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Study: A Billion Reasons To Kill Solar Amendment

Backers of a solar power ballot initiative are vowing to counter a conservative think tank study claiming the amendment will cost utility customers $1 billion .

Picture a landlord selling electricity to his tenants. That’s what Floridians For Solar Choice says its amendment would allow by letting mom and pops sell electricity. Right now, only utilities are allowed to sell power in Florida.

But James Madison Institute’s James Taylor says picture as many as 8 percent of utility customers streaming to solar. His study predicts it would cost the customers left behind $1 billion to maintain the system.

“What this amendment does additionally by encouraging more of this, it encourages more of a cost shift away from people who are going to be purchasing solar power on to everybody else.”

Debbie Dooley, a Solar Choice coalition member, says utilities arguing against solar is like a hospital arguing against health clubs.

“And they’ll be making less visits to the hospital and so it will be cutting into the massive profit margins of the hospitals.”

Stay tuned, Dooley says. The coalition will have a detailed response soon.

A Miami native, former WFSU reporter Jim Ash is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.