Electrical Workers Union latest group saying ‘yes’ to Florida solar Amendment 1

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Electrical workers have joined Florida firefighters and others in supporting the constitutional amendment to expand solar energy in the Sunshine State.

On Thursday, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) announced its endorsement of the Consumers for Smart Solar, the coalition of business, civic, and faith leaders behind Florida Constitutional Amendment 1 on the Nov. 8 ballot.

IBEW represents approximately 725,000 members working in a wide variety of fields, including construction, utilities, manufacturing, telecommunications, broadcasting, railroads, and government.

As the leading reason for recommending the measure — officially known as Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding Solar Energy Choice — IBEW leaders say Amendment 1 guarantees the right for consumers to own or lease solar panels and equipment. Also, the measure ensures consumer protections for those who do not choose solar power, so they will not be over billed, subject to long-term contracts, or forced to subsidize consumers producing solar energy.

In a statement, the IBEW urges a “yes” vote to promote increased use of solar power in Florida by providing constitutional protection for those consumers using solar panels and giving a degree of certainty to those looking to make an investment in solar equipment.

According to the union, increased use of solar power statewide, as well as the introduction of a new market for solar energy, also will create additional job opportunities for IBEW members.

‘Yes on 1’ co-chair Dick Batchelor said the IBEW endorsement is “proof that our amendment is the right way” to do solar in Florida.

“Amendment 1 gives Floridians a historic opportunity to advance solar in our Sunshine State,” Batchelor said in a statement, “while ensuring our energy future is safeguarded with the proper consumer rights, consumer protections, and consumer fairness, whether they choose solar or not.”

Among the growing number of groups now supporting “Yes on 1 for the Sun” include:

National Black Chamber of Commerce

60 Plus Association

National Congress of Black Women

Florida State Conference of the NAACP

Partnership for Affordable Clean Energy

Florida Council for Safe Communities

Floridians for Government Accountability

Florida Faith & Freedom Coalition

Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Florida Professional Firefighters

Florida TaxWatch

Florida Black Chamber of Commerce

Manatee County Black Chamber of Commerce

Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce

Honduran American Chamber of Commerce

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Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.


2 comments

  • Philip Klaverweiden

    October 26, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    This amendment will limit the ability of a homeowner who installs or leases solar panels the ability to sell excess power to the electric companies at market rates, this will also penalize you with higher rates if you ever need power. All the newspapers in Florida are against amendment 1. Do your research before you vote.

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