New poll shows support for alternative-energy proposals

(Jeremy Harlan/CNN)

Floridians apparently favor an alternative-energy constitutional amendment backed by the state's energy giants more than an alt-energy proposal that has support from both conservationists and business groups, according to a new poll released Tuesday.

The online survey by Saint Leo University Polling Institute found that 77 percent of those queried support the utility-backed "Consumers for Smart Solar" initiative. Another seven percent opposed the measure, and 16 percent remained undecided.

Frank Orlando, director of the Saint Leo University Polling Institute, called the results "interesting."

Opponents contend the measure, which will appear on the November ballot as Amendment 1, simply maintains the status quo for utility companies.

"Editorials have railed against the (Consumers for Smart Solar) bill, but as of yet, opponents haven't mobilized to stop the measure," Orlando said in a press release accompanying the poll results.

The survey also found support for a less controversial alternative-energy constitutional amendment, backed by both the green industry and utilities.

Just over 68 percent of state residents support the proposal, which will appear on the August 30 primary ballot. The proposal, placed on the ballot by state lawmakers, would give commercial property owners a tax break on renewable-energy devices similar to one given to residential property owners.

Another 7 percent opposed the proposal, while nearly 25 percent were unsure of the measure. The online poll was conducted between June 10 and June 15 of 500 residents, including 459 likely voters, and has a +/-4.57 percent margin of error.

Like all proposed constitutional amendments in Florida, both initiatives need support from 60 percent of voters to pass.