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Columbia County Observer

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Florida News

Push for New Law: Cheaper Solar Power for Sunshine State

"End the Solar Eclipse in the Sunshine State"

TALAHASSEE, FL – An unlikely alliance of environmentalists and political conservatives is banding together to bring more solar power choices to the Sunshine State.

The newly formed political action committee Floridians for Solar Choice is gathering signatures for a constitutional amendment to allow businesses and homeowners to generate their own solar energy and sell it directly to consumers.

Currently, Florida is one of only five states that mandates solar power be bought and sold only through electric utilities.

Tory Perfetti, chairman of Floridians for Solar Choice, says there are many different reasons why Floridians should support a change.

"This is about freedom of choice," he maintains. "This is about the free market. And it's about protecting the environment - with commonsense, free market principles involved."

Florida receives more solar radiant energy than any other state east of the Mississippi. The group claims that utilities, allied with the State Legislature, have blocked others from harnessing that power.

Perfetti says the proposed amendment seeks to break the hold that utilities have on solar, and make the expensive solar panels more affordable for businesses and homeowners to install.

"What this ballot initiative is going to do is to allow you to go in to contract, and have that company that you contract with, install that solar at their cost - fronting the cost - then purchasing the energy 'backwards through,' thus over time, lowering your utility bills and saving you money overall," he explains.

Perfetti is also the Florida director of the group Conservatives for Energy Freedom, although he says in his view, energy freedom isn't a political issue.

"Free market principles are conservative principles," he stresses. "This is good policy for the consumer. This is good policy for businesses. This is good policy for Florida."

The political action committee needs 700,000 signatures to place the initiative on the 2016 ballot. It would then need voter approval of at least 60 percent to become law.

Photos/graphics and links added by the Observer | image: resources0news.com

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