The rule enforces greater transparency in utilities' resource plans, including a summary of the demand-side plan for programs and their cost-based effectiveness. The commission's distributed resources definition incorporated generation systems such as solar as well as energy storage, energy efficiency, electric vehicles and demand response technologies.
The PUC directs utilities to base distributed resources plans on the next three years using energy loads and distributed energy resource growth forecasts over a six-year period.
The PUC's rule and the corresponding bill are part of a wider initiative to spur renewable energy growth in Nevada.
This November, voters will consider a ballot initiative that seeks to do away with regulated utility monopolies, in order to let customer-choice influence renewable generation developments.
However, NV Energy issued a proposal earlier this summer to double the state's renewable energy if voters reject the ballot initiative, garnering the support of environmental advocates.
Even if the initiative is rejected, PUC Chair Joe Reynolds expects an Integrated Resources Plan that includes long-term planning for state energy needs, including proposals for large-scale solar projects.
Reynolds, a proponent of net metering and rooftop solar, announced on Wednesday that he is stepping down to join the state's System of Higher Education as general counsel. Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval tapped attorney Ann Wilkinson to fill his unexpired term, effective Sept. 17.
The PUC's proposed rule will be open for comment from stakeholders, with a public workshop on August 30 and an open hearing on Sept. 5.