Who is Consumers for Smart Solar?
Consumers for Smart Solar is a diverse, bipartisan coalition of business, civic, and faith-based organizations working to promote solar energy without sacrificing commonsense consumer protections.
We believe Florida needs more solar and that we have to do it the right way. That means protecting consumers from scam artists, rip-offs and long-term contract traps while ensuring that those who do not choose solar electricity are treated fairly, too.
What is Amendment 1?
Amendment 1 is made for Florida’s electricity consumers, like you. It guarantees your right to place solar panels on your home, if you so choose. And it places that right in Florida’s constitution, where politicians and special interests can’t tamper with it.
We think solar is an essential part of Florida’s energy future—after all, this is the Sunshine State. Just as importantly, we don’t think Floridians should have to sacrifice basic consumer protections just to enjoy greater access to solar energy. That’s what Amendment 1 is all about: greater access to solar and commonsense consumer protections that safeguard against rip-offs, scam artists and long-term contract traps.
What exactly does Amendment 1 do?
Amendment 1 guarantees your right to put solar panels on your home. It also allows individuals and businesses to own and lease solar equipment.
Amendment 1 also allows for commonsense consumer protections that safeguard solar customers from fraudulent practices, like long-term contract traps and overbilling.
Lastly, Amendment 1 ensures that all electricity consumers are treated fairly. If you do not choose solar, Amendment 1 makes sure that you are not forced to subsidize the energy choices of those who do.
Why is it important to place this right in the constitution?
Putting Amendment 1 in Florida’s constitution keeps it out of reach of politicians and special interests who might try to tamper with it. For example, some new businesses want to sell solar power to consumers—but they don’t want consumers to own and operate their own solar equipment. We don’t think that’s right. That’s why Amendment 1 protects your right to own and operate your own solar equipment.
Will Amendment 1 increase access to solar energy in Florida?
Yes! Amendment 1 will promote the increased use of solar power in Florida by safeguarding solar rights in Florida’s constitution, allowing for commonsense consumer protections, and ensuring that all Floridians are treated fairly, whether they choose to put solar panels on their home or not. Putting this framework into the state Constitution creates certainty for those contemplating an investment in solar.
By guaranteeing your right to own solar panels and paving the way for commonsense consumer protections, Amendment 1 ensures that solar is done the right way. That’s an important part of getting solar off the ground and ensuring that it is viewed as a legitimate, practical energy option—rather than a magnet for rip-offs and scams.
How does Amendment 1 affect those who do not choose solar?
Good question! We love solar, but we understand that solar energy may not be right for everyone. Amendment 1 ensures that those who do not wish to lease or buy solar energy are treated fairly. That means ensuring that our public officials maintain their ability to stop unfair subsidies. Believe it or not, some special interests want to force those who don’t choose solar into subsidizing the energy choices of others. Worse yet, they want our elected officials to be powerless to stop these subsidies. Amendment 1 protects the rights of consumers who don’t choose solar too.
Can I have solar in Florida right now?
Yes, homeowners can lease or buy rooftop solar panels to generate electricity for their own use. However, some businesses that sell solar power to consumers don’t want Floridians to own their own solar panels and generate their own electricity. Amendment 1 makes sure your right to solar is protected—and that special interests can’t mess with it.
What happens when solar customers run out of solar power?
The sun doesn’t shine all the time—even in Florida. When that happens, solar customers rely on non-solar backup power from the electrical grid. Solar customers also use the grid to sell excess energy generated by their rooftop solar panels. Amendment 1 ensures that everyone who uses the grid helps support its maintenance, regardless of whether or not they choose solar. This provision is specifically designed to protect non-solar consumers. Without it, non-solar consumers who use traditional energy will face ever-increasing costs to repair and maintain the electrical grid we all use. Basically, Amendment 1 ensures all electricity consumers are treated fairly.
If studies rank Florida as one of the top states for solar power potential, why does Florida only rank 13th in solar power generation nationally?
While Florida ranks 13th in overall solar power generation, we rank 1st for voluntary solar generation. All 12 states ahead of Florida have government-mandated quotas for renewable energy generation.
Does Amendment 1 prohibit 3rd party sale of solar electricity?
No. Amendment 1 neither authorizes nor prohibits this business model. It just makes sure that if it is authorized in the future, our elected officials will maintain their authority to provide the same types of consumer protections that all electric consumers in Florida enjoy today.