Florida voters reject solar Amendment 1

Voters say No to Florida solar Amendment 1

Florida voters said "no" to the utility company-backed Constitutional Amendment 1 known as the solar amendment on Tuesday.

Amendment 1, known as "Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding Solar Energy Choice” or the solar amendment required a 60 percent “yes” vote to pass and did not receive that.

Fifty-one percent voted "yes" and 49 percent voted "no," according to the Associated Press.

“Today, as a coalition representing every part of Florida's political spectrum, we defeated one of the most egregious and underhanded attempts at voter manipulation in this state’s history,” said Tory Perfetti, chairman of Floridians for Solar Choice and director of Conservatives for Energy Freedom. “With God’s blessing and the hard work of every member of Floridians for Solar Choice, we won against all odds and secured a victory for energy freedom. This is a win for the people and I could not be more honored to be a part of this historic victory as Chairman of Floridians for Solar Choice.” 

The solar amendment would have given Florida residents the constitutional right "to own or lease solar equipment installed on their property to generate electricity for their own use," according to Consumers for Smart Solar, a political group backing the amendment.

Residents already have this right under Florida’s current law.

Leading up to Nov. 8, the amendment became a tug of war between the power companies backing the amendment and the pro-solar energy groups who called the ballot measure a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

Six days before Election Day, pro-solar energy groups filed a lawsuit asking the Florida Supreme Court to stop Amendment 1 in a last ditch effort to halt the controversial ballot measure.

The challenge came after a leading proponent of Amendment 1 was recorded saying that the measure was written to appear pro-solar, even though it could end up restricting solar growth in Florida by raising costs.

The Florida court rejected the case four days before the election.

Octobers polls showed that 66 percent of residents would vote yes to pass the amendment.