Hope in Sight for Nevada Solar Customers
Some long-awaited progress after the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada dealt a harsh blow to solar customers last December by passing discriminatory solar rates and reduced the net metering credit by 70%. The PUCN’s decision changed the rules on 31,000 existing solar customers who are now subject to the new rate. In some cases, solar customers are unexpectedly facing higher electricity bills than if they had never gone solar at all.
While Vote Solar and other advocates are working hard to provide a fact-based case for reversing the overall PUC decision so that new customers have the opportunity to go solar in Nevada —there is near unanimous agreement that existing customers need to be grandfathered and protected from the harsh rate changes.
Solar advocates shared a collective sigh of relief today when the Governor’s New Energy Industry Task Force, a group of stakeholders including Vote Solar that is being led by Office of Energy Director Angie Dykema, voted on a motion to grandfather existing customers for 20 years.
While this is a significant milestone for a state mired in a highly politicized solar battle, existing solar customers will need to wait a little longer before the decision becomes law. The Task Force continues to meet through September 30 at which point they will pass their recommendations to Governor Sandoval for review. The Governor will then select policy recommendations to move forward as Bill Draft Requests in the 2017 Legislative Session.
Vote Solar serves on the Distributed Generation and Storage Technical Advisory Committee for the Task Force. During the May 18 DG and storage mtg, the original motion for a grandfathering provision was passed and given to the full Task Force for consideration. While the Task Force continues to develop their policy recommendations, Vote Solar is also working within the First Judicial District Court to appeal the PUC’s decision.
If there is one message we want to send to solar customers and supporters in Nevada, it’s this: Hold tight, help is on its way.