weather icon Clear

Senate approves net rooftop solar metering measure

CARSON CITY — The Nevada Senate on Sunday unanimously approved a bill that puts state regulators in charge of deciding how to credit rooftop solar homeowners for electricity generation without shifting costs to other utility customers.

Senate Bill 374 passed 21-0, a day after it was amended on the Senate floor. It goes to the Assembly.

State Sen. Patricia Farley, R-Las Vegas, said the measure authorizes the state Public Service Commission to set rates and credits for solar generation.

Current state law imposes a 3 percent cap on net metering — credit that rooftop solar homeowners receive on their utility bill for excess power they generate and add back to the electric grid.

Representative of rooftop solar companies have pushed this session to raise the 3 percent cap, arguing that without financial incentives, homeowners will shun solar energy and the industry that brings 6,000 jobs will short out.

But NV Energy counters that net metering is not necessary for the solar industry to survive and that other utility customers are subsidizing solar though generators of rooftop solar still use the utility’s infrastructure for distribution.

Under the bill, the PUC would conduct by July 31 an analysis of appropriate costs and subsidies for solar generation. It also authorizes the commission to establish a new rate class to reflect “just and reasonable rates and charges” for rooftop solar customers that don’t unreasonably shift costs to other users.

State Sen. Kelvin Atkinson, D-Las Vegas, said SB374 was the second-most heaviest lobbied bill of the session.

“Everybody won’t be happy,” Atkinson said. “Everybody won’t be thrilled, but it’s the right thing to do.”

Bryan Miller, co-chairman of an industry group, The Alliance for Solar Choice, said the industry should have been allowed to comment on the amended version of the bill before the Senate vote.

“The Nevada Coalition to Protect Ratepayers and the thousands of solar employees we represent have anticipated a public hearing concerning the future of rooftop solar. To this date we have not received one,” Miller said in a statement.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
RJ Politics Podcast with Deval Patrick - VIDEO
2020 Presidential Candidate Deval Patrick joins hosts Rory Appleton and Steve Sebelius on the RJ Politics Podcast.
Tom Steyer on Donald Trump and the economy - Video
Tom Steyer joins the RJ Politics podcast to talk about his campaign presence in Nevada and how he plans to take Trump on when talking about the economy. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas City Council Votes On Homeless Ordinance - Video
The Las Vegas City Council on Wednesday will discuss expanding on a controversial camping and sleeping ban aimed at deterring the homeless from bivouacking on city streets to include hours when public sidewalks are being cleaned.
Biden meets with Vegas Latino community - VIDEO
Presidential candidate Joe Biden met with members of the Latino community at Rancho High School. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Henderson, other Nevada cities consent to refugee resettlement - VIDEO
Henderson will continue to welcome refugees for resettlement, according to a December letter from Mayor Debra March. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg Speaks At Black Empowerment Event - Video
Pete Buttigieg speaks at a black empowerment event to talk about his Douglass plan.
Joe Biden at the national hospitality workers union.
Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to members of the national hospitality workers union during UNITE HERE's town hall on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019 at Culinary Union Hall in Las Vegas. @bizutesfaye
Elizabeth Warren at Culinary Union
Elizabeth Warren speaks at a Culinary Union town hall in Las Vegas on Dec. 9, 2019.
Secretary of Education visits Henderson school
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visited students at Pinecrest Academy in Henderson to talk about college planning on Dec. 4, 2019. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trump dropped from Terry Fator’s show on Las Vegas Strip - VIDEO
Fator has edited out one prominent figure: President Donald Trump, a focal point of Fator’s regular stage show and also Christmas show over the past 3½ years. The Trump puppet, with his pop-up hairpiece, has been sidelined from both shows until further notice. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Accused murder mastermind Frank LaPena is granted a pardon - VIDEO
A onetime Las Vegas casino bell captain who spent 25 years in prison as the accused mastermind in a notorious 1974 contract murder won his last legal battle for freedom Wednesday when the state Pardons Board granted him a conditional pardon restoring all his civil rights. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Middle: Nonpartisan voters and the 2020 election
How will the growing segment of nonpartisan or independent voters — those who have not registered with either political party, or who have left partisan politics behind — vote in 2020?
Teachers union files initiative to raise Nevada’s gaming tax

An initiative to raise the top tier of the Nevada gaming tax, sponsored by the Clark County Education Association, would raise an estimated $315 million per year.