Following an outcry from Nevada’s existing rooftop solar owners in the wake of a Nevada Public Utilities Commission decision to eliminate existing net metering policies, the state’s utility NV Energy has proposed a grandfathering policy allowing existing solar net metering customers to continue benefiting from the original net metering rules for the next 20 years.
The state’s Public Utilities Commission (PUCN) has been loudly criticized for supporting NV Energy’s original proposal on changing the original net metering terms, and then making them retroactive for existing solar customers.
“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,” said Paul Caudill, NV Energy CEO and president.
“We recognize the difficult job that the PUCN, PUCN staff, policy makers, and for that matter, all parties in this proceeding have had in trying to reach decisions on this complex issue,” added Caudill. “We also understand the history of net metering in Nevada and that a fair, stable and predictable cost environment is important to all of our customers. Our proposal seeks a balance for those who selected solar prior to the implementation of the new rules ordered by the PUCN and those without solar.”
In response to the announcement, Bryan Miller, president of The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC), issued this statement:
“The people of Nevada, the solar industry, and NV Energy all agree: existing solar customers should be grandfathered under net metering for 20 years. The record is clear. Governor Sandoval’s appointed Commissioners should follow the lead of every party to this case, and the people of Nevada, to correct their misguided decision.”
Although the Warren Buffet-owned NV Energy proposed reducing the payments to net metering customers and increasing its monthly flat fee, it did not request the new rules to be applied to customers in Nevada that had already installed solar. The NV Energy proposal, if approved by the PUCN, will probably serve to eliminate two class action lawsuits filed by existing rooftop solar owners.
In spite of news, the new PUCN net metering rules appear to be locked in place, meaning solar installers SolarCity and Sunrun will move ahead with shuttering their statewide rooftop solar operations, laying off hundreds of employees.
PV-Tech reports a petition has been lodged with the Nevada secretary of state on the issue. Registered voters in the state can block legislation if 55,234 signatures are gathered.
Image: two male solar workers via Shutterstock
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