Tuesday, October 25, 2016

This Florida Amendment Claims to Be Pro-Solar, but Energy Advocates Are Skeptical

Critics say the ballot measure, which Floridians will vote on in two weeks, is misleading.

Solar panel rooftop installation (Credit: Sergio Flores/Bloomberg via Getty Images) Click to Enlarge.
Solar power advocates in Florida are in an uproar over a ballot amendment they say is masquerading as pro-solar.

The measure, known as Amendment 1, sounds good on paper.  It “establishes a right under Florida’s constitution for consumers to own or lease solar equipment installed on their property to generate electricity for their own use,” and its sponsor is a group called “Consumers for Smart Solar.”

But the state’s largest utilities are backing the amendment, and solar advocates have been saying for months that it would actually hinder the growth of solar in the state.

Opponents of the measure, which is on the Nov. 8 ballot, have said its wording is meant to deceive people.  And they got some validation on that last week, when Sal Nuzzo, vice president at the James Madison Institute, a Florida-based think tank supported by the state’s largest utility companies, was caught on tape referring to the amendment as an “incredibly savvy maneuver” that would “completely negate anything [pro-solar advocates] would try to do either legislatively or constitutionally down the road.”  Nuzzo was recorded speaking at this year’s State Energy/Environment Leadership Summit, and the Miami Herald reported on the remarks.

Nuzzo also describes the measure as “a little bit of political jiu-jitsu,” and says that it uses “the language of promoting solar.”

Read more at This Florida Amendment Claims to Be Pro-Solar, but Energy Advocates Are Skeptical

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