Today, Vote Solar and Earthjustice took the fight to restore rooftop solar for Nevada families and small businesses to the state’s Supreme Court. The groups filed an appeal today (PDF) challenging the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN)’s unlawful decision to end a successful program that empowered Nevadans to go solar.
The PUCN decision last year ended net metering, which for nearly two decades allowed Nevadan solar customers to receive fair credit for the electricity they delivered to the grid. The PUCN replaced net metering with a structure that significantly reduced bill credit and increased fees for solar customers. The Carson City district court recently reversed that decision for customers who already invested in solar, but restrictions on net metering remain for new residential and small business customers. Today’s filing appeals the district court decision, seeking to restore net metering for everyone.
“Restoring net metering will bring consumer solar options, clean energy jobs, and the health benefits of solar back to Nevada communities,” said Jessica Scott, Interior West Regional Director for Vote Solar. “We have a strong legal case for reversing the decision for future solar customers and look forward to having a full discussion of the facts at the Supreme Court.”
“Net metering gave thousands of Nevadans the opportunity to power their homes and businesses with solar energy,” Earthjustice attorney Sara Gersensaid. “Nevada law requires utilities to offer net metering. By ensuring the Commission follows the law, the Nevada Supreme Court can put clean energy back within reach for many Nevadans.”
The PUCN’s decision has driven consumer solar investment to a virtual standstill, triggered significant job loss in the state, and undermined ratepayers’ ability to control energy bills, protect the climate, and reduce air pollution. A poll released by RenewNV —a coalition of concerned citizens, businesses and nonprofit organizations, including Vote Solar — found that an overwhelming 82 percent of respondents support undoing the new charges on solar customers and restoring full retail credit for the clean energy they produce.
The case is expected to be decided in 2017.