Let us be clear: Amendment 1 is designed to encourage solar while protecting consumers -- both those who choose solar and those who do not. The future of solar is a new world of technology and business structures, and we should encourage the use of solar energy while protecting Florida consumers from scams and unreasonable costs. Amendment 1 does just that.
Contrary to the recent editorial, "Florida's Supreme Court should reject 'solar' amendment," Amendment 1 is not misleading. Amendment 1 is clear, unambiguous and deals with only one subject.
Amendment 1 ensures Floridians will always have the right to own their own solar equipment and generate their own electricity. It also makes sure solar plays by the same consumer protection rules as other energy sources. And because Amendment 1 puts these rights and protections into Florida's constitution, they cannot be weakened by policy makers or special interests.
Believe it or not, there are out-of-state companies that don't want people to own their own solar equipment and generate their own electricity. They prefer an arrangement where they can set up shop in Florida, immune from consumer protection laws, and lock Floridians into 20-year contracts with annual cost escalator clauses, whereby consumers would pay more for solar electricity than we pay for energy today.
We believe Amendment 1 will create the economic certainty necessary to encourage Floridians considering solar to proceed with that investment, knowing their rights are protected in our constitution, and the health, safety and welfare of the public will be protected.
Already, over 1 million voters signed petitions in support of Amendment 1 and 73% of Florida voters recently polled support Amendment 1, with only 15% opposed. By our calculations, it's clear Florida voters want to encourage greater use of solar while protecting consumers.
Dick Batchelor, Co-chair, Consumers for Smart Solar, Former Member, Florida House of Representatives,