion of solar, since it will cause people who use solar to pay for the upkeep of the electrical grid, in the words of Justice Barbara Pariente of the Florida Supreme Court, the bill is a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” and would allow utilities to levy fees on solar customers.
I implore everyone voting to choose NO on Amendment 1, this amendment will give power monopolies such as FPL more power while slowing the adoption of solar energy.