Regulators in Nevada are investigating the impact of an upcoming vote on energy choice in the state, outlining a series of workshops to examine any required changes to state law, policies or programs to create a competitive energy market.
Next year, Nevadans will vote on Ballot Question 3, which would amend the state’s constitution to allow consumers to choose their electricity suppliers.
- The investigation by the Public Utilities Commission began comes at the request by the Governor’s Committee on Energy Choice, which is also looking at the effects energy choice would have in the states.
Energy choice in Nevada is backed by a group known as Nevadans for Affordable, Clean Energy Sources, which has received funding from the Las Vegas Sands Corp., MGM Resorts and Switch Ltd.
Las Vegas casinos were early adopters in the fight for energy choice. In May, MGM Grand paid an $86.9 million fee to exit Nevada Power’s system in order to buy cleaner energy for its casino. Couched as the Energy Choice Initiative, Nevadans voted for the amendment in November 2016. The ballot amendment must go through another vote in 2018 before becoming a constitutional amendment.
If Question 3 is approved by voters in November 2018, all Nevadans would have that right. Nevada residents would then be able to take their electric service from a competitive retail electricity market or produce it for themselves or with others. Voters approved the inclusion of Question 3 on the ballot in an election last November.
In preparation for the upcoming vote, the PUC is investigating the potential timeline for implementation of energy choice and any required changes in state policies and laws to craft a competitive energy market. The PUC is also looking at best practices for a competitive electricity market, such as options for a service provider of last resort.
Comments on the investigation must be submitted by Dec. 8. A workshop on the issue is scheduled for Jan. 9.