Nevada PUC Upholds Net Metering Changes
An article that ran last week described what three states – Hawaii, Nevada and California – have done over the past few months to update their net metering programs.
As was mentioned, back in December 2015, the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) unanimously voted to approve of a new rate structure that would effectively reimburse distributed generation (DG) customers at the wholesale rate rather than the retail rate for surplus electricity generated. DG customers would also have to pay a monthly hookup charge in exchange for access to the electric grid. Controversially, these changes were made retroactively, not grandfathering in the existing 18,000 or so beneficiaries of net metering within the state.
After much public outcry, threats of solar companies leaving Nevada, litigation threats, and an initiative petition to deregulate electricity markets within the state, PUCN agreed to reconsider these changes. On Friday, February 12, the body largely upheld the substantive parts of their decision, but decided to phase in the new rate structure over 12 years as opposed to the four initially agreed to last year. Notably, PUCN once again declined to grandfather in existing DG customers, despite support coming reportedly from NV Energy – the primary investor owned utility in Nevada – for a 20-year grandfathering caveat to the new rules.