Florida's Amendment One explained

FOX 13 News

- Supporters claim it's the obvious future for powering up Florida. But a new proposed amendment tapping into solar power in Florida is leaving many seeing red.

"The way the initiative is written is it sounds good. It sounds like it would advance solar. But it's not true at all," said Susan Glickman of Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

Glickman says Amendment One, which promises to protect consumers and businesses in the state's initiative toward solar power, is flawed.

"Current law already allows you to own or lease solar panels. We already have that right," she said.

Critics of Amendment One, like Glickman, say the ballot measure is backed by the state's big utility companies as a way to make solar energy more restricted and highly regulated.

Supporters of the amendment disagree.

"All we're doing is codifying in the Constitution the current situation," said Screven Watson of the group Consumers for Smart Solar.

Voters in favor of Amendment One say it encourages the use of solar power, but helps protect consumers from fraud and makes the playing field fair for all energy customers.

"If all the sudden you're going to create a situation where there's haves and have nots, this particular type of energy is regulated, and this one isn't, and you're going to have a situation where you have to raise rates on people who can least afford it. That's not a good business model. It doesn't make sense for consumers and it doesn't make sense for utilities," Watson said.

Still, critics say the measure would mean turning the lights out on solar in Florida.

"What it's intended to do is to make it harder for people and families and businesses to get solar on your roof," Glickman said.

Since it's calling for a change to the Constitution, Amendment One would need 60 percent of the vote in Florida in order to pass.

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