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Published on September 24th, 2016 | by Cynthia Shahan

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Florida Voters Voted “Yes” For Solar In August, Now Need To Vote “No” In November

September 24th, 2016 by  


73% of Florida voters made things a bit sunnier in August 2016. They approved Amendment 4. Amendment 4 is a ballot measure that makes solar and renewable energy equipment on commercial buildings exempt from property taxes for 20 years, beginning in 2018. Good News.

Florida voters need to vote for solar again in November by voting NO on Amendment 1.

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Solar panels at Save Our Seabirds, previously The Pelican Man. Photo by Cynthia Shahan | CleanTechnica

Regarding the vote for solar (Amendment 4) in August, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) informs that our Sunshine State is finally living up to its name. “Amendment 4 removes financial barriers to smart local investment. It’s clear, Floridians want better access to affordable, clean energy options and this vote is a significant step in the right direction.”

There is no stopping now. Now it is time to vote NO in November on Amendment 1 in November. It is time to keep focused on sustainable energy, clean energy, and renewable energy goals. If you live or vote in Florida, vote again and keep the momentum going.

Amendment 1 is a damaging anti-solar amendment on Florida ballots this November. Neville Williams for the Naples Daily News explains: “It is a devious move by Florida’s regulated power monopolies to forever pocket future profits from solar power and not let competitors provide low-cost solar electricity to homeowners and businesses as they are doing in 46 other states.”

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Filtered light provided by solar panels in Florida. Solar system installed by Brilliant Harvest

Florida has more solar potential than all but two other states in the USA, but it comes in #14 in terms of installed solar power capacity.

Floridians for Solar Choice has been working to bring more solar to the state through more supportive policy, but Amendment 1 on the November ballot would be a big step backward.

An article on WLRN on the solar amendment explains the push–pull of the solar argument. Similar to Williams in Naples, Stephen Smith with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy says, “This amendment (amendment 1) is just an example of the power companies pushing back on consumers who are reducing their dependency on utilities.”

Changing the game is uncomfortable for monopolies. I think of the small nonprofit in North Carolina (see “Who Owns the Sun“) that was making a stand to save money and save the environment but was essentially bullied for its unconventional (in the state) efforts.

WLRN continues, “If you go in your home, and you put in a more efficient refrigerator or a new LED light bulb, you’re going to use less power,” said Smith. “Now, does the utility have a right to say that you’ve got to continue to pay them even though you’re not using as much? I don’t think so.”

For more information, check out Floridian’s for Solar Choice’s Vote No page On Amendment 1

Check out this WMNF coverage of a Pinellas County solar co-op for even more:

 The co-op announcement states, “Homeowners in St. Pete are forming a solar co-op! Co-op members will use their group buying power to get a discounted price for solar panels. If you’ve ever wanted to go solar and live in the St. Pete and Pinellas County area, now is your chance! The the League of Women Voters Florida, Sierra Club, and FL SUN are sponsoring the co-op.”

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About the Author

Cynthia Shahan started writing by doing research as a social cultural and sometimes medical anthropology thinker. She studied and practiced both Waldorf education, and Montessori education. Eventually becoming an organic farmer, licensed AP, and mother of four unconditionally loving spirits, teachers, and environmentally conscious beings born with spiritual insights and ethics beyond this world. (She was able to advance more in this way led by her children.)



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