Solar energy has been a hot topic debate in Nevada the past couple of months. If you’ve been living in the dark the past couple of months, let us break it down for you. First, the net energy metering cap was met early in August, which led to a vote by the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada to extend the rates until the end of 2015. In December, the PUCN gathered to discuss new rates and fees for solar customers. They proposed new rates that would affect all solar system customers, starting January 1, 2016. Many solar companies and customers fought the decisions, and now net energy metering customers with rooftop solar systems could receive the old, more favorable rates again.
The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada voted on January 25, 2016, to rehear the grandfathering issue. Shortly after this announcement, NV Energy said that it will propose to allow existing net energy metering customers to go back to the old rates. They would be able to receive the old rates for as long as 20 years as part of a transition period. Paul Caudill, NV Energy president and CEO stated, “This grandfathering proposal is being offered in recognition of NV Energy’s desire to treat all customers, including those who had previously made a decision to install rooftop solar, fairly.”
The proposal will be made on February 1, 2016, and mandate that all rooftop solar customers who installed or submitted valid applications before the PUCN decisions remain on the previous net energy metering rules over a period of 20 years.
The Bureau of Consumer Protection had submitted a request to the PUCN asking them to reconsider the new rates earlier this month but withdrew its request a few weeks later. The PUCN has the authority to vote to proceed with the rehearing regardless of the Bureau of Consumer Protection’s action. After hours of testimonies by solar energy customers and activists, such as Mark Ruffalo, the Public Utilities Commission had no other choice but to comply with the wants and needs of the people.
While many solar companies have ceased all business in Nevada and Las Vegas, resulting in hundreds of job loss, Sol-Up has remained strong and continued to fight for solar energy rights in the state. For more information, visit our website or call us at 702-586-9800.