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Solar Power Battle Heats Up In Supreme Court

Critics of a solar power ballot initiative says the language is misleading and could force utilities to give free electricity to solar customers.
Critics of a solar power ballot initiative says the language is misleading and could force utilities to give free electricity to solar customers.

Oral arguments are set September 1 st in the Florida Supreme Court battle over a solar power ballot initiative. The state’s largest utilities say Floridians for Solar Choice is trying to hoodwink voters.

Critics of a solar power ballot initiative says the language is misleading and could force utilities to give free electricity to solar customers.
Critics of a solar power ballot initiative says the language is misleading and could force utilities to give free electricity to solar customers.

Backers say the initiative gives small solar generators the right to sell power. And it prevents utilities from denying solar customers regular service.

Utilities attorney Barry Richard says that could mean free electricity for solar customers.

“If you read this amendment it could be interpreted to say, no, they can’t be charged for that. Everybody else has to pay for it too.”

Solar Choice board member Steven Smith says the provision only prevents power companies from retaliating.

“It’s no different than if I go put a compact fluorescent lightbulb or an LED lightbulb in my house. Then I’m just not buying as much power from the utility company.”

Opponents say the measure is unclear and they want the court to kill it. Backers need nearly 700 thousand signatures by February 1 st to reach the November ballot.

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