26 Jan The Effects of the Public Utilities Commission Decision on Solar Power in Nevada
Last week the Public Utilities Commission sat in front of hundreds of citizens and speakers in the state capital of Carson City and by video screen in Las Vegas. They heard many hours of speeches and pleas urging them to reconsider the proposals and delay decision until further investigations can be made. Not only were the voices of hundreds of citizens and solar system owners being heard, but also well known actor and New York state advocate of rooftop solar, Mark Ruffalo. Despite the hours of public testimonies, the Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously to reject a delay in the implementation of the new rates. This has already shown a negative effect on the solar industry in Nevada but also any future business with out-of-state investors.
Many jobs have already been affected by the decisions of the Public Utilities Commission. Solarcity has ceased all sales of solar systems in the state and has announced that over 550 field and support staff will have to be let go. Sunrun Inc. has also followed suit announcing that “hundreds” of jobs will have to be cut. Altogether an estimated 5,000 jobs in the solar industry could be at stake.
The new policies imposed by the Public Utilities Commission will retroactively affect all Net Energy Metering (NEM) customers. This decision has many solar customers angered as they entered into a contract guaranteeing them a set rate amount. This means they will be given less credit when excess energy is fed into the grid but will be charged more when they need to utilize the grid power at night.
This decision has also affected business that the state could receive from outside sources. A group of eighteen venture capital investors are pressuring the governor to reverse the fees as it will affect any business interests that may have been in place. John Fisher at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Nancy Pfund at DBL Partners, said in a letter to one of the commissioners that the decisions will force reconsideration of all future commitments of capital in the state.
Sol-com USA has been on the front lines battling for the rights of all solar customers in the state of Nevada. We will continue to fight through these decisions and continue our mission to make Las Vegas the solar capital of the country. For more information on the new policies, contact us today.