The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) recently finalized its recommendation to the Nevada Legislature with respect to the state’s successful net metering program. On September 26, the PUCN voted 2-1 (with Commissioner Wagner dissenting) to recommend that the Legislature modify the state’s net metering statute that currently ensures that Nevada solar customers aren’t subject to discriminatory rates or fees. The PUCN recommendation called the growth of net metered systems “a policy success for Nevada,” but argued that the Legislature should modify the net metering statute to allow the Commission full control in developing “timely and accurate price signals.”
While Vote Solar appreciates the PUCN’s attention to such an important area of energy innovation in the state, there is no fact-based reason that Nevadans who go solar should be singled out and treated differently than other NV Energy customers. If the Legislature does remove the current statutory protections for net metered customers, we believe that will open the door for opponents to make rooftop solar a bad deal for Nevada homes, schools and businesses.
Commissioner Noble also stated that he plans to address the Bureau of Consumer Protection (BCP) petition for a separate rate class for net metering customers with a separate recommendation later this year. Again, we see no reason for policymakers to create that kind of regulatory uncertainty for rooftop solar. The PUCN’s own study found that private investment in solar is a cost-saver for all of Nevada’s energy customers – and that’s before accounting for the many economic, security, and public health benefits of more rooftop solar.
The fate of rooftop solar in Nevada is still to be determined, but one thing is certain: Nevadans overwhelmingly want to harness more of their homegrown sunshine for reliable, affordable electricity. We call on the Legislature to stand up for the Nevadans they serve by protecting net metering, protecting fair rate design, and allowing families, schools and businesses to continue to choose clean energy.