This amendment establishes a right under Florida's constitution for consumers to own or lease solar equipment installed on their property to generate electricity for their own use. State and local governments shall retain their abilities to protect consumer rights and public health, safety and welfare, and to ensure that consumers who do not choose to install solar are not required to subsidize the costs of backup power and electric grid access to those who do.
FULL TEXT OF THE PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT:
Section 29 Rights of electricity consumers regarding solar energy choice.
(a) ESTABLISHMENT OF CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT. Electricity consumers have the right to own or lease solar equipment installed on their property to generate electricity for their own use.
(b) RETENTION OF STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL ABILITIES. State and local governments shall retain their abilities to protect consumer rights and public health, safety and welfare, and to ensure that consumers who do not choose to install solar are not required to subsidize the costs of backup power and electric grid access to those who do.
(c) DEFINITIONS. For purposes of this section, the following words and terms shall have the following meanings:
(1) "consumer" means any end user of electricity regardless of the source of that electricity.
(2) "solar equipment," "solar electrical generating equipment" and "solar" are used interchangeably and mean photovoltaic panels and any other device or system that converts sunlight into electricity.
(3) "backup power" means electricity from an electric utility, made available to solar electricity consumers for their use when their solar electricity generation is insufficient or unavailable, such as at night, during periods of low solar electricity generation or when their solar equipment otherwise is not functioning.
(4) "lease," when used in the context of a consumer paying the owner of solar electrical generating equipment for the right to use such equipment, means an agreement under which the consumer pays the equipment owner/lessor a stream of periodic payments for the use of such equipment, which payments do not vary in amount based on the amount of electricity produced by the equipment and used by the consumer/lessee.
(5) "electric grid" means the interconnected electrical network, consisting of power plants and other generating facilities, transformers, transmission lines, distribution lines and related facilities, that makes electricity available to consumers throughout Florida.
(6) "electric utility" means any municipal electric utility, investor-owned electric utility, or rural electric cooperative which owns, maintains, or operates an electric generation, transmission, or distribution system within the state.
(d) EFFECTIVE DATE. This section shall be effective immediately upon voter approval of this amendment.