IDEAS For Us | October 31, 2015

Floridians for Solar Choice: Learn How to Unlock Solar in the Sunshine State [VIDEO]


rsz_20151031_154822Floridians are uniting to support a constitutional ballot initiative to help consumers go solar. Florida is one of only four states that prohibit customers from buying electricity from companies that will put solar panels on your home or business. This common sense change will allow many more Floridians to tap in to our massive solar potential.

There are volunteers around the state, that are encouraging Florida voters to sign a petition (on white paper) to support this initiative (please sign this one, pictured left) and of course there is heavily funded opposition by the big utilities. The opposition is circulating a petition (on green paper) to try to confuse consumers- DONT SIGN THE GREEN ONE!

Click here to learn how to sign the petition.

Watch the short video below to learn the difference between the good and bad petitions– support unlocking solar for all in the state of Florida!

FACT SHEET: Shedding Light on Efforts to Derail Solar Choice in the Sunshine State

Floridians for Solar Choice is a grassroots citizens’ effort working to help more homes and
businesses generate electricity by harnessing the power of the sun. Unfortunately, that choice is
currently limited in Florida because you can only purchase power from a monopoly utility. The
Floridians for Solar Choice coalition is working to place a constitutional amendment on the 2016
ballot that would provide more choices for Florida’s families and businesses that wish to power
their homes and businesses with solar.

Recently, a new organization has sprung up aggressively parroting big power company arguments against the Floridians for Solar Choice ballot initiative. These arguments aren’t based on reality, or a correct reading of the Floridians for Solar Choice petition. Florida Power and Light (FPL) backs this competing petition – in fact, they wrote it – and chose the misleading name of Consumers for Smart Solar. Confused? That is their objective. Don’t be fooled, we explain the petition differences below.

The Names:

“Consumers for Smart Solar” – Opposition written by FPL to maintain their current control of the market in Florida
“Floridians for Solar Choice” – An amendment written by a bi-partisan coalition to give more Floridians access to solar power

What do the petitions actually do?

Floridians for Solar Choice: Florida is one of only four states that expressly prohibit the sale of power to a customer by anyone other than a monopoly utility. Floridians for Solar Choice removes that barrier – by allowing the purchase of electricity generated by solar power – providing Floridians more choices in powering their home or business with solar power and who provides it to them. This petition would allow Floridians to go solar without needing to cover the upfront cost of the solar equipment – they would simply pay for the solar energy that is generated.

Opposition from FPL: This petition changes nothing. Even its name is a sham. It maintains pro-utility polices that have led to Sunshine State generating less than 1/10 of 1% of its electricity from solar power – and provides a vehicle by which opponents of solar choice can confuse voters and derail solar choice. If you want to go solar in Florida today, you can, you simply need to cover the cost of the equipment and installation which is usually tens of thousands of dollars for an average residential system. This model has made it unaffordable for many Floridians and has created an artificial blockage in Florida’s solar industry. FPL wants to keep it this way.

Consumer protection: Both petitions are fully in line with comprehensive consumer protection already in place.

Floridians for Solar Choice: Preserves the right of state and local governments to regulate solar power in the interest of public health, safety and welfare. There are zero changes to the way cities oversee, regulate, or otherwise interact with solar system owners. Florida actually has laws in place that specifically protect consumers from things like fraud or being taken advantage of unfairly. (Does the lemon law sound familiar?) These laws cover every business transaction – including solar. The Floridians for Solar Choice petition does not change existing law.

Opposition from FPL: This petition does not change current law and does not provide any additional consumer protection. In fact, monopolistic control over Florida’s energy market has caused customers to shoulder unnecessary costs. Floridians for Solar Choice provides for more competition in the market for solar power which is a way to lower the cost of solar even further.

Customer rates: Floridians for Solar Choice can help customers lock-in long-term savings.

Floridians for Solar Choice: Floridians for Solar Choice petition aims to open the solar market to more Floridians, by allowing Florida families and businesses to purchase solar power from solar providers – whether it’s a solar company, or their landlord. That means customers will have a choice to enjoy long term savings from solar power – without the upfront investment. The claim by power companies that solar customers will cause an increase in rates is totally unsupported in Florida. In fact, the benefits provided by solar customers result in a net benefit to the power company’s system in terms of saving the utility fuel, reduced grid line losses, and insulating customers from fuel price spikes (solar uses no fuel). If FPL can prove to the state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) that solar customers are imposing costs on the utilities’ system, the petition preserves the PSC’s ability to address such issues.

Opposition from FPL: its petition does not change current law, maintaining the status quo and their control over the market.

So what’s the difference?

The FPL petition continues the power company lockdown on solar competition in Florida.

Floridians for Solar Choice provides consumers a voice and choice on energy in the Sunshine State.


Click here to learn how to sign the petition: