Amendment 1 in Florida Failed - Now What?
Amendment 1 in Florida did not pass. Even though there were slightly more than 50% of the votes cast in favor of the the Amendment, it required a 60% majority to be enacted into law. The power companies in Florida waged an expensive campaign to convince voters that this would be good for them. As numerous newspaper editors, online posters, and other groups have pointed out, this proposed amendment really wasn't good for the average consumer. I understand the power companies protecting their fossil fuel interests, and that dealing with the purchase of consumer's excess power could chip away at their profit. What I have a hard time justifying on their behalf is the monopoly this would have created. By the amendments passing, it would have meant that if I generate excess power from my house, I would be prevented from selling it to my neighbor. I believe that we should be able to put energy on a free market, inter-house, inter-neighborhood, inter-state.
So, what happens now that the amendment failed? Nothing, for now. However, this could all change at the legislative level. Don't think for a minute that the power companies will attempt to take a run at this again through the state's legislature. It is critical that the consumers in the state of Florida keep an eye out toward future bills that may harm them. Even that is not enough - Florida remains one of the few states where consumers are not allowed to sell their excess power to anyone except for the established power companies. This has had a stifling effect on the growth of solar expansion in the 'Sunshine State'. Florida legislators, are you listening?