The truth behind utility-backed Amendment 1

Mon, Oct 3, 2016

We need your help to spread the word about the harmful, utility-backed, anti-solar amendment that will appear on the ballot in November, Amendment 1.

Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente said it better than anyone: Amendment 1 is a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” backed by big utility companies like Duke Energy and Florida Power and Light to maintain their monopoly on electricity and unfairly raise fees for customers who want to go solar.

If it passes, Amendment 1 would limit our solar growth and increase our dependence on fossil fuels.

Reminder, this amendment will be on the November 8, 2016 General Election ballot. In many Florida counties, the early voting period begins as soon as October 24. So be sure to get this message out as soon as possible!

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Title: Aliki Moncrief: The truth behind utility-backed Amendment 1

Have you heard about the utility-backed Amendment 1? It’s awful for Florida’s environment and seriously threatens our chance for a clean energy future.

Amendment 1 is a slick, misleading, multi-million-dollar campaign sponsored by monopoly utility companies like Duke Energy and Florida Power and Light for one reason:  to maintain their monopoly on electricity and unfairly limit customer-owned solar.

If Amendment 1 passes and becomes part of Florida’s constitution, it will allow monopoly utility companies to:

·        increase fees on customers who choose to install solar, making solar more expensive and limiting customers’ ability to produce their own energy;

·        dismantle Florida’s net metering rule, which currently allows people who install solar to sell their extra energy back to the grid -- net metering is key to making solar more affordable for Florida families and businesses;

·        hold Florida back from reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and reducing air pollution.

The big, investor-owned utilities want to block the sun and maintain their monopoly on Florida’s energy markets.

But if Amendment 1 fails and solar is allowed to grow, Florida could be at the forefront of shaping the nation’s clean energy future. We have the potential to be among the top three solar-producing states in the country, yet the Sunshine State has been held back by monopoly utilities that profit more from continuing our dependence on fossil fuels.

In her opinion opposing the utility-backed Amendment 1, Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente explained why Amendment 1 does not help bring more solar to our state:

“Let the pro-solar energy consumers beware. Masquerading as a pro-solar energy initiative, this proposed constitutional amendment, supported by some of Florida's major investor-owned electric utility companies, actually seeks to constitutionalize the status quo...favoring the very electric utilities who are the proponents of this amendment.”

If you support solar, please tell your friends and family that the utility-backed Amendment 1 is bad for Florida’s environment and bad for our future.

Aliki Moncrief is the Executive Director of Florida Conservation Voters (www.fcvoters.org) and can be contacted at aliki@fcvoters.org.

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