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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

December Deadline for Florida Solar Ballot Initiative

Nov 30, 2015 11:28AM

A total of 683,149 certified signatures are required to put the Florida constitutional amendment, Limits or Prevents Barriers to Local Solar Electricity Supply, on the November 2016 ballot. Petitions must be signed and submitted by the end of December to insure that this happens.

Floridians for Solar Choice, a grassroots citizens’ effort to allow more homes and businesses to generate electricity by harnessing the power of the sun, is promoting this constitutional amendment that would give Florida’s families and businesses the right to choose solar power. Volunteers from organizations including the League of Women Voters of Florida, Florida Retail Federation, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, Christian Coalition of America and Florida Tea Party are supporting the signing of petitions and collecting signatures at family and faith gatherings, concerts and farmers’ markets.

Although sunshine is abundant, currently, Florida is one of only five states in the nation that prohibit citizens from buying electricity from companies that will put solar panels on personal residences or business. This prohibition limits customer choice and blocks the growth of this abundant, clean, homegrown energy source.

Past legislative efforts to overcome barriers to solar choice have been blocked by large, monopolistic utility companies such as Florida Power and Light (FPL) and Duke Energy. These power companies do not want to lose their exclusive hold on Florida’s electric customers or their income.

Floridians for Solar Choice supporters believe that Florida citizens should have the right and freedom to choose solar power generated electricity if and from whom they want. “Don’t be fooled by the confusing language of Consumers for Smart Solar, an organization that put forth its own solar power constitutional amendment. On the surface it appears pro-solar, but instead will only maintain the status quo. The group, mostly backed by the state’s utility companies, is using the oldest political ploy in the book by trying to confuse people,” says Susan Glickman, Florida director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization behind Floridians for Solar Choice.

To sign the petition, get more information, or print copies to circulate, visit FLSolarChoice.org.

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