NV Energy appeals December decision to partially restore net metering
- NV Energy has asked the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada to reconsider its December decision for a rate casethat restored retail net metering in the territory of subsidiary Sierra Pacific Power Co., arguing it will funnel savings meant for a broader set of customers to a smaller subset of net metering customers.
- The utility said in October, they worked with a series of stakeholders to come up with an agreement that lowered annual electrical rates for residential and small general service customers that works out to roughly $2.92 million annually.
- The commission last month opened up to 6 MW of installed capacity for rooftop solar systems in northern Nevada, though participation is limited.
NV Energy told state regulators last week that an $8.77 million settlement it reached in October aimed to lower annual electricity rates "for residential and small general service customers"—not just customers who put solar panels on their homes.
"The December order takes the savings that were intended for a larger customer base and directs them to this small subset of future solar net metering customers," NV Energy said in a statement. If the savings go only to residential solar customers, that could be as few as 1,250 accounts, the utility said.
NV Energy told regulators that applying the cost savings to a single class of private solar net metering customers is "inconsistent" with the October 2016 agreement. Among those signing on were the Regulatory Operations Staff of the PUCN, the Bureau of Consumer Protection, Northern Nevada Industrial Electric Users, Nevadans for Clean Affordable Reliable Energy and Vote Solar.
NV Energy made its filing on Jan. 12, and regulators will have 40 days to act.
The PUCN's order reversed part of a highly contentious decision made a year ago to reduce retail rate net metering credits and exclude a grandfathering clause for existing customers. After vicious backlash from solar customers and companies as well as celebrities and then Presidential candidates, the PUCN eventually agreed to a grandfathering provision and, in December, agreed to partially restore the original policy to roughly 1500 customers in Sierra Pacific's territory.
The PUC's order also determined credit for customer excess energy should be valued competitively with other solar supply options. For now, regulators set the rate at $0.025/kWh.
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