Published On: Fri, Oct 7th, 2016

Why Florida should reject Amendment One

Described by the Eco Watch as a “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” amendment, Amendment One on the November 8th ballot should be rejected and citizens should be cautious of “BIG ENERGY” and their handling of solar power.

Amendment One: Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding Solar Energy Choice

Summary: This amendment 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. State and local governments shall retain their abilities to protect consumer rights and public health, safety and welfare, and to ensure that consumers who do not choose to install solar are not required to subsidize the costs of backup power and electric grid access to those who do.

The amendment is not expected to result in an increase or decrease in any revenues or costs to state and local government.

It reads and sounds benign, so why the backlash and concern.

photo Danielle Catrett White

photo Danielle Catrett White

FACT ONE: Despite the language of the first sentence, the amendment does NOT create a new right for a customer to go solar, it is simply restating existing rights.

“Under the guise of being pro-solar, Amendment 1 inserts into the state’s constitution what already exists in law…” Sun Sentinel writes, noting later that “There’s no evidence this would help save money for non-solar users.”

FACT TWO: Sentence two is misleading, especially the use of the phrase “are not required to subsidize the costs.”

The language here is confusing, so let me explain that solar provides many benefits to the electricity grid including producing energy at peak times of the day when the home is not consuming much energy. This is then returned back to the consumer with “credits” for their contribution to the grid used by all customers.

Alex Snitker, 2010 Senate candidate

Alex Snitker, 2010 Senate candidate

Former Libertarian Senate candidate Alex Snitker explains that “Battery backup systems have not caught up with the large amount of energy that can be produced by solar systems so this “excess” power goes back to the electric utility company. At night when the sun is not out a solar customer will then need power from the electric utility since their excess power could not be stored and no new power is being generated. At the end of each month the amount of power given back to the electric utility is subtracted from the amount used and the solar customer is only billed for the difference.”

“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,” Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente wrote in a dissent back in March.

photo: TaxRebate.org.uk

photo: TaxRebate.org.uk

Full 2018 Amendment analysis is here: Amendment One and Two  Amendment Three

Amendment Four     Amendment Five     Amendment Six     Amendment Seven

Amendment Nine     Amendment Ten     Amendment Eleven    Amendment Twelve and Thirteen


Over $21 million has been spent to convince you to vote for this amendment. Where is the money coming from? The utility companies.

Why would the utility companies drop millions to rewrite YOUR RIGHTS?

“This isn’t a subsidy. The power given back to the electric utility companies was sold to other customers without the electric utility having to pay to produce this power,” Snitker says. “Amendment 1 would put an end to compensating solar customers for the power they give back to the utility that the utility then made money from by selling to someone else.”

“Solar customer’s electricity bills would go up because they still need power during the evenings and they will be providing ‘free’ electricity for the electric utility to sell.”

The Herald Tribune notes that “They contend the amendment’s passage would eventually lead to utilities charging solar customers fees for connecting to the grid and having access to backup power. Since ‘subsidize’ is not defined in the amendment, the potential for such fees or onerous regulation is real.”

I have to agree with all of these assessments. Sometimes passing a poorly written bill is dangerous and expensive for consumers. Amendment One is both of these things and we hopeful that Floridians reject the change.


On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter

* indicates required

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



The Global Dispatch Facebook page- click here

Movie News Facebook page - click here

Television News Facebook page - click here

Weird News Facebook page - click here