Energy choice amendment gets signatures, but success is still a long way off

energy costs 2
766,200 signatures are required.

A proposed Constitutional amendment that would change Florida’s energy industry might be a little closer to the 2020 ballot.

Nevertheless, gathering signatures doesn’t mean the much-reviled amendment is a shoo-in.

As of Thursday morning, the push to create an “open and competitive energy market” announced it had roughly two-thirds the 766,200 signatures needed by Feb. 1, 2020, for ballot access. However, less than 400,000 of those signatures have been verified — a long way from the key step to actually getting on the ballot.

Sponsoring organization Citizens for Energy Choice (CFEC) entitled the proposed amendment “Right to Competitive Energy Market for Customers of Investor-Owned Utilities.”

If the amendment passes, it would radically change Florida’s energy sector — allowing customers of investor-owned utilities to shop for the best price — with the possibility of myriad unforeseen consequences. For example, current investor-owned utilities, or IOUs, would be hamstrung, restricted only to construction or maintenance of infrastructure.

A vast number of organizations and individuals oppose the proposal, from business groups and the Urban League to the League of Cities. They say it’s misleading. Sixteen organizations have already filed briefs against the measure with the state Supreme Court.

Attorney General Ashley Moody had already come out against the proposed ballot item.

The group behind this movement Citizens for Energy Choice, raised over $3 million through June. July finance activity is not yet available. The sole funding for the effort is Coalition for Energy Choice, with Infinite Energy offering staff help.

Infinite Energy is a multistate operator with a Gainesville branch. The company also operates in Texas, Georgia, New York and New Jersey.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


4 comments

  • Dan

    August 8, 2019 at 10:43 am

    I’m all for breaking the over priced Monopolies. We pay 25% more as Duke customers than everyone else in the state of Florida. As long as they keep bribing the legislature through donations and PAC laundering, those who don’t pay Duke is more than happy to have us pay more.

    • Eliot

      August 9, 2019 at 8:48 am

      Competition in the utility space doesn’t work very well. Transmission and distribution is a natural monopoly. Customer usage consists of huge daily swings as well as monthly and seasonal swings. Lead time for new power plants is on the order of years. Energy prices like natural gas fluctuate hour by hour. Base loaded units which are the cheapest to run have unexpected outages which play havoc with spot prices and electricity can’t be stored too easily. Utilities are a natural monopoly and the commission regulation and interconnect models work well. In the past companies like Enron gamed the system and California consumers suffered immensely.

  • Robert Rigby.

    August 9, 2019 at 11:58 am

    At an Introductory presentation of a new technology to make fresh water from sea water (reverse osmosis), without using “Electricity”!!! I made the mistake of announcing; “we could also make “Electricity”, Wrong decision, I should have kept my mouth shut! After that, two FDEP employees stood up and said “FDEP would fully fund the development process”! According to FDEP, funding would come through Enterprise Florida! Enterprise Florida was very direct in telling us, NO!, but Hell No! Florida didn’t have money for such nonsense! Southeast Florida was having a drought at the time! If you have questions, my email address is [email protected]

  • Bonnie S Hayflick

    August 9, 2019 at 2:54 pm

    Thanks A.G. for the compelling article on energy choices…Powering our future is the focus of St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Breakfast on August 16 at 8:00 am, Shell Hall inside the World Golf Hall of Fame at the World Golf Village, St. Augustine, FL. Eric Silagy, President and CEO, Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), will be the keynote speaker.

    To register for the EDC Quarterly Breakfast, visit http://www.sjcchamber.com and go to the calendar of events. Admission cost is $40 for St. Johns County Chamber members at an Economic Development Council level of membership and $65 for non-Economic Development Council members. Non-chamber members may call Erin Johnson, Sales and Marketing Manager at 904-829-5681 in order to register.

    To find out more about the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce or to become a member visit http://www.sjcchamber.com, call 904.829.5681, or find them on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sjcchamber.

Comments are closed.


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