Latest update on the order ruling for the net metering docket

24 Dec Latest update on the order ruling for the net metering docket

The Bureau of Consumer Protection (BCP) just filed a Motion For Stay and Request for Order Shortening Time on this docket this afternoon. In this motion, the BCP questions the logic of Governor Sandoval’s statement in his latest press release, where he said he hopes “the Commission will find a solution that takes into consideration thousands of jobs while balancing the interest of ratepayers.” After news of the order being passed, the largest rooftop solar company in Nevada, Solar City, said it is halting sales and canceling all solar contracts in Nevada.

The motion also said the Commission changed the rates for NEM1 customers when NV Energy didn’t even request this in their application. They also challenged the subsidy amount of $622 with the reasoning that the 30% tax credit just got extended for another 5 years, while the asking subsidy amount by NV Energy in another docket was 12 times less than the stated amount in the net metering docket. 

What the BCP is asking for is for the Commission to halt the order from taking effect until everyone has time to assess the information provided, along with the revised rate structure NV Energy is going to file 5 days from now. The BCP also questions for legality of changing NEM1 customers’ contracts. All parties involved in this docket need time to evaluate whether or not changing NEM1 rates fulfills contractual laws, as well as the financial significance of the new rates for NEM2 customers.

Full copy of the motion can be found via this link. BCP – Motion for Stay

An email we sent to the Governor’s office received the following reply regarding the docket’s ruling decision.

Dear Ms. Tran:

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts regarding net-metering for solar with Governor Sandoval’s office. Your correspondence is important to us, and allows us to better serve the citizens of Nevada.

This past legislative session, Governor Sandoval signed Senate Bill 374 which was approved unanimously in the Nevada State Senate and nearly unanimously in the State Assembly. This bill was supported by the solar industry as a compromise measure meant to allow the rooftop solar industry to continue to create jobs and grow in Nevada while balancing the interests of non-solar ratepayers.

As approved by state lawmakers, the bill creates a net-metering framework, enabling homes powered by solar energy to receive a credit on their bills if they generate power in excess of what is consumed in their households. This new law also shifted the regulatory authority over net-metering from the Legislature to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and requires the Commission to evaluate the cost borne by traditional energy consumers in a fair and efficient way.

As you may know, the Public Utilities Commission is a separate, independent entity from the Office of the Governor and decisions issued by the PUC are not subject to the Governor’s approval or review. The Commission is required by law to provide for energy rate stability and balance the interests of ratepayers with business.  The Governor cannot interfere with the deliberations of the PUC or influence decisions issued by the PUC as it meets its statutory obligations.

On December 22, 2015, the Public Utilities Commission, acting in accordance with S.B. 374, unanimously voted on a ruling regarding net-metering policy in Nevada. Following this ruling, there is a period where any party can ask for reconsideration or seek judicial review of this ruling.  Furthermore, the State of Nevada does have an office dedicated to advocating for consumers.  The Nevada Bureau of Consumer Protection enforces consumer protection statutes and the Nevada Consumer Advocate is an independent office created by law with the statutory charge to protect the interests of all Nevada consumers. We have provided the BCP’s contact information below for your convenience.

Bureau of Consumer Protection

100 North Carson Street

Carson City, NV  89701

(702) 486-3132

In the future, we hope you will continue to keep us informed of matters that are of interest and concern to you.  The Governor’s office welcomes information from constituents and we truly value your input. Thank you again for contacting our office, and best wishes.

Sincere regards,

Shannon Litz
Constituent Services Program Officer

Any questions regarding this topic can be directed to Tu Anh Tran at tran@solup.com.

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