Rooftop solar is back in Nevada! That’s thanks to the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada’s (PUCN’s) decision today (Sept. 1), requiring NV Energy to charge solar and non-solar customers alike the same fees and to net-meter customers with solar. The ruling ensure customers are compensated for the energy they put back on the grid.
The decision ends, a least for now, a battle in the state, between utilities, homeowners and the rooftop solar industry. The commission previously ended net-metering overnight in the state in 2015, forcing the rooftop solar industry to collapse and major solar installers like SolarCity and Vivint left the state. The commission has rolled back its incendiary decision little by little since then and this year Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) signed into law the state’s Solar Bill of Rights (AB 405), protecting consumers.
The decision today implements AB 405. A move supported by Vote Solar, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and advocates.
“Nevadans have said loud and clear they want the choice to install solar on their own homes and see solar jobs grow again in Nevada. That was the intent of AB 405, and we are pleased the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada recognized that in its ruling today. Solar businesses in the state now have the certainty they need to get back to work, which means the jobs and economic benefits will follow in short order,” said Sean Gallagher, vice president of state affairs of SEIA.
Vote Solar explained that the decision also rejected NV Energy’s request to hike fixed charges for all of its residential and small business customers. It said the utility wanted to continue offering the “failed rate system” it created in 2015 to undermine rooftop solar.
“Today’s PUCN decision will give many Nevadans a meaningful opportunity to power their homes with solar and will reestablish the rooftop solar industry in Nevada, which is exactly what the legislature and governor intended,” said Earthjustice attorney Jill Tauber. Earthjustice worked with Vote Solar to oppose NV Energy’s proposal.
"Governor Sandoval signed AB 405, which had nearly unanimous approval from the legislature, because of overwhelming public support to restore solar energy choice and market certainty for Nevadans. Rather than implementing the bipartisan AB 405 and restoring net metering as the legislature intended to bring back solar, NV Energy’s proposal would have continued the failed policies of 2015 that nearly wipe out solar in Nevada and cost thousands of solar jobs,” said Jessica Scott, Interior West Director for Vote Solar.
“The past two years proved that Nevadans— both as ratepayers and as voters—absolutely will not stand for anti-solar, anti-consumer action from their leaders. Vote Solar applauds Chairman Reynolds and the PUCN for respecting the legislative intent of AB405 and fairly implementing the law,” Scott said.Tweet