TALLAHASSEE, Florida, Feb. 21, 2019 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Florida Chapters of National Action Network (NAN) is calling on Florida voters to reject placing a misleading initiative that alters electricity services in Florida on the 2020 ballot. This initiative would raise costs, decrease reliability and take advantage of low-income and minority communities through fraud and aggressive sales tactics by marketers.
“This is really just an effort to alter our electricity markets to benefit few companies that stand to profit hidden behind the notion of choice. African American households experience disproportionate levels of poverty, have lower household income and spend a higher percentage of their income on electricity than other consumers,” stated Rev. DeVes Toon of the National Action Network.
“The only thing this so-called “energy choice” initiative will provide for minority communities is higher electric rates and higher costs. The proposal actually prohibits a majority of Floridians from being able to choose their current electricity provider. It’s chaos masked as choice. We feel that our people should not only reject this ballot initiative, but they should not sign any misleading petitions to get this initiative placed on the 2020 ballot.”
The Florida chapters of the National Action Network, including Reverend Don Tolliver Vice president of the Tallahassee Chapter, will aggressively fight any effort to deregulate Florida’s electricity market. NAN will expose those that support the effort for the harm they will cause to our communities electric deregulation has in other states.
Attorneys General in Massachusetts and Illinois have called for an end to electricity deregulation in their states. A recent report prepared for the Massachusetts Attorney General shows that residents in minority communities paid higher rates to competitive suppliers. In just two years, Massachusetts customers that chose unregulated electricity marketing companies paid $176 million more than what they would have paid for electricity from their local utility.
The Illinois Attorney General has stated that 90 percent of the time, customers who chose alternative electricity marketers are paying higher prices for electricity than customers pay with traditional utilities. In Connecticut, the state’s Consumer Counsel has said the state should provide consumers with protection from the confusing, abusive and illegal marketing tactics of electric marketers.
“For more than 20 years, other states have tried and failed at deregulating their electricity markets,” said Rev. Toon. “Those that want to deregulate the electricity in Florida are not concerned with the harm it will cause our communities, but rather are focused only on their own profits. The group Citizens for Energy Choices has reported spending more than $1.3 million but they do not disclose where that money came from and who they are truly representing.”
National Action Network chapters throughout Florida have information available for community members wanting to help inform their neighbors, church members and others about the true story of how harmful deregulating electricity has been and why Florida voters must keep this dangerous proposal off the ballot.
Reverend DeVes toon
SOURCE National Action Network (NAN) Florida