Energy freedom is vital to Florida's future.
In December of 2014, Florida surpassed New York as the third most populous state in America. And yet, of America’s seven largest states, Florida is the only one where nobody is free to shop for an electricity provider. We can change this.
Floridians should be free to choose electricity providers.
Electricity is arguably the most essential commodity of modern life. In the 21st century, there is no reason for it to be subject to the monopolies of a century ago.
A competitively restructured electricity market benefits customers of all kinds. Our residential, commercial, and industrial customers, along with those in Florida's tourism sector, can benefit from a competitive electricity market.
Energy choice is ultimately about freedom -- and freedom is what America is all about.
To be competitive, Florida needs lower electricity prices.
Business communities in states like Illinois, Ohio, and Texas have lined up in support of competitive electricity restructuring in their states for lower prices and a better bottom line. In the long run, competitive electricity restructuring could create more opportunity for cheaper products and stronger job growth than any tax cut.
Of all the states with competitively restructured electricity markets, Texas is the most like Florida. It shares a warm climate, an enterprising business culture, a similar political makeup, comparable natural gas use, and an affinity for low taxes. But the Bureau of Economic Analysis showed that Florida grew by 2.2 percent in 2013, while Texas grew by 3.7 percent - a difference partly attributed to competitive electricity prices.
Florida is a good choice for business, but to go from good to great, it needs to competitively restructure its electricity market and give businesses the opportunity to reap the rewards of savvy shopping. After all, lower electric bills for the twenty million people who already call Florida home could only boost retail spending.
Renewable energy should be a viable option for everyone.
Texas electric bills beat those in Florida across the board, but Texas customers can even buy 100 percent renewable electricity and still save money. Even when purchasing renewable electricity, a restructured market makes it possible to save nearly 25 percent over the average electric bills in Florida. This is because competitive electricity allows people to vote with their dollars--for lower prices, better service, renewable energy, or as in Texas, all of the above.
Renewable energy now helps keep prices in Texas low by helping protect the market from price volatility. Texas wind farms now provide one-tenth of the state's electricity, and in 2013, transmission lines were built to send wind power directly to cities to help keep down prices.
By contrast, if you've ever wondered why the Sunshine State makes so little use of the sun for energy, it's because utility companies consider solar and wind energy to be "disruptive technologies" that "could directly threaten the centralized utility model." Visit the Edison Electric Institute -- a group representing Florida's biggest utility companies -- to learn more. So long as our electricity comes from a handful of utility companies, renewable energy will never be affordable for Florida.
Utility companies must focus on safety and reliability.
Competitive electricity restructuring changes how a traditional utility operates by separating the utility’s control of delivery services from its control of electric generation. The poles and wires are still owned and operated by the utility company, but the power plants and the marketing become competitive.
Utility companies can join in on the benefits of a competitive electricity market by forming affiliated energy marketers under different names. But these companies must follow the same regulations as all other energy marketers in order to protect and maintain a competitive electricity market for everyone.
This competition fosters innovation and drives down the cost of electricity service. It also allows utilities to focus on the safe and reliable delivery of electricity service because they're no longer concerned with generation, marketing, or billing. With energy freedom, each participant in the market can focus on what they do best, and everyone benefits.
Help us bring energy freedom to Florida.
Join us in building a competitive electricity market in Florida.