Existing Nevada Solar Customers Maintain Favorable Rates

Rooftop solar advocates applauded Nevada utility regulators’ vote on September 16, 2016 to return favorable rates to existing solar customers.

Nevada Public Utilities Commission performed a study in 2015 that determined regular non-solar ratepayers were subsidizing rooftop solar customers by approximately $16 million. As a result, the Public Utilities Commission introduced a new rate system where rooftop solar customers would pay an increased monthly fixed service fee as well as receive less credit for surplus electricity produced. This rate change started on January 1, 2016 and impacted 32,000 rooftop solar customers.

Under this new rate system the monthly fixed fee for solar customers had a sudden jump from $12.75 to $17.90, and would reach $38.51 by January 1, 2028. Additionally there was an instant drop in credit for produced surplus electricity from 11 cents per kilowatt hour to 9 cents, and would reach 2 cents per kilowatt hour by January 1, 2028.

Rooftop solar customers voiced opposition to the rate change because they were told rates would not change when they agreed to install solar.

A deal was negotiated by NV Energy, SolarCity, the Bureau of Consumer Protection with Nevada utility regulators that solar customers who registered for solar before December 31, 2015 would be exempt from rate changes. Nevada solar customers who register for solar after that date will be subjected to the new rate system.

This decision in Nevada sets precedence for other states that are currently discussing similar rate change proposals for rooftop solar customers. SolarCity and Vote Solar are focusing on maintaining affordable rates to continue growth in the rooftop solar industry.

Lauren Ell shares detail about rate change for Nevada solar customers.

Photo credit: Instagram @imwindandsolar

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