Florida voters will soon have an opportunity to vote in support of increased solar power in the Sunshine State. Being one of the sunniest states in the nation means Florida is a prime candidate for solar energy, and all consumers should have the choice of whether or not to get connected to the sun. But, in order for everyone to get the most out of solar energy we must have the right laws in place. Amendment 1 helps to ensure that we do.

With the high demand for solar-generating power in Florida, many homeowners and businesses contemplate solar panel installations. In South Florida alone, there are over 148 solar installation companies listed in the yellow pages at: http://www.yellowpages.com/southflorida-fl. Although there are many legitimate solar energy providers, solar scams continue to give pause to potential customers and continue to occur, according to Consumer Reports. Amendment 1 helps to ensure consumer protection from unscrupulous solar business practices. By voting “Yes” on Amendment 1, you will help ensure all Floridians are treated fairly when it comes to gaining access to the sun and that energy costs for non-solar customers does not include subsidizing the cost for those who are able to afford solar.

Although Florida is known as the Sun- shine State, the sun is not always shining. The sun cannot always be counted on to provide around-the-clock energy, thus rooftop solar customers must maintain a connection to the electric grid. That connection to the grid, during the night, or during rainy or cloudy days (a frequent occurrence in “sunny” Florida) requires a cost to maintain. Amendment 1 requires that all energy consumers share the cost of maintaining the grid. Amendment 1 also ensures that all buying and selling of electricity is done fairly.

Solar energy can be a great strategy for advancing clean energy, but only if the right laws are in place to safeguard us. By voting “YES” on Amendment 1, South Floridians can help keep consumers safe from unfair cost shifts in the electric grid, keep Florida’s energy policies fair, and keep deceitful solar companies-out of business.

So, in November, be sure to mark your ballot and VOTE YES on 1 for the Sun!

Joe Gibbons is a former member of the Florida House and now serves as Chairman of the Energy Equity Alliance.