http://www.cleanenergy.org/2014/12/04/public-opinion-overwhelmingly-supports-solar-friendly-policies-in-the-sunshine-state/

SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

Public Opinion Overwhelmingly Supports Solar-Friendly Policies in the Sunshine State

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Newly Released Poll Finds Strong, Bipartisan Support for Net Metering and Third-Party Sales among Floridians

Contact: Jennifer Rennicks, SACE, 865.235.1448, jennifer@cleanenergy.org

 

Orlando, Fla. – A new poll to be released tomorrow at the Florida Solar Energy Industries Association (FlaSEIA) Re-Energize Florida conference found strong, bipartisan support among Floridians for solar-friendly policies throughout the Sunshine State. This poll was commissioned by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and conducted by North Star Opinion Research, a firm known for working with Republican clients both nationally and in Florida.

The poll of 600 registered voters conducted in October confirms that over two-thirds of those surveyed (71%) support the state’s current net metering law that permits customers with solar panels to receive a credit on their electricity bill if their solar panels produce more energy than the customer uses. Researchers note this support is bipartisan, with 67% of Republicans, 77% of Independents, and 73% of Democrats backing the policy across the five media markets surveyed (Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Pensacola, and Tampa) as well as among all education levels, income levels, and ages.

Additionally, a majority of Florida voters (74%) support a proposal to allow solar companies to install and own solar panels on a home or business at no upfront cost to the home/business owner and sell the power generated by those panels to the same host. This support is also bipartisan and ranges from 71% of Republicans and Independents to 79% of Democrats in favor.

“These results confirm that public opinion strongly favors maintaining Florida’s current solar energy policies, such as net metering,” said Dr. Stephen A. Smith, Executive Director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “We are also pleased to see that three quarters of those surveyed support a proposed third-party sales policy, which would allow a solar energy company to sell directly to customers. The poll makes it clear that solar energy is not a controversial issue, but one that enjoys a broad base of bipartisan support.”

The poll also revealed that support for solar energy is a net-positive for Florida decision makers. Dan Judy, Vice President of North Star Opinion Research confirms. “By nearly a 5 to 1 margin, voters indicated they would be more likely to support a state legislator who voted for policies to increase the availability and use of solar power in Florida.”

Solar advocates warn that recent statements made by large monopoly electric utilities and the Florida Public Service Commission, seeking to undermine and limit solar-friendly policies, are not supported by public opinion.

Stephen Smith and Dan Judy will be discussing these results at FlaSEIA’s Re-Energize Florida conference in Orlando tomorrow, and you can view the publically-released version of the poll here: http://www.cleanenergy.org/survey-of-florida-registered-voters-regarding-energy-issues/

The survey interviews were conducted by telephone with 600 registered voters in Florida from October 6-9, 2014.

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Founded in 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choices that create global warming solutions and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at www.cleanenergy.org