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Solar Energy Petition Circulates in Florida

A group known as Floridians for Solar Choice is circulating a petition to allow a referendum on a state constitutional amendment allowing solar energy collection and sale to Florida residents and businesses. According to its website, the group describes itself as “a grassroots citizens’ effort working to help more homes and businesses to generate electricity by harnessing the power of the sun.”

According to the website, only four U.S. states prohibit citizens from buying electricity from anyone other than a utility. Florida is one of those four states.

In addition to signatures, the group is also seeking volunteers to add more names to the petition. Visitors to the group’s website may learn more about volunteer efforts.

The website states, “The ballot initiative does one thing, and one thing only: It removes a government-created barrier to customers’ right to buy solar energy, so solar can compete in the market against other forms of energy. The Florida government’s current policy is to make commerce in solar energy illegal, which puts solar energy at an unfair disadvantage by denying customers the right to buy solar products available in most state markets.”

Floridians for Solar Choice says the ballot initiative is not designed to give solar energy an advantage over other types of energy, nor does it have anything to do with subsidies or handouts for the solar industry. No tax dollars will be used to prop up a Florida solar industry. Further, the ballot initiative will permit large retailers to become mini-utilities by selling excess power; only existing utilities will have this capability.

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