Conservatives in Florida petition for 'solar choice'

Signal of change / Conservatives in Florida petition for 'solar choice'

By Futures Centre / 01 Apr 2015

A petition to enable peer-to-peer sale of solar power in Florida has gained over 72,000 signatures, verified by Florida's Divison of Elections. The petition is led by Floridians for Solar Choice and is gaining wide support through a diverse coalition of more than two dozen businesses, conservative groups, faith communities, clean energy and environmental organizations.

The petition calls on the state "to encourage and promote local small-scale solar-generated electricity production and to enhance the availability of solar power to customers". It asks for this to be achieved by limiting and preventing regulatory and economic barriers, including rate, service and territory regulations on those supplying local solar electricity, as well special rates, fees, charges, tariffs, or terms and conditions imposed by utilities on consumers.

The wording must gain Supreme Court approval, and then the campaign will need to collect and have verified an additional 600,000 signatures by 1 February 2016, to place the proposed constitutional amendment on the November 2016 ballot.

Florida is one of only five states in the US that prohibit citizens from buying electricity from companies that will put solar panels on your home or business, according to Floridians for Solar Choice.

Image: tai viinikka / Flickr

So what?

Renewable energy has often been seen as a left-wing cause, aligned with the need to curb global warming by limiting carbon emissions through moving away from fossil fuels. However, this petition offers an example of support for solar based on individual rights, and in particular small-scale trade.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of solar power as a choice for energy consumers. What if the notion of 'energy choice' were to grow as a rights movement? Will demand for small-scale solar energy swell as a result?

Sources

Floridians for Solar Choice (2014, March 24) Solar Ballot Initiative Is a Step Closer to Supreme Court Review

View the petition 

What might the implications of this be? What related signals of change have you seen?

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