Florida Supreme Court rules against competitive electricity market ballot initiative

Florida residents will have to wait a bit longer to choose their own electricity supplier

This week the Florida Supreme Court ruled that ballot initiative language that would allow electricity consumers to choose their energy and service providers was misleading. The decision means that Florida voters will not have an opportunity in November to vote for a competitive energy market.

The group behind the initiative, Citizens for Energy Choice, has been working for two years to bring retail energy choice to Florida consumers but has faced opposition from incumbent utilities NextEra and Duke Energy Corp.

Retail energy choice gives electricity customers the ability to choose their energy supplier, decoupling energy delivery from energy generation. In states where energy choice is available, consumers can purchase electricity off the open market, and often have choice of greener energy or even 100 percent renewable energy.

Related Article: NRG: lawmakers are not considering consumer choice to meet renewable goals

“The Florida decision is disappointing,” said Robert Dillon, executive director of the Energy Choice Coalition in Washington, D.C.

“Energy freedom is a pretty easy concept for voters to grasp. Either you can purchase energy from an open market, or you have to take what the monopoly utility gives you. Obviously, Florida voters don’t get the opportunity to decide that for themselves right now,” he said in a statement.

Dillon added that electricity market freedom is gaining momentum in the U.S. “because it gives consumers what they want – cleaner energy options, lower utility bills, and greater control over their energy use data. The monopoly system is a dinosaur that just doesn’t know its days are numbered yet.”

Read the supreme court opinion here.

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Jennifer Runyon is a Content Director at Clarion Energy, writing, editing and posting content on POWERGRID International and planning conference sessions for DISTRIBUTECH's live and virtual events. She as the conference advisory committee chair for DISTRIBUTECH International. You can reach her at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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