Today the Nevada Public Utilities Commission (PUCN) voted unanimously in favor of grandfathering 32,000 existing solar customers back to net metering rates that fairly credit the valuable solar power they deliver to the utility grid. The vote partially reverses a decision last December that blindsided solar customers and companies, costing the state thousands of local jobs.
The PUCN’s decision had raised fees and significantly reduced the rate at which solar customers are credited for their valuable excess power. The rule change adversely impacted both future customers and the thousands of Nevadans who had already invested in local solar power. Today’s PUCN’s decision protects current solar customers’ investments. It follows closely on a ruling in a separate case earlier this week in which a Carson City judge ruled in favor of an appeal from Vote Solar and Earthjustice to overturn the PUCN’s December decision for existing customers. However, neither outcome goes so far as to preserve solar options for new customers in the state.
“Vote Solar applauds today’s PUCN decision to restore net metering for existing solar customers,” said Jessica Scott, Interior West Regional Director for Vote Solar. “While this decision rights a serious wrong for current customers, we urge the legislature to adopt sound energy policies in the upcoming session that will bring solar jobs and solar savings back to Nevada.”
“This is a smart decision by the PUCN and restores fairness for thousands of Nevadans who wanted cleaner energy for their families,” said Andy Maggi, executive director of the Nevada Conservation League Education Fund. “It's important to remember that this is only about fairness for those families and does nothing to grow the clean energy economy in Nevada. We still have work to do.”
The 32,000 Nevadans directly impacted by this decision will be grandfathered for 20 years effective December 1, 2016.