Florida Voters Vote Down Bill Aimed At Hamstringing Solar Competition

from the when-astroturf-backfires dept

In an election without many net positives for people that care about technology issues, one small glimmer of good news actually came out of Florida last week. As we’ve been noting, utility companies have been going to some incredibly sleazy lengths to fight back against the rise of solar competition, including the creation of entirely bogus “consumer groups” like Consumers For Smart Solar. Groups like this profess to support solar power, yet have spent the lion’s share of their utility funding to hamstring solar efforts in a state that could benefit immeasurably from the transition.

Fake consumer groups that try to muddy the discourse waters and convince the public to support policies that run contrary to their best interests are nothing new, and have been a cornerstone of telecom lobbying for years. But in Florida, incumbent utilities ran into some trouble recently when one of the think tankers they employed accidentally publicly admitted the group was a sham designed to push Amendment 1. Amendment 1 professed to open up Florida’s solar market to competition, but in reality would have done the exact opposite by saddling solar power efforts with intentionally crippling regulation.

It’s believed that Duke Energy, Florida Power & Light, Gulf Power and Tampa Electric Co. collectively paid around $20.2 million to try and get Amendment 1 passed. Another $6 million was spent on proxy groups tied to utilities that argued for the Amendment. And yet somehow, in an electoral climate where voting against your best self interests is the new sexy, Florida voters defeated the proposal by a narrow margin.

Of course Florida utilities won’t be deterred, and are looking to impose all manner of other new restrictions on solar providers so they won’t have to compete, and won’t need to pay solar-powered homes that are contributing power back to the grid. But as local Florida news outlets have noted these efforts may have had the reverse impact than intended, with solar’s popularity surging in the wake of these utilities’ plans to try and fight an obvious evolutionary path:

“I don?t think this was their intent, but what the utilities did with Amendment 1 was bring the discussion of solar energy development in Florida to the forefront,? said Delp, who is working with a company building a 30-megawatt private solar farm in Leesburg. ?It?s now a kitchen table issue. There is awareness that there is a lack of solar in Florida and that we lag behind so many other states.”

Obviously this isn’t the end of the conversation. While Miami Beach is spending $400 million to raise their roads in an attempt to buy itself 40 years in the face of rising sea levels, we just elected a President that believes climate change is a Chinese-manufactured hoax. That said, it’s at least marginally entertaining that attempts to hamstring solar energy competition in Florida failed largely because the incumbent utilities got too cocky.

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Comments on “Florida Voters Vote Down Bill Aimed At Hamstringing Solar Competition”

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art guerrilla (profile) says:

as a floridian, couple points to add...

1. solar initiative flew beneath the radar for the most part, the only ads were korporate pro-amendment ads, which were kind of weird, which is what made me prick my ears up about it…
2. until my spidey sense tingled because of the weird ads, didn’t know what it was about, but took about 5 minutes of googling to figure out it was a stalking horse for Big Energy…
3. as far as that goes, *MOST* people i talked with about did NOT know it was a let’s-help-korporations-screw-us-over amendment, UNTIL they took a look at it at the last minute…
4. further, i know my m-in-law mistakenly voted FOR it when she certainly was opposed to it once she found out what it was…
5. *of course*, one of the main problems, is that people saw ‘solar’ in the amendment, thought for sure it was something positive which benefited us 99%, but it was only when you delved into the details that you *might* figure out it was a protectionist scheme for Big Energy…
the usual sham and scam of naming something ‘Free Beer’, when it turns out we are protecting Big Beer with our monies…

Karl Bode (profile) says:

Re: as a floridian, couple points to add...

After 16 years of writing about telecom I have a real nose for this bullshit, as it gives off a very specific odor. This sort of disinformation works incredibly well. These tactics have done real damage in terms of ISPs being able to pass state laws that hamstring towns and cities’ ability to make their own local broadband infrastructure decisions.

Glad Floridians took notice.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: as a floridian, couple points to add...

Wouldn’t have been a problem if you guys would support a free market but you don’t.

Right now where I live in Texas we are complete whores out here for this regulation shit. Cannot disconnect from electric co because regulations.

Want Solar? Perfect, but no you cannot put them on that side of the house because of a lot of other socialists want rules in place to tell me what to do so THEY can have their prop values 25 cents higher per sqft. What if the optimum side of the house that faces direct sun the most is facing a road? well then fuck you citizens, where do you think you think you live? Land of the Free? Hah ha haaaa you filthy loser!

Good to see that Florida figured a few things out and cock blocked the corporate overlords out there. Texas likes to do everything BIG, including folding real big when it comes to their liberty.

Wendy Cockcroft (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 as a floridian, couple points to add...

Where “Socialist” means “People I disagree with.”

For the record I keep hearing awful things about HOAs — mostly on TD. I do wish people would use the right words to describe things. “Socialism” is where the state controls resources and the means of production. “Dictators” are bossy people.

Orlando says:

Re: Re: Solar Propaganda

…Geeez, a totally biased & one-sided view from TechDirt

Amendment1 primarily aimed to eliminate MANDATORY taxpayer subsidies to the tiny percentage of people who chose to install home solar-energy equipment.

How is it just & fair for citizens without solar equipment to be FORCED to financially subsidize people who choose much more expensive solar-energy ??

The heavily regulated electric utility companies are just the middleman… forced by the government to charge higher electricity prices to most consumers– and hand that money over to the saintly solar hobbyists. Solar is much more expensive than conventional electricity… when all costs are honestly calculated. The utility companies were absolutely correct on this issue, but a constitutional amendment was not the best choice for change.

Amendment1 actually received a clear majority of Floridian votes, but Florida law requires a 60% majority for an amendment vote.

A fair and honest treatment of this issue would be much more helpful than this typical green-energy propaganda.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Solar Propaganda

Floridian here; When you say MANDATORY taxpayer subsidies, does that include selling back the unused energy? Because I honestly didn’t understand what they were asking.

“How is it just & fair for citizens without solar equipment to be FORCED to financially subsidize people who choose much more expensive solar-energy ?? “

Not being an ass, I honestly need the above statement defined. Because if were talking selling back the unused energy generated by solar I would disagree. If you saying taking money from grid customer and giving it to solar customers so they can install expensive solar systems, well hardly seems fair to me. Now; If a solar company wants to lease the equipment to me, and give a significantly reduced price on the equipment but THEY get to sell the unused energy back to the power company, then well why shouldn’t I be able to do that?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Solar Propaganda

If you sell back solar power at the price you pay for power, then it is subsidized. The utility pays a much lower price for power wholesale, as it needs increase in price over wholesale to pay for maintenance, spot price fluctuation, and other overhead, which otherwise would have to be broken out as fees, which would likely not see Public Utility Commission approval, and would cause other complaints.

Wholesale pricing however ruins the market for solar, since it is worth a whole lot less than retail.

In addition, the utility must provide equipment to ensure that solar installations to do not alter the phase angle, frequency, or voltage on the line overmuch, as this causes damage to ALL the connected equipment. This costs money, but is usually fronted by the generators. However, many solar installs, especially the cheapest ones or homebrewed ones, lack this equipment, and may emit “Sine waves” that are little better than square waves, and thus pollute the waveform for all the subscribers. Thus unless grid-tied solar is REQUIRED to frequency, phase, and wave match, the customers of the utility bear the cost, either in damaged equipment and shortened lifespans of appliances, or in increase rates due to the increase amount of equipment the utilities must deploy to mitigate this, and usually in both.

Now, I support the Utilities paying spot price plus a slight premium for solar power. This means that the solar install is treated like any other generation plant in price fluctuations plus a little for delivering clean power that many markets are beginning to require. This incentivizes solar plants to be built by larger scale generators using economic rather than solely legislative measures, while still allowing the overhead of the grid to be paid for. But Retail pricing is too much to pay for solar, as is if it ever was able to generate most of the needs of grid, then the rates would drastically increase, as the overhead, being largely fixed, would be spread over fewer and fewer kilowatts of wholesale purchased power. This is without any mandate on the utilities to install it and raise their generation cost, just a matter of overhead being spread over fewer units.

Full disclosure: I have family in the utility business, support Nuclear power, and think that the proposal here was seriously shady, but appreciate the seeming intent of allowing customers to not subsidize the solar power while protecting their right to install panels. Amendments are the wrong place for energy policy of any kind however.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Solar Propaganda

Thank you for taking the time to explain your position. I’m going to have to agree with you in regards to the pricing structure. It shouldn’t cost the power company more money to accept power from solar generators than other means.

“If you sell back solar power at the price you pay for power, then it is subsidized. “

Is that what this Amendment was trying to accomplish? To deny the solar generators the ability to sell their excess power at retail prices instead of wholesale? Because if that is indeed the case; Then that seems fair, especially if OTHER power generators are only getting wholesale. Because if the power company DID have to pay retail, then the only recourse the power company would have would be to raise the prices across the board to cover it. Correct?

I think I’ll do some more research on this.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Solar Propaganda

Because maintenance, spot price fluctuation, and other overhead are things that home owners do not have to worry themselves about, these are only things that big more intelligent corporations are burdened with.

It might make more sense to simply call it what it is … a disincentive, because they do not want you to give them less of your hard earned money and they do not give a shit about pollution.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Solar Propaganda

Now hang on. Lets keep this conversation logical. If it takes big money equipment to make the energy coming from solar generators usable by the power companies, and the power companies have to buy the equipment to do that, then they have to recover the costs somehow right? I have to assume that equipment Isn’t free.

Also; If a power company is getting it’s energy from multiple sources. Lets say a couple of turbine farms, a few hundred solar generators, and a couple of coal plants, they need to have some type of standard of paying for the energy right?. Why should they be forced to buy back Joe Homeowners energy at an increased rate if they can buy the same clean energy from a turbine farm at significantly reduced prices?

So in summary; It costs them more to render the energy usable, they don’t get the energy when they want it, AND they have to pay retail for the buyback. Is all that true? If it is, it’s no wonder they want to crush the whole consumer solar industry.

Orlando says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Solar Propaganda


I’m primarily talking about electric utilities FORCED to buy electricity from solar owners at sharply uneconomical prices/conditions… and passing those unnecessary costs on to normal retail utility customers (Net Metering & Avoided Cost Payback Rate)

(of course there are also many big “direct” taxpayer subsidies to solar/renewable energy, but that’s another topic)

Electric Utility companies are now FORCED to buy solar power when they don’t need it and at prices much higher than they could produce it themselves. Plus, those utilities are required to maintain full generation &distribution capacity 24/7… regardless of any solar-power sell-back that might exist.
Average retail electricity consumers ultimately pay ALL these costs.

If you want a solar powered home, it is only fair that you pay the true costs of that system– and very unfair for you to force some of that cost upon your neighbors.

The solar cheerleaders here have no clue about the real world economics & technology of generating electricity and maintaining a 24/7 electric grid… on a large scale.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Solar Propaganda

The electricity retailers have had all the time & money in the world to show the “homebrew” solar generators how to do it better by installing solar systems on customers roofs & giving the homeowner free use of the power generated from the retailer owned system whilst also charging them for power used from the grid when the sun isn’t shining. Win, win, win.

But then they wouldn’t just be a retailer, they would be generators too & the big generators would have kittens when their product became less valuable due to the influx of rooftop competition owned by the retailers. It does get complicated when the retailers & big generators are part of the same corporation, just trading under different names.

RJ632 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Solar Propaganda

Ah yes, another troll who supports monopoly utilities and enjoys spreading false information as gospel. Educate yourself with the facts regarding this issue so that you stop sounding like a horses ass. Not one document by an independent organization supports those viewpoints except for the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) which is a trade group funded and supported by the power monopolies. However contrary to that multiple independent sources state the opposite to those viewpoints. https://electrek.co/2016/10/30/how-the-electricity-utilities-use-a-little-bit-of-political-jiu-jitsu-to-steal-the-sun/

OGquaker says:

Re: Re: Re: Ostrich Propaganda

I, for one am real sick of paying and maintaining parks I will never use, waterways that I have no boat for, custom houses that regulate imports like TVs and iPhones and junk I have no money to ever buy.
I, for one am tired of repaving ‘streets’ with waste products from your gasoline every five years because the VOC hydrocarbons in the Koch Brother’s asphalt evaporates and they must sell EVERY THING or pile it outside Detroit. This is tax money spent just for your one-person portable livingrooms and four tire office that you leave running to power a 6 watt SuperPhone.

P.S. I carried a hand size ‘cell phone’ for a few weeks in 1991, most people found it vulgar.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

If “your best interests” include the survival of your grandchildren, your country, and your planet, then yes, lots of people voted against those. We’re firmly on a track to +2C by 2100 without immediate coordinated global action to reduce emissions and develop alternative energy.

A +2C future means massive droughts, famines, coastal inundation, wars over water and food, and refugee problems that make what we face today look trivial. Hundreds of millions of people will die, either slowly (starvation) or quickly (conflict, floods, superstorms). Hundreds of millions more will have substantially shortened lifespans due to the environmental stress, economic disruption, displacement, and higher seasonal temperatures.

And if those efforts cease entirely — which now seems likely given that US leadership will be withdrawn — then we won’t hit +2C. We’ll go right past it on the way to +4C.

A +4C future means that all of our arguments about surveillance and racism and policing and health care and everything else become moot. At +4C, there’s no such thing as “civilization” any more. Most of the planet’s population will die. A few might scrape by — for a while. But only for a while: there is a substantial probability that somewhere around +4C, positive feedback really kicks in and the pace of warming accelerates. That is not a survivable event.

If this happens, our grandchildren might live to see it — optimistically presuming they survive the events en route. But they won’t live much longer.

Now I’m sure some of you want to argue that it’s not happening, that it’s a hoax, whatever. Okay. Fine. I hold one degree in science, another in engineering, and most of a third in applied math. I’ve been reading climatology texts and papers for over a decade. If you haven’t got any background and you haven’t done the homework — as in “reading the original texts, research papers and reports”: kindly shut up, because you haven’t got the faintest idea what you’re talking about.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

While I, personally, am a bit more skeptical of the doomsday predictions (it all depends on how the water cycle responds to the temperature rise — hot and wet is a far different outcome than hot and dry), there’s a far easier argument for controlling CO2 that doesn’t depend whatsoever on your position on global warming: Carbon In = Carbon Out!

That’s right — controlling CO2 controls fuel consumption, and there’s only so much fossil fuel to go around. Combine this with the tendency of markets to react relatively late to commodity shortages, as prices don’t start signaling trouble until the shortage is already underway, and there you have it.

CO2 is our “coarse” control over how much fuel we burn through as an economy — and if we can accept that, we can get on the path to landing softly when the oil runs out instead of finding ourselves surprised, as the capital investment required to make that transition would be “too little, too late” if market forces alone drove that transition.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

People have been bitching about doom and gloom for ever.

For the climate changers, correlation directly equals causation and to hell with the real science.

Yes the Earth appears to be warming, we have measurements, Oh but we can’t trust those because it looks like those have been fucked with.
Lets just say it is happening anyways.
Also lets blame CO2 as one of the biggies because we can use it for political ends to generate government revenue.
Also lets blame big industry, even tho termites still far more methane than anything.
Also, lets not let the cows fart because well fuck that shit.

I read about this stuff and begin to thing. Is this Science, or some bastard Church of Climate?

Even if the numbers are real, and I am not claiming they are not either, there still remains the question of is man the true cause? Yes I have seen many charts a whole lot of charts in fact that shows the hockey stick, but I also notice those charts are doctored to ‘accentuate’ that hockey stick as well.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“employers may not be impressed with your global climate change bona fides”

And now you know WHY this has achieved cult status.

When you Scientific credentials require you to believe a certain way, it is no longer science. There are numerous points in human history where people that have invented awesome things were laughed out for their “global climate change bona fides” too.

Do science a favor and take a long walk off a short cliff.

“Science progresses one funeral at a time!”
~Max Planck

Once your service is done we might get a little farther down the road!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Evidence can be quit subjective.

There is a broken window and inside there is a baseball with glass on it.

Is that proof that the baseball was responsible for breaking the window? No, it is not proof at all… just evidence!

It is up to you to choose if that will pass muster for your own proof, but other people may see it differently. The science on climate change is the same. I see the evidence, but it is not proving it yet.

And I am specifically talking about the part where everyone thinks it is clear that mankind is the cause and not due to some other unnoticed factors. And even then if it is due to mankind, is it in part or all the way? Climate is not a static phenomenon, we have insufficient data to be calling for the level of lock down they are asking.

Sure lets do something, but lets allow the market adjust without putting it all into the hands of easy to buy politicians. Because if there really is a problem you can bet they will not be resisting the $$$ in their campaign contributions to really address it!

I.T. Guy says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

For all the doomsday fear mongering… I NEVER see the simple solution… Earth’s natural CO2 filters. Not one politician says we need more green spaces. Why is that? Why no world outcry to stop depleting the rain forests? No mandates for green rooftops in dense urban cities. No minimum acreage for single homes (nationwide, some townships in pa do this already) You see all these McNeighborhoods sprouting up where they clear the trees and don’t replace any of them.

Yeah… I’m tired of the Doomsday CO2’ers touting the end-of-days scenario. Take the time used to whine on the internet and go plant a damn tree or three.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

  1. I can tell that none of you have done the required reading to become literate on this issue. Perhaps, before you weigh in on something this important, you should consider reading at least one book on the subject and a few of the most important papers.

    2. Yes, preserving rainforests and greenspace and creating urban enclaves (like green rooftops) are all important. Yes, there are people working on these. Yes, they’ll help. No, it’s not nearly enough. Not even close. There’s also the problem of net carbon: for example, putting in a rooftop garden on a 60-story office building requires moving mass, therefore it requires energy. What’s the source of that energy? Is it diesel fuel in a truck that brings in the dirt? What’s the source of the energy that powers the service elevator that lifts it all to the roof? And so on. It’s NOT simple. Read. Learn.

    3. One of the many things you all seem to be missing is a grasp of the scale of the problem. Even if we stop modern civilization dead in its tracks today, the temperature is going to continue to go up, because the processes involved are enormous and can no more be arrested in place than an oil tanker can be stopped on a dime. Again: read. Learn.

    4. There’s nothing doomsdayish, alarmist, or anything else about what I wrote. One of the things that you will notice, if you actually do your homework, is that climate science as a whole has been consistently (but not terribly) wrong for the past 10, 20, 30 years. That is: predictions have always been wrong on the conservative side, and subsequent observations have shown that things are getting worse faster than we thought. This is understandable: good scientists are reserved by nature and not given to hyberbole. But it does mean that however bad current consensus says things are: they’re probably worse. There will probably be a paper published in 2017 or 2018 that demonstrates that we need to revise estimates upward — again — because of another process that someone has realized is in play and is contributing to the problem.

    5. Mindful of the Chinese aphorism that every crisis conceals opportunity, there ARE tremendous opportunities here for economic growth, including jobs. But not mining coal: that has to stop. Not fracking: that has to stop. Not in any of those areas. But in other, new areas, we could put millions of people to work AND slow this down, maybe even stop it, simultaneously. But that won’t happen. We’re going to strip-mine, we’re going to drill, we’re going to frack, we’re going to roll back emissions requirements — and a lot of people will do quite well as a result. But only for a while.

    If you doubt any of this, then don’t waste your time arguing here: GO READ. Invest the time and energy that I have (and that others have) to actually understand the physics, the chemistry, the biology, the geology in play.

    (It never ceases to amaze me that people who use the Internet and cell phones and antibiotics and MRI scanners and satellite telecommunications and all the other goodies that science has delivered somehow think it’s gotten all those things right…and somehow, inexplicably, gotten climate change completely wrong.)

afn29129 (profile) says:


When I first saw the proposed Amendment on sample ballot. I said to myself ‘no way! no how! This is better handled by the legislative branch and doesn’t need to be a constitutional amendment.’ This sort of stuff appears in just about every regular FL election, efforts to amend the constitution. It’s just too damn easy to amend so lots of BS gets proposed.

art guerrilla (profile) says:

Re: Floridian....

well, cant disagree that a constitutional amendment is overkill on what should be legislative solutions, BUT,
1. the legislators will NOT address these issues of importance to us 99%, ONLY the 1% donor klass get their wishlist fulfilled,
2. they make ‘normal’ law amendments all but impossible to bring as referenda, so we citizens (AND korporate shills) are essentially forced to use the constitutional amendment route…
3. i think the 60% to pass makes a high bar to eliminate most of the frivilous proposals…
unless/until ‘our’ (sic) representatives start representing us 99% instead of the 1% donor klass, we have little choice…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Floridian....

When I first saw the proposed Amendment on sample ballot. I said to myself ‘no way! no how! This is better handled by the legislative branch and doesn’t need to be a constitutional amendment.’ This sort of stuff appears in just about every regular FL election, efforts to amend the constitution. It’s just too damn easy to amend so lots of BS gets proposed.

I think this indicates the real reason the bill didn’t pass — not because the majority of Floridians saw through the doublespeak in the Amendment or did some degree of research to make an informed decision, but simply because they saw that an amendment to the Constitution was being floated that had nothing at all to do with what the Constitution should contain. And I have to say: well done!

There’s no need to check facts and waste time investigating every topic under the sun when you can do the simple check: “Does this proposal make sense as a change to the constitution?”

And now, of course, as Karl noted, the fact that Big Energy was caught trying to adversely modify the Constitution has got the topic into public discussion.

I hope other electorates practice the same “no nonsense” logic in the years to come 🙂

Anonymous Coward says:

Not true that it was narrow defeated. From the article you link.

> By 8:30 p.m. EST and with nearly three-quarters of precincts reporting, the vote was almost evenly split, falling short of the 60 percent needed for a state constitutional amendment to become law.

So it really didn’t get anything close to the 60% majority needed to pass.

I.T. Guy says:



Climate changes… civilizations are effected… fuking deal with it already. You could drop the CO2 to 200ppm and the climate will still change.


But hey… there’s no sensationalism in the natural way of things.

Baron von Robber says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

But not like today. Never in Earth’s history has CO2 risen so fast. But it’s not surprising when Earth locks up CO2 over millions of years by burying dead forests/animals in strata, then we come along and dig it/pipe it back up in the form of coal or oil (hydrocarbons). We pump way more CO2 into the atmosphere than we did 200 years ago.



Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

What a pity that you haven’t bothered to do the homework either. I suppose it’s easier for you to cling to your ridiculous preconceived notions than to actually study thermodynamics and all the other topics required to actually understand the problem.

Yes, climate has changed before — and recently (20,000 years). But never this fast. Not even close. And the pace is accelerating. It’s going to change more in the 200 years following 1900 than in the last 20,000. A LOT more. And it won’t stop then: without concerted global effort, it’s going to keep going.

But you rest easy, in your ignorance. Tell yourself it isn’t happening. Tell yourself that the people who’ve actually done the intellectual heavy lifting are wrong. Tell yourself that the steady parade of published papers showing consequences like sea level rise, increasing drought conditions, increased localized heavy rainfall totals, and melting permafrost methane release are all wrong. Tell yourself that your grandchildren won’t be affected. Tell yourself that some of the smartest, most careful, most sober people on this planet — professional scientists — have all gone off the rails over nothing.

Because it doesn’t matter. This is happening whether you believe it or not, whether you see it or not, whether you understand it or not. (And you clearly don’t: you lack even the understanding that you should have by lunch of your first day of climatology 101.) I can only hope that you live long enough to realize how horribly wrong you are. Maybe your grandchildren will forgive you.

But they shouldn’t.

Anonymous Coward says:

Another Floridian here; I was caught completely off guard from this bill on the ballot, my fault of course. The way it was worded was crazy. I had to read it 3 times and I’m still not sure exactly what they were asking.

“A vote “for” Amendment 1 supported adding a section in the state constitution giving residents of Florida the right to own or lease solar energy equipment for personal use while also enacting constitutional protection for any state or local law ensuring that residents who do not produce solar energy can abstain from subsidizing its production. “

So this is saying add to the Florida constitution the right to own the equipment, but you can’t sell the unused energy back to the power company? Or were they saying that the state can’t give money to people to install solar? Maybe both?

“A vote “against” Amendment 1 opposed constitutionalizing the right to own or lease solar equipment and the protection of laws preventing subsidization of solar energy, thereby leaving the personal use of solar power protected as a right by state statute and not by the constitution. “

Vote against says; No to adding the right to have the equipment, and no to subsidization?

Does anyone know what the fuck this jibberish means?

Teekrul says:

Re: Re:

Here’s 2 ways they look at the subsidization…
You and I are neighbors
I have solar & I produce more power than I use.
You don’t have any solar.
The power lines go down 2 blocks down the street. Since they make no money off me then the money they make off you (and the other 20 houses between us) goes to repairing those lines. Since the lines were fixed but i didn’t pay into it then i was subsidized.
And since I produce more power than i use, i sell my extra back to the pcompany. The pcompany then takes the money they made off you and gives it to me. subsidized again. In the long run they aren’t making money off me and instead taking the money they got from you and paying me with it.

You’re bill doesn’t go up (actually it could end up going down since more power is being produced than needed) because of my solar. Their profits go down which is what they are against.

Anonymous Coward says:

It seems to me that most of the opposition is in selling the energy back to the power companies. So if someone wants to shoulder the cost of installing solar in their home, why not just go completely off the grid? But the panels, battery system for storage, and maybe a backup gas generator for extremely heavy load times or when the solar system has an outage?

Is their a law preventing me from installing a stand alone solar system, and not connecting to the grid at all in Florida?

Why should the power company be FORCED to buy back the unused energy?

Niall (profile) says:

Re: Re:

In part because we are trying to incentivise solar – you want more renewables, and you want to encourage people to shoulder the large initial cost of installation – selling surplus electricity back is an incentive there, and a greater share of electricity generated greenly is a win for society. The trick is making sure that solar users aren’t unfairly advantaged (much – they are paying out for the solar) and that the electricity companies treat everyone fairly.

But it’s fair that maybe the payback is up to even a little lower than the wholesale price, and that the

Remember, there are large subsidies to coal, nuclear, oil, etc. But because these are further downstream it’s not as immediate as whether your neighbour is getting money back on his investment, apparently out of your pocket.

Essentially, everyone is subsidising everyone else. That’s one of the whole points and benefits of society.

LAquaker (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Photovoltaic generates the most electricity at the peak use times, Power Co.’s save a lot by not having to kick in ‘peakers’ (often petroleum-fed jet engine generators, or hours-lead-time coal plants) OR NOT BUILD THEM.

California, looking ahead in the early 1990’s, completed a study concluding that if every electric car was plugged in when parked, the mass of batteries would preclude the need to build any more grid steam generator plants, nether coal or NG. In a panic, the ‘Utility’s’ stopped that with the 1995 ‘BlueBook deregulation’ shit, costing $40 billion+ tax dollars AND going around the courts to bail out poor Nuke-Plant ‘investors’; rich people to big to fail.
Illinois just did the same on December 1st.

Not having a grid connection red-tags a home in many cities; ‘No Occupancy allowed’.

50%+ of the US grid power IS LOST IN DELIVORY, thus distributed ‘Co-Generation’ is very attractive.

P.S. Texas is NOT tied to the National Grid.
P.P.S. Petroleum production requires massive grid electrical power.

Disclaimer; I have not had a back door most of my life, and have lived off-the-grid sometimes for years.

Rob Devoro says:

Customers in FL being punished for putting up Solar Panels

In Florida——–> Starting November 1st, 2016: Any customer of Peace River Electric Coop who puts up solar panels has to sign a Solar Interconnection Agreement which now includes a penalty of $5.00 per kilowatt — (usually 11 or 14 cents per kW) — for every kilowatt of power that is used during and after 15 minutes of higher than usual power usage. This can easily turn into an additional $100-$150 dollars extra added to your bill per month, just because you put up solar panels or generated your own electricity using a renewable energy source.

We are a captive customer base and we are being raked over the coals (literally, as much of the power comes from coal-fired power plants) paying 11 and 14 cents a kW; while FPL customers pay 6 cents a kW.

Peace River Electric Coop not only refuses to provide an incentive for going solar…but is actively punishing the customers who do.

Jonny says:

Re: Customers in FL being punished for putting up Solar Panels

is this still going on. I am considering to install solar panels and currently Peace River is my electric provider. I read the interconnection agreement and I did not see any reference to them charging extra.
Can you provide me a link to where this is written?


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