NV Energy proposes net metering ‘grandfathering’

Installers large and small announced job losses should the net metering changes come into force. Grandfathering will do little to protect future business. Source: Sunrun

NV Energy has proposed allowing existing solar net metering customers to continue benefiting from the original net metering rules in the state for the next 20 years.

The state’s public utilities commission (PUC) was widely criticised when it backed NV Energy’s changes to the original net metering terms and then applied them retroactively to existing 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 president and CEO. 

"We recognise 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," said 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.”

While Warren Buffet-owned NV Energy proposed reducing the payments to net metering customers and increasing the monthly flat fee, it did not request the new rules to be applied to customers in Nevada that had already installed solar.

Job losses as a direct consequence of the ruling could reach four figures with installers large and small scaling back. While the removal of grandfathering is good news for existing customers, it won’t affect the poor climate for future installations.

Bryan Miller, president of The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) advocacy group urged the PUC to take the proposal on board.

"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."

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.

Tags: net metering, nevada, nv energy, usa