Clean Power

Published on January 18th, 2016 | by Glenn Meyers


Nevada Class-Action Lawsuit Filed Against NV Energy On Net Metering Changes

January 18th, 2016 by  

NV Energy, the Nevada utility benefiting most from recent net metering changes made by the Nevada Public Utilities Commission, will now be a defendant in a class-action lawsuit filed by two individual PV system owners.

Gavel shutterstock_259913639The two plaintiffs, John Bamforth and Stanley Schone, argue that they would never have invested in their PV systems had they known Nevada’s net metering program would be scaled back as dramatically as it has been since December 23, 2015.

At the end of 2015 the Nevada Public Utilities Commission (NPUC) voted in favor of a plan reducing payments made by NV Energy under its net metering program.

The decision has not only caused outrage among more than 16,000 residential solar system owners in the state, it spurred the well-covered employee layoffs and departure of leading US installers SolarCity and Sunrun. The departure of these two companies followed an August exit of Vivint Solar.Las Vegas Sun photo 1113PUCSolarRally08_t653

As reported by the Las Vegas Sun, the lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday, alleges NV Energy, which is regulated by the NPUC, gave the three-member panel false or incomplete information as it considered the new rates.

PV Tech writes, the class-action lawsuit alleges NV Energy conspired to “unlawfully reduce the incentives provided via the Solar Program, increasing base rates or service charges only for solar customers in order to reduce competition and increase their own revenues.”

It said the two plaintiffs were seeking fiscal compensation because they had invested in “expensive solar power systems that do not provide the promised rebates, discounts and rates.”

According to Las Vegas Sun reporter Daniel Rothberg, a number of groups, including the state’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, which represents ratepayers in matters before the commission, are asking the panel to revisit its decision.

This class-action lawsuit stands as the first attempt to challenge the NPUC decision in court.

Images: Las Vegas Sun, gavel via Shutterstock

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

Tags: , , , , ,

About the Author

is a writer, producer, and director. Meyers was editor and site director of Green Building Elements, a contributing writer for CleanTechnica, and is founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.

  • Jille AngelEyes

    I am disgusted by NVEnergy. I am a single homeowner who bought my house in April of 2015. My electric bill doubles every month for the first four months and has been between $220 and $300 a month every month since. My home is only 1164 square feet. In order to pay my electric bill every month I’ve had to eliminate other expenses. The first to go was Massage Envy and my LVAC membership. I had to give up on buying a new car. I’ve stopped going out to eat and to the movies and have scaled back my food shopping considerably. Home improvement projects I wanted to do have done had to be put off. All to line Warren Buffets, Governor Sandoval and the PUC’s pockets. Look how much money they take away from the community and the economy with their greed, while the regular people they are supposed to represent suffer. Any help I thought I was going to get through my solar panels is just flushed down the toilet as is any equity I may have accrued and I’m still waiting three months now for NVENERGY to come and inspect them so I can turn them on. I am happy to sign onto any class action lawsuit.

  • dave

    By the way PUC is pronounced with a long U.

  • dave

    Boycott all Berkshire Hathaway goods: RC Willey, Dairy Queen, Geico insurance, kirby vacuum cleaners, Fruit of the Loom underwear, and many more.

    • dave

      also add See’s Candy to the boycott list

  • Anthony

    Lets face it…Sandoval is nothing but a crook and so are his appointed croonies at the PUC. Solar is the wave of the future to help fixing climate change. All these rebates the feds and the states are all incentives for homeowners and businesses GO GREEN. This Crook sandoval & his cronies are doing the exact opposite to cause more carbon footprint for our children and future children. Sandoval could careless about this state and only cares about his pockets. I have no idea how this guy wakes up in the morning and can look at himself in the mirror. SHAME ON YOU.

    • Hans

      Do you know who the PUC members are and what their background is? Is it an example of a revolving doors appointment. Or are you just assuming?

      • Anthony

        Yeah 3 crook puc appointees by the master crook gov Sandoval. There is so much info out there to provided to the PUC, to make a good honest opinion… but no, they rather line their pockets rather then care about our planets future.

    • dave

      Sandoval nothing but a crook ???? No No No he is much more than that. He’s also a liar, a scoundrel, an elitist, and a boot licking groveler to Warren Buffet while being a haughty disdainer of average Nevadans.

    • Gale Lancieri

      I agree with you whole heartily. I am a Baby Boomer and lost my job due to a company sale to make the owners pockets full of money with disregard of the faithful employees who are the bread and butter of their company. Most of us were over 60 when the corporate office closed down due to the sale. All of us over 60 were unable to secure gainful employment. After unemployment ran out, I was forced to collect Social Security at 62 to just keep my head above water. Back in December of 2014, I signed a 20 year lease with Solar City to have solar panels on my roof. They were up and ready to start providing solar energy on March 3, 2015. It took NV Energy 4 months to install my meter, which time, I incurred a 500.00 bill for the use of NV Energy’s high cost energy. I have disputed that bill, since they should hired the extra people to expedite the scheduling of the three inspections of the solar panels to install my meter in a timely manner. I do believe that NV Energy stalled these inspections to squeeze out the additional moneies from customers over the course of months to fill their own pockets. I have made monthly phone calls to have my bills reviewed and to negotiate a pay off amount that would have been reasonable if from March 3, 2015 through July 6, 2015 my solar panels would have been connected to their meter. Promises have always been made via telephone that I would receive a call from a Superviser to resolve the situation. To this day, I have not received that phone call and every month since October 2015, I have received notices of service termination and my final termination notice arrived on Monday, January 25th at my doorstep. With all this going on, I hear about the rate increases for solar customers and that the solar company, Solar City is no longer n Las Vegas. And just another note, I have been paying for minimal usage of Nevada Energy on a monthly basis, so I do not believe that they can legally shut my electric off. Does anyone know if that is true? I have as of this date, January 28, 2016, contacted Channel 3, here in Las Vegas, so with their help, I might be able to get resolution to my bill dispute.

      It is so very sad that most of the people in this country are for use of natural resources for our planet and for the future of our children and grandchildren. However, the politicians and the “Fat Cats” of this country are only willing to fill their own pockets. The poor and the “So Called” Middle Class are out here struggling to keep ourselves afloat. What ever happened to “We The People”.

  • Kevin Gregerson

    All the lawsuit is going to teach them is that the lawyers make all the profits while reimbursing most of the people who already purchased systems. NVE and the state of Nevada are pretty much set to lose in this scenario as this lawsuit and the others all suddenly become part of a large class action.

    • dave

      Kevin, that’s a good start, not the ideal situation, but better than nothing.

  • Anthony C

    Hopefully the lawsuit can get them to understand that they need to have a policy that covers all customers equally, not targeting a group and making up data to confuse issue in that direction. PUC just doesn’t understand that if they want someone to have grid fee on their bill, all customers need to have it on their bill. They know that if they did that and broke it out, any way they try to use it against solar would get an unnecessary increase for all the customers.

    • dave

      good point, Grid fee is discriminatory. How about the case of the snow bird that simply shuts off his electricity when he vacates for the winter ???? Aren’t others subsidizing the snow birds grid hook up???

Back to Top ↑