Nevada Lawmakers Introduce Landmark Community Solar Bill
Civil Rights, Clean Energy Advocates Join in Supporting Bill to Expand Solar Energy Access, Jobs
Carson City, Nev. – Nevada State Senator Mo Denis (D-Las Vegas) introduced Community Solar Bill SB392 last night, marking major action by the state’s legislature to expand solar energy access to more Nevada residents, particularly renters and low-income families. If passed, the bill will increase solar opportunities for consumers, create local jobs and improve energy security in the state.
“Nevada’s elderly residents and communities of color are spending a larger portion of income on energy costs,” said bill sponsor Senator Mo Denis. “Nevada is also home to over 450,000 renters who don’t have the option of reducing electric bills through rooftop solar, and many others whose homes are shaded by trees, blocked by buildings, or otherwise lack a suitable roof for solar installations. All Nevadan families, businesses, and communities deserve access to the financial and health benefits of choosing solar and that’s what we aim to accomplish with this bill.”
“Every Nevadan should be able to choose solar to power their energy needs, whether it’s on their roof or around the corner,” said Jessica Scott, Interior West Director for Vote Solar. “Community solar will unlock consumer savings and promote a healthier environment in the communities they serve – benefits that are particularly essential for low-income families. Thanks to Senator Mo Dennis’ leadership, that opportunity is now within reach for all Nevadans.”
“Energy Justice is a priority for NAACP, and community solar is an important first step to ensure equitable access to clean energy,” says Jeanetta Williams, President of the NAACP Tri-State Conference of ID/NV/UT. “When people think about the NAACP they don’t often think about the phrase “energy justice.” Since 1909, the NAACP has advocated for a vast array of civil rights issues and in 2014 with the release of our Just Energy Report, that includes advocating for environmental justice.”
“Solar power is not only beneficial to our community’s efforts to minimize environmental pollution, but to low-income families who depend on the alternative source of electricity to significantly reduce utility costs and gain access to this vital resource,” said Rudy Zamora, state program director of Chispa Nevada, a program of the League of Conservation Voters. “Nevadans deserve to have the opportunity to choose our energy source, especially in a state that provides more than 300 days a year of sunshine. We hope that our legislators take action to provide us the great opportunity to use community solar in Nevada for our well-being and our future generations.”
Cost-competitive solar power deliver tremendous benefits, but the traditional panels-on-your-roof approach to solar simply does not work for many of Nevada’s energy consumers. Families who rent, and those with shaded rooftops face barriers to participation. Community Solar Bill SB392 would allow customers to subscribe to a solar project located somewhere else in their community and earn credit on their utility bills for their portion of the clean power produced. The bill includes specific provisions to ensure that low-income families are able to participate in and benefit from the program. This statewide program would connect more Nevadans with the solar power they want and spur additional investment in Nevada’s new energy economy.