NV Energy has proposed to make 5 megawatts of solar power available to customers who want to reduce environmental pollution from coal and natural gas power plants, but who don’t install panels on their homes (“Plan would let Nevadans go solar without panels,” July 19 Review-Journal online). These customers would pay a rate higher than other customers currently pay for power. It is not clear, however, how NV Energy plans to assure customers that the power really comes from solar.
As a rooftop solar power generator, I know where the power I generate and use comes from. I have been advised by NV Energy that it does not plan to have a buyback program for 2014 solar-generated power credits that are certified by the Nevada Public Utilities Commission, as they have in the past. NV Energy apparently has sufficient self-generated solar power to meet its statutory requirements. Additionally, NV Energy is proposing to reduce the net metering credit from the current 11.6 cents per kilowatt hour to 5.5 cents, apparently to further line its stockholders’ pockets and to dissuade more people from investing in rooftop solar (“Senator: Solar industry trying to circumvent legislative intent,” Thursday Review-Journal).
So, if I use more power than I generate, I have to pay 11.6 cents per kilowatt hour for that power, but if I use less and put power back into NV Energy’s system, I only get 5.5 cents in credit, and NV Energy sells it to my neighbor for 11.6 cents, making 6.1 cents per kilowatt hour in revenue on power I generate. By its actions, NV Energy presents a clear argument for why electricity, which is practically a monopoly, should be handled as a public utility for the good of all users, not for private stockholder profit, as it has been turned into recently.
Further, these actions will kill needed jobs in the solar industry. And why would anyone want to go out into our desert and disrupt native plants and wildlife, and use our precious dwindling water sources to build large solar power facilities, when there are acres of rooftops just sitting around doing nothing but collecting the sun’s heat and reflecting some of it back into the atmosphere?
There doesn’t seem to be much one can do about these egregious circumstances. However, ratepayers and voters can help our bottom line in the future by voting out state Sen. Patricia Farley and others of her ilk, who are pushing these types of changes.
I agree 100 percent with Richard Rychtarik’s letter (“HOA foreclosures,” July 20 Review-Journal). During the past few legislative sessions, the Nevada Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act (NRS116 and related laws) has been amended so often that it makes it almost impossible for homeowner associations to enforce their covenants, conditions and restrictions without going through collection agencies and attorneys, adding substantial cost to the process.
HOAs should be governed by the same laws that municipal entities follow for nonpayment of taxes or nonpayment of assessments for HOAs. One option: Since HOAs pay property taxes (in most cases, more than the property taxes of homes adjacent to HOAs), why not have the county or city pay for utilities, road repairs, streetlight and park maintenance, street sweeping, painting over graffiti, etc.? On properties that are not maintained, HOAs can file a lien against the property. This lien cannot be foreclosed on, so the only possibility to collect a fine or fines is when the home sells.
Although state law requires that purchasers in HOA-governed properties receive all documents (bylaws, rules and regulations) before the purchase, some people just should not live in HOAs, because no matter what the rules are, they will never comply. That is why we need firm but fair remedies, so that we can all live in harmony. Maybe in the future, some legislator will have the compassion to rectify this inequitable situation.