NV Regulators End Retail Net Metering; Consider Grandfathering Existing Solar Customers

In December 2015, the Nevada Public Utility Commission approved a new tariff structure that increases fixed charges and lowers compensation for net excess generation for new and existing solar customers. After considerable backlash, the Commission announced it would reconsider grandfathering existing solar customers who are currently under previous net metering tariffs.

Key Details

  • The new tariff structure would increase the fixed charge for NV Energy solar customers from $12.75 per month to $38.51 per month. In addition, the credit solar customers receive for net excess energy would decrease from the retail electricity rate of 11 cents per kilowatt hour to the wholesale power rate of 2.6 cents per kilowatt hour.
  • The changes as originally proposed would have been phased in over the next four years and would apply to new solar customers as well as the 17,000 existing solar customers in Nevada.
  • After initially upholding the ruling, the Commission announced on January 20, 2016, it would review the issue of grandfathering for existing solar customers. The action followed significant backlash from solar advocates and a request from the Nevada Bureau of Consumers Protection to reconsider grandfathering provisions.
  • On January 26, 2016, NV Energy announced it would propose allowing existing solar customers to be grandfathered under previous net metering tariffs

Implications

Net metering tariffs are a divisive issue in many states and attempts to address them have proven difficult. Up until now, a big change like the one proposed in Nevada has often been accompanied by a provision to grandfather solar customers under existing net energy metering tariffs. This proposed change is an important test of what constitutes “fairness”: for non-solar customers who are seen by some as cross-subsidizing net metered customers and for solar customers who may have invested under the perception, but not guarantee, of a long-term deal. With a large solar market and high-profile case, the Nevada Public Utility Commission would be among the first if it choose not to grandfather existing solar customers under the previous net metering tariffs.

More Information

Greentech Media: Nevada Regulators Eliminate Retail Rate Net Metering for New and Existing Solar Customers

Greentech Media: Nevada PUC to Reconsider Grandfathering Rooftop Solar Customers Into New Net-Metering Policy

Reno Gazette-Journal: NV Energy asks to ‘grandfather’ some solar customers

View More

Contributing Authors

Paul Quinlan Clean Tech Manager

Welcome to ScottMadden!

Sussex Economic Advisors is now part of ScottMadden. We invite you to learn more about our expanded firm. Please use the Contact Us form to request additional information.