26 Jan Las Vegas Mayor Proposes Financing Plan to Encourage Solar Installations
The decisions of the Public Utilities Commission have halted the progress of solar power in the state of Nevada, which houses one of the most sunniest cities in the country. Las Vegas was on track to become the solar capital of the country but now sees job loss in the solar industry. The new rates proposed by the PUCN have left many net energy metering customers frustrated and feeling cheated. Las Vegas Mayor Pro Tem Steve Ross proposed a financing plan that he hopes will encourage Las Vegas residents to continue to install rooftop solar panels.
Pro tem mayor Ross has shown disapproval of the decisions by the Public Utilities Commission, stating, “Thousands of jobs are leaving our community because of this move. This concerns me and is absolutely unacceptable.” He also states that PUCN has taken a huge step backward in regards to sustainability. The proposal has been in the process of completion for a couple of years, but the actions of the Public Utilities Commission have acted as a catalyst in moving forward.
The new ordinance would create an “energy improvement district” in Las Vegas. Homeowners could opt into the program that would allow them to spread the upfront cost of the solar system over a span of 20 years. If the homeowner chooses to move, the loan would be tied to the property and not the homeowner. A typical solar system can cost anywhere between $15,000 and $20,000.
Las Vegas is the first municipality in Nevada to propose such a program and expects to the ordinance to come in front of the City Council by early spring. This ordinance would not address the full impact of the Public Utilities Commission’s decision but Ross hopes it will help promote solar in the city of Las Vegas.