Charlie Crist’s Plan to Fight for Lower Energy Costs
CHEAPER POWER BILLS, MORE JOBS, AND ENERGY SECURITY
- Hold the line on rate hikes
- Save you money with new energy efficiency standards
- Restore local control over source of energy
- Prohibit FPL from buying regulators and politicians
- Speed up transition to cheaper, more reliable, clean power
- Freedom to put solar on your roof without utility monopoly interference
Floridians are facing rising power bills and unsustainable gas prices at the pump. Addressing these challenges means expanding the use of cheaper, cleaner energy while reducing our dependance on expensive, dirty fossil fuels. As governor from 2007-2011, Charlie Crist made Florida a leader in clean energy – setting renewable energy goals, moving the needle on utility energy efficiency programs, and implementing a policy on net metering to spur the solar industry, all while standing up to big power companies’ rate increases.
When he becomes governor in January, Charlie will go all in, leveraging the new Inflation Reduction Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to transition Florida’s power generation to cheaper, more reliable clean energy and make it easier for you to save money. He will also press utilities to offer meaningful energy efficiency programs and deliver on his goal of 1 million solar roofs. This will increase our energy security and independence, lower electricity bills, make our air and water cleaner, and better protect our state against severe weather and flooding.
As governor, Charlie will:
- Appoint a Public Service Commission that Puts People First: As governor, Charlie will put the “public” back into the Public Service Commission. Charlie will appoint watch dogs instead of lap dogs that stand up to big power companies on behalf of Florida ratepayers to keep electric bills under control. We must put the interests of Floridians over power company profits, including FPL’s recently approved $5 billion rate hike.
- End Power Companies’ Bribery: Before getting rate hikes rubber-stamped, Florida power companies such as FPL give millions of dollars to the politicians that pick the PSC members and write our state energy laws. Their corporate contributions and dark money schemes result in higher bills for consumers and small businesses. As governor, Charlie will push to prohibit campaign contributions by state-regulated utilities to state candidates and political committees.
- Set Energy Efficiency Goals that Save Floridians Money: The fastest way to reduce costs is to use energy more efficiently. Upgrades like high-efficiency air conditioning and insulation can significantly reduce your costs without sacrificing your comfort, but for many low-income Floridians brand-new, efficient appliances are unaffordable. The reason? Most states have long-term energy efficiency goals. Not Florida – because the utility monopolies don’t want them. Like he did in 2009, Charlie will demand that the PSC set aggressive energy efficiency benchmarks and provide robust incentives for utility customers to add improvements to lower their power bills. Charlie will make sure the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes rebates to help homeowners make their homes more efficient, is fully implemented at the state level so that Florida families see their costs go down. He will insist these upgrades are available on a level playing field so that every single Floridian can save money on their power bill.
- Transition Utilities to Cheaper, Clean Energy by 2035: Charlie will direct the Public Service Commission to set Florida utilities on a path to cheaper, clean energy sources by 2035. That means phasing out power plants fueled by fossil fuels – and not building new ones, which makes bills go up. Setting ambitious standards for utilities will help us meet our goals of investing in the clean energy of the future and creating jobs. The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act that Charlie supported includes billions of dollars in investments to make this process even easier: tax credits to make clean energy more affordable, grants to help utilities make the switch, and incentives for domestic manufacturing of clean energy technologies. Increased reliability and expanding rooftop solar means that more people will get the lights back on more quickly after a storm.
- Allow Local Communities to Make Their Own Energy Decisions: Gov. DeSantis chose polluters over people – and further eroded home rule – when he signed into law HB 919 that bans local governments from making their own choices about where they get their electricity. Charlie will press the Legislature to restore local control and give Floridians the freedom to choose their energy sources. Gov. DeSantis also sided with polluters when he signed HB 839 into law that banned local regulations on gas stations and electric-vehicle charging stations. If communities want to take the lead at the local level, that should be their right.
- Leverage the Power of the Sun in the Sunshine State: Charlie will work to install solar panels on a million Florida roofs. Florida is blessed to be the Sunshine State. We must put this gift to good use and grow solar. If you want to put solar on your home to save money, you should have that right – without interference from the utility monopolies. This will save you money, create jobs, and help preserve our beautiful state. Solar costs have dropped dramatically, and that’s why over 100,000 Floridians have already made the switch to solar. With over 300 days of sunshine a year, Florida can lead the way. Charlie will work to protect and enhance solar incentives, support low-cost financing options, streamline permitting, put solar on state buildings, and allow third-party ownership.
- Expand Electric Transportation Options: Between the war in Ukraine, price gouging and record profits from big oil companies, and Gov. DeSantis’ refusal to lower taxes, summer was a nightmare for working Floridians at the pump. Thankfully, the Inflation Reduction Act will put electric vehicles within reach for more and more Floridians who want to make the switch. Pay less? Energy independence? That’s a win-win! But this goes beyond your own car or truck. With electric school buses, students won’t be breathing dirty diesel fumes. With electric public transportation, postal vehicles, and even garbage trucks, we will save money, enjoy fresher air and quieter streets, and keep Florida beautiful. On top of that, we need chargers everywhere – not just in wealthy neighborhoods. Gas stations, apartments, condos, and parking lots should all be connected. Imagine solar panels over parking lots providing shade and charging your car! Charlie worked in Congress to make federal funding available. We just need a governor who will get it done.