Central Florida, Jacksonville, Pinellas urban leagues back solar power amendment

solar power commercial (Large)

The solar power amendment scored the backing of three more organizations.

Consumers for Smart Solar announced Wednesday the Central Florida Urban League, the Jacksonville Urban League, and the Pinellas County Urban League were endorsing the 2016 solar power initiative.

In a joint statement released by the campaign, the three organizations said they believe the amendment “provides an effective hammer for breaking down these barriers while providing regulators with the tools to protect low-income consumers who still rely entirely on the electric grid from carrying a disproportionate share of the grid’s fixed costs.”

“Florida Amendment 1 provides consumers with the constitutional right to install rooftop solar to provide for their energy needs. Owing largely to its cost, low-income consumers and communities of color are seldom able to use rooftop solar and must rely on the grid for their energy needs,” the groups said in a statement.

“As more affluent consumers deploy rooftop solar, fewer non-solar consumers are left to carry the costs of maintaining the grid. This creates a scenario where the costs for maintaining the grid shift to low-income consumers and communities of color, leaving disadvantaged ratepayers subsidizing affluent solar panel owners. Florida Amendment 1 provides a mandate for regulators to mitigate the effects of regressive cost shifting.

The amendment is backed by the state’s major electric companies, and outlines the rules for solar power in Florida. It would put existing law dealing with the rights of homeowners and businesses to own or lease solar equipment into the state constitution.

“We are pleased that the Central Florida Urban League, the Jacksonville Urban League, and the Pinellas County Urban League have joined us in supporting Amendment 1 and agree that this good amendment will result in increased access to affordable energy in every community,” said “Yes on 1” Co-chairman Dick Batchelor.

“We also agree that Amendment 1 will help break down the barriers that keep communities from utilizing solar energy, while ensuring they are protected and do not unfairly bear the burden of cost shifting.  As we head toward Election Day, we encourage Florida voters to take the opportunity to understand just how important it is to vote yes on Amendment 1 for the future of solar in our Sunshine State.”

Staff Reports


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