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Politics / Issues

Solar Amendment Is Losing Support

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Polls are showing that Amendment 1, which supporters say gives Floridians the right to own solar equipment, has seen a rapid decline in support over the past month.

According to a poll conducted by St. Leo University, the amendment had 84 percent support from likely voters in September, and now has 59 percent.

Opponents of the amendment have put forth a social media campaign in an effort to push their belief that the amendment is misleading. A legal challenge issued this week is asking that the votes on the issue not be counted on the basis of the amendment's wording.

Frank Orlando, Director of St. Leo University’s Polling Institute, said that Amendment 1 would actually restrict the growth of solar and keep more power in the hands of utility companies. Power companies have spent tens of millions of dollars backing the amendment.

“It’s really an amendment that has been endorsed, funded and founded by the utility companies as a  way to kind of make sure they have control over the solar industry going forward,” Orlando said.

Orlando said most Floridians don’t know they already have the right to own solar; the language is just not in the constitution. The amendment could put restrictions on solar, making it less cost effective, which could turn people away from it.

The amendment must receive at least 60 percent of the votes to pass.