Florida Solar Ballot Initiative Growing

Originally published on CleanTechnica.

What I love about Florida is the torrential downpours of summer afternoons that break through the intensity of the never-ending brilliant sunshine. The ocean is not far from wherever one lives — jutting out into some of the most emerald green-blue waters lit up by nearly constant sunshine over the Gulf. What I love about Floridians is the penchant for grass-roots efforts to make Florida better — in the case of this story, the Florida constitutional amendment ballot initiative to support more solar power in the state.

What is disturbing about Florida is that Florida is one of only four states in the United States that prohibit citizens from buying electricity from companies that will install solar panels on your home or business. One thinks, “What on earth, are politicians thinking? Are they thinking?”

How can this “Sunshine State” be so thwarted on clean air goals, clean water objectives, and utilizing the free solar resources we are gifted. This prohibition limits customer choice and blocks the growth of this abundant, clean, domestic energy source.

florida solar panels

A non-partisan collaboration called “Floridians for Solar Choice” is trying to change things. The group is a grassroots citizens’ coalition promoting a Florida constitutional amendment ballot initiative that would give Florida families and businesses the right to choose solar power — but the amendment needs 683,000 signatures to allow Floridians to vote on this issue.

floridaPolicies in place make Florida seem a bit dull to be not using the resource the state has in such an immense quantity — a resource that seems limitless and is all clean energy. I’ve signed the petition and hope you do, too.

Don’t allow Florida to be at the low ebb of progress. The light should beget light power — and can do so easily if we can change policy and politics that are protecting the old systems and stopping progress. Outdated structures need to adapt to the game-changing renewable option that protects Florida’s environment as it cools and lights Florida’s homes.

Dirty energy should be, could be, on the way out. Time is for Floridians to recognize how to reverse environmental problems with renewable energy — in particular, solar energy in the Sunshine State.

In stride with progress, Central Florida’s First GREEN Bank is the first bank of its kind to promote positive environmental and social responsibility — while operating as a traditional community bank. It is a major supporter of Floridians for Solar Choice. It joins numerous other organizations and companies working for this new solar option. In “Florida Supreme Court Approves Solar Power Initiative,” Jake Richardson points out:

It appears that the advocacy work being done by organizations like Floridians for Solar Choice is gradually shifting attitudes. Just take a look at all the organizations supporting FSC:

350.org
All WoMen Rising
Audubon Society of the Everglades
Clean Water Action
The Cleo Institute
The Climate Reality Project
Collier Citizens for Sustainability
Conservancy of Southwest Florida
Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship
Earth Ethics, Inc.
Earthjustice
Ecology Party of Florida
Environmental Coalition of Miami & the Beaches (ECOMB)
Environmental Defense Fund
Environment Florida
Evangelical Environmental Network
Florida Alliance for Retired Americans
Florida Green Chamber of Commerce
Florida Renewable Energy Association (FREA)
Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association
Florida Wildlife Federation
Friends of the Everglades
Green Party of Florida
Greenpeace USA
H & H Design and Construction Inc.
Hands Across the Sand
IDEAS for Us
Interfaith Justice League
League of Women Voters of Florida
Libertarian Party of Seminole County
Mosaic
Oceana
Organize Now
Physicians for Social Responsibility, Florida
Progress Florida
ReThink Energy Florida
Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation
SEIA
Sierra Club Florida
South Florida Audubon Society
South Florida Wildlands Association
Space Coast Climate Change Initiative
Space Coast Progressive Alliance
Stewards Of Sustainability (SoS)
Sunshine State Interfaith Power and Light
Surfrider Foundation
The Tea Party Network
Tropical Audubon Society
Venice Area Audubon Society
Women4Solar
WISE – Women in Solar Energy

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Image: Florida Solar Panels by Cynthia Shahan | CleanTechnica









About the Author

is an Organic Farmer, Classical Homeopath, Art Teacher, Creative Writer, Anthropology Studies, Natural Medicine Activist, Journalist, and mother of four unconditionally loving spirits, teachers, and environmentally conscious beings who have lit the way for me for decades.
  • Bryan

    This organization is not about solar “choice” as much as it is about bringing their high priced, wall street backed, solar lease and PPA buddies from California into Florida.

    If this organization really supported a choice to counter the utility company monopoly, then they would be supporting the far lower priced, local solar dealer market, not out of state, overpriced dealers.

    Support your local solar market. Don’t let the wool be pulled over your eyes by the propaganda. Solar leases, PPAs and 30 year leasing company balloon payment solar loans with annual payment increases are three of the most expensive ways to have solar on your home. There are dozens of no money out of pocket financing sources that are far cheaper than solar leases. Some of these non solar leasing company financing even offers tax deductible interest. Solar leases, PPAs and solar leasing company loans don’t offer tax deductible interest.

    Today, pricing has dropped so low that a zero to little maintenance, average sized 4.75 kW grid tie solar system that will produce up to 600 kWh per month with only 5 hours of peak sunshine per day can now be easily purchased for less than $2.10 a watt after applying the tax credit or less than $9,6000 which is less than 7 cents per kilowatt hour. Why pay the leasing company’s 13 to 16 cents per kilowatt hour when you can pay only 7 cents by purchasing your system instead.

    If this bill passes in Florida, before signing any long term contract, ask your solar dealer if he or she can offer you a system for less than 7 cents per kilowatt hour. If they can’t, then I suggest that you shop somewhere else. Be smart about your solar investment. Search the Internet for 7 cents per kWh solar offerings. Learn the truth about fair market pricing before you sign any contract. Don’t fall for the leasing company’s high priced gimmicks.