On Tuesday Dec 22nd, 2015, the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) voted a draft order to implement new rates for NV Energy customers who participate in net energy metering and effectively put into effect one of the strictest net metering policies seen in the United States. This policy is going to take effect on January 1st, 2016 and it will apply to all net metering customers, which means all past, current and future solar users are affected.
What does this mean for you as a solar producer?
The PUCN has approved an increase in the monthly basic connection charge from $12.75 to $18.13. In addition, the Commission reduced your grid feed-back kWh value from the current rate of 11.6 cents to 9.5 cents. Over the next five years, the Commission plans on gradually increasing these rates so that your total increase annually will be $622 by the year 2020. This is the equivalent of having approximately $51.89 added to your monthly power bill by 2020.
What was Sol-Up’s involvement in this fight?
This ruling decision is the result of a year of high-profile debate and highly-watched net metering topic in Nevada. Sol-Up has been at every step of this process, spending a great amount of time and resources to lead the fight for net metering customers here in Nevada. We approached this fight strategically through several paths. Sol-Up was a part of a solar alliance that traveled to Carson City to appeal to our legislators at the last Legislative hearing. We applied to be an intervenor at the hearing for the solar net metering docket. Although our request was approved initially, circumstances prevented us to continue to the end of the hearing. We also joined forces with other solar companies, non-profit organizations and environmentally-conscious groups to appeal to the PUCN, asking them to hear the voices of thousands of Nevadans that support solar. This was not a fight between the PUCN and us solar installers. This was a fight between the PUCN and you – net metering customers. Sol-Up led this fight so you, our clients, can have a zero monthly power bill as residents of Nevada.
We would like you to know that while the ruling decision had been made and the outcome is devastating, this is not the end of the net metering fight. Sol-Up is currently considering other possible actions, including introducing possible agenda items for the next Legislative Energy Committee meeting on February 8th, 2016. Legal counsels representing various solar lobbying groups, including Sol-Up’s own legal counsel, are looking into filing an injunction against this ruling decision being enforced comes January 1st, 2016. We are also attempting to appeal to Governor Brian Sandoval regarding the result of this ruling.
What can you do as solar net metering customers?
Sol-Up is leading the net metering fight for your rights to produce your own power in Nevada. This right is being taken away by the ruling decision this week with the introduction of new charges and fees. As net metering customers and as Nevadans, you have a voice that is stronger than us. The PUCN and Governor Sandoval need to hear what you have to say with the new rates.
Please feel free to reach out to us if you have questions. The governor can be reached by clicking on http://gov.nv.gov/Contact/Email-the-Governor/ and the PUCN information can be found at http://puc.nv.gov.
For clients who installed a DC-optimized solar array, to avoid these new rates you will have the option of purchasing a battery-backup system (powered by SolarEdge an Tesla) by as early as the second quarter of 2016. We will know more on the pricing of this system by early to mid 2016.
For clients who installed a micro-inverter solar array, to avoid these new rates you will have the option of changing out your micro inverters and replace them with a DC-optimized inverter along with the battery backup unit. We will know more on the pricing of this service by early to mid 2016.
On Wednesday, January 13, 2016, the Public Utilities Commission (PUCN) will be meeting to decide on a petition on the new net metering rates. We encourage all of our clients to attend to protest the new rules that were recently adopted. These new net metering rates will be enforced retroactively, undermining the investments of existing solar customers and endangering the future of solar.
It is very important to us to have your support as solar homeowners, as these new rules have an adverse effect on everyone involved. We must rally together to win this fight and we hope to see you there!
WHERE: PUCN, 9075 W Diablo Drive, # 250, Las Vegas, NV, Room #A
WHEN: January 13, 2016, 9:30 AM
Note: Please direct all questions and inquiries regarding the net metering ruling decision and the new net metering rates to Tu Anh Tran at firstname.lastname@example.org or (P) 702-586-9800 (C) 702-521-7814.