On December 1st of 2016, the Florida Solar Energy Subsidies and Personal Solar Initiative, also known as Amendment 1, was defeated allowing Florida homeowners with solar systems to continue receiving full credit for excess solar energy generated. Solar energy opponents touted the amendment as a pro-solar policy, however, the amendment would actually slow down solar progress in the state. Amendment 1 would have made it easier for utilities, that already dominate the energy sector in Florida, to charge more fees for solar grid integration; in turn making it more expensive and inconvenient for homeowners to go solar.
What did Supporters and Opponents Argue?
The support campaign, Consumers for Smart Solar, raised a total of $26.4 million in contributions, with a major part of the funding coming from big utility companies. This amount was about 10 times more than the amount fundraised by their opponents. Supporters argued that this amendment would protect the right to produce solar energy while also protecting conventional electricity consumers from unfair prices.
Opponents argued that Amendment 1 was a bill designed by big utility companies to support their dominance over the energy market and inhibit net metering. The campaign group, Floridians for Solar Choice, claimed that Amendment 1 intended to prevent increased solar energy production by homeowners and the sale of excess energy back into the grid under the pretext of consumer protection.
Solar Energy Potential in Florida
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Residential Energy Consumption Survey, electricity accounts for about 90% of the site energy consumed by Florida homes. Floridians spend an average of $1900 on electric annually, a number 40% higher than the U.S. average. These high rates of energy consumption are due to high levels of air conditioning use during the hot summer months. EIA data for 2014 indicates that Florida’s residential retail electricity sales were the second highest in the nation after Texas. Currently, over 75,000 homes in Florida are fully powered by the sun and Florida is projected to add 2,475 MW of solar energy by 2022. Florida constantly ranks among the top 10 sunniest states and averages 128 clear sunny days out of the year. With that much solar power, Florida residents have the potential to generate more solar energy that of 47 other states. We believe Florida is a leading contender in the world of sustainable energy. Homeowners in Florida need knowledge of the solar potential in their state and we are here to tell all homeowners of the incredible benefits of the sun. Are you a homeowner in Florida and are considering going solar? Then educate yourself on solar energy so you can realize that there is no better time to switch to renewable energy. For more information on our services click here or call 1-877-375-1917.