The solar war in Florida “heats up” as the group “Consumers for Smart Solar, which is backed by the utilities industry in Florida, is countering, or trying to “undercut” the solar choice amendment offered by Floridians for Solar Choice with their own amendment.
According to Floridians for Solar Choice, their amendment will enable consumers to deal directly with solar industry companies, and “open up the solar market to all Floridians,” by allowing individual consumers and businesses to contract with solar providers that can install the panels at no upfront cost on their home or business, and then sell other consumers the energy directly.
Both groups are pushing their petition drive pretty hard, but FSC seems to be far ahead of CSS with their 100,000 signed petitions.
Wait, if Big Electric, who wants to keep its energy monopolies intact in Florida and around the country, can generate income when they sell the solar energy they cultivate from these so-called “green fields,” why can’t consumers do the same with their respective privately purchased solar panels?
Trick or Treat?
While those in the energy lobby will attempt to make the case that the Floridians for Solar Choice amendment will “lead to a variety of unintended consequences that will hurt” Floridians, proponents of solar choice are saying that this move by Big Electric to hold on to their energy monopoly with their own ballot initiative, is nothing more than “an effort to deceive and confuse voters.”
Here is how this whole solar issue works:
Floridians have the right to install or lease solar now, but they have to pay for the initial cost and own it themselves. The amendment is designed to allow homeowners and businesses to enter into a contract with a solar company to install the panels on their rooftops for small-scale solar, buy the energy directly from said company at a competitive rate and then let those homeowners or businesses sell excess created energy to their contiguously connected properties.
Utilities currently are allowed to recover the costs for providing electric grid access and maintenance and operations of the grid. If the Solar Choice amendment were to pass they would still be able to recover these costs, but they would be prohibited from imposing punitive fees on solar users designed to discourage the use of solar.-Miami Herald
Wait, no new fees for consumers? This sounds good for the Florida consumer, right?
Solar, wind, and other alternative energies were once thought to be the concern of only liberal-minding groups that would go to the ends of the earth to save a whale, prevent a tree from getting cut down, and even try to preserve the right for some species of ant to survive.
Apparently, solar choice is an issue that transcends across ideological and political lines.
Those who support the expansion of solar choice in Florida believe that the end result of broadening the concept will lead to lower utility bills for consumers by allowing the free market to take hold in Florida, further reducing the need for more power to be produced by utility monopolies, which in turn would reflect in less demand for more power plants and put less stress on the grid.
How dare anyone try to allow the dreaded “free market” compete in Florida’s closed energy sector?
Isn’t a free market society something that all Tea Party and conservative types long for?
Who supports this solar choice amendment?
According to the Floridians for Solar Choice website, a slew of both conservative and liberal-minded organizations support their efforts to increase solar energy and consumption in Florida. Christian Coalition of America, Conservatives for Energy Freedom
Florida Alliance for Renewable Energy, Florida Retail Federation, Florida Solar Energy Industries Association, Libertarian Party of Florida, Republican Liberty Caucus of Florida, Greenpeace USA, Tea Party Network, Sierra Club of Florida, League of Women Voters of Florida, Friends of the Everglades, and both the Ecology and Green parties of Florida, not to mention a bunch of other groups and organizations.
Hold it a minute. The Libertarian Party, who is known to not support any measure that has a mandate attached to it, or that raises taxes, supports Floridians for Solar Choice?
This cage fight between Big Electric and solar choice conservatives is just getting started. Stay tuned…
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