Coalition Files To Make Retail Electric Choice Part Of Florida Constitution
November 16, 2017 Email This Story Copyright 2010-17 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
The Florida Constitution Revision Commission is currently reviewing Proposal 51, filed by Florida Energy Freedom, which would amend the state's constitution to make it a right for the state’s electricity customers to choose their electricity provider.
If the Commission approves the proposal, the amendment would be placed on the November 2018 ballot. The measure would require 60% approval from voters to be adopted.
The proposed amendment would specifically provide that, effective in 2021, every person, business, or other entity, "has the right to choose the provider of its electricity service, including, but not limited to, selecting from multiple providers in a competitive electricity market, or by producing electricity for themselves or in association with others, and may not be forced to purchase electricity service from one provider."
Florida Energy Freedom said energy choice has been a success in other markets.
"Floridians deserve to reap those benefits as well," said Rich Blaser, founder of Florida Energy Freedom. "A properly restructured market creates competition, and that means lower prices, more innovative products and better customer service," Blaser said
"Texas opened the market for electricity choice more than 10 years ago. Since 2010, the state has saved about $5 billion every year. In Florida, a similar structure would result in savings of $2.5–$5 billion every year," Florida Energy Freedom said
"Electricity can be a significant expense here in Florida for both residences and businesses," said Richard Turner, general counsel for Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. "A competitive energy marketplace that gives people a chance to control those costs will promote growth across the entire state."
A survey of Florida residents by Harper Polling showed 78 percent in favor of electricity choice, Florida Energy Freedom said
"And the state’s natural gas market has been open for commercial customers since 1996, saving users billions of dollars," Florida Energy Freedom said
Florida Energy Freedom said that proposal 51 is similar to an amendment Nevada passed last year with 72.4 percent of the vote.
"Of the seven largest states, Florida is the only one that doesn’t allow for any energy choice," Florida Energy Freedom said
The Florida Constitution Revision Commission meets only once every 20 years to consider proposals to change the state constitution. If voters pass the proposal into law, it may be in effect as soon as 2021.
Florida Energy Freedom is an organization of electricity users whose members include Wal-Mart and Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association.