Electricity Restructuring Amendment Filed With Florida Constitution Revision Commission

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If passed, the amendment by Florida Energy Freedom would give Floridians the right to choose their own electricity providers

For the first time ever, Florida residents may get to choose their own electricity suppliers.

The Florida Constitution Revision Commission is currently reviewing proposal 51, which would make it a right for the state’s electricity customers to choose their providers. If the commission approves the proposal, Florida voters will decide on it in November 2018.

Currently, Florida customers can only buy electricity from utilities. But Florida Energy Freedom, which presented the proposal, 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.”

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.

“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.”

Florida voters have already shown interest in energy choice. A survey of state residents by Harper Polling showed 78 percent in favor of electricity choice. And the state’s natural gas market has been open for commercial customers since 1996, saving users billions of dollars.

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.

The 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.

About Florida Energy Freedom:

Florida Energy Freedom is an inclusive organization of diverse electricity users who are dedicated to inspiring sustainable change in Florida's electricity market. Its mission is to allow Floridians to take advantage of the same competitive forces they use in purchasing all other services. Members include Wal-Mart and Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association.

For more information, visit FloridaEnergyFreedom.org/takeaction.

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