Nevada’s PUC to reconsider ‘grandfathering’ measures in new net metering rules

The new proposal was spurred by a request from the Nevada Bureau of Consumer Protection. Image: SolarCity

After coming under flak for its decision to cut into net metering payments for solar customers, Nevada’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) posted a draft order on Wednesday that said officials will review certain aspects of its new policy that could allow for existing customers to be “grandfathered” into the new terms.

Previously, the PUC’s decision on net metering would force both new and established customers to deal with lower rates and raised fixed charges, but this proposed amendment would allow established customers to retain their retail rate remuneration.

The PUC’s draft order was spurred by a request from the Nevada Bureau of Consumer Protection (BCP), which noted that a grandfathering provision should be reexamined.

The PUC’s decision to review certain aspects of the programme comes in the midst of extreme scrutiny towards the new net metering policy, as two Las Vegas residents filed a class action lawsuit against utility NV Energy on Jan. 15 due to the fact that both individuals would not have invested in new PV systems if they knew that net metering would be scaled back.

In wake of the new lawsuit, SolarCity pledged additional action against the new net metering policy, which ultimately forced both SolarCity and fellow PV company Sunrun to cease operations in Nevada and led to the loss of over 1,000 jobs.

On the company’s blog, SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive said: “I have promised SolarCity’s Nevada employees and customers that I will continue to fight for them. I believe when they hear and understand the facts, all Nevadans will join the fight against this unfair decision. This governor and his commissioners will hear more from all of us in the coming days. Stay tuned.”

It’s been a frustrating month for SolarCity and fellow residential PV companies, as an appeal to delay the implementation of the new net-metering measures was refused by the PUC on Jan. 14.

Rive commented: “The Nevada Public Utilities Commission chose to ignore hours of testimony from solar customers and workers, begging them to delay their decision to end rooftop solar in Nevada. As I’ve said before, the decision was a massive bait and switch. After encouraging thousands of Nevadans to go solar, the government dramatically increased their costs after the fact. Even worse, the Public Utilities Commission continues to hide the real impact of the decision from Nevadans.”

Tags: solarcity, nevada, sunrun, net metering