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LETTERS: Rooftop solar owners hardly moochers

In response to David A. Fowler’s letter on the rooftop solar ruling by the Nevada Public Utilities Commission (“Net metering decision,” Tuesday Review-Journal), I have to hand it to the RJ for allowing every possible opinion to be printed. Mr. Fowler’s response was all over the map, covering topics from solar companies to previous co-generation power agreements, and included a jab at the so-called “moochers.”

To counter his comments, I will tell you my wife and I have worked hard our whole lives and haven’t mooched off any agency or taxpayer. Quite the opposite. We have paid our way and more. We installed solar panels and paid for it all out of our pockets. We did this with a conscience and with our hard-earned working money. With the available rebates (also paid for in part by us), we are still out more than $16,000. At the newly approved net metering rate, we will not recover that cost before the warranty and solar panels run out.

We are tired of being treated like a yo-yo: “Go green, save the environment.” “No, it’s too expensive.” “Wait. There are rebates from money already collected and mandated by law to lower the pollution rate and better the environment, so you should go green.” And now we are sent another message, “Don’t go green; you are a moocher.”

I am not SolarCity. I’m just a private homeowner. But with outdated thinking such as Mr. Fowler’s, no new technology will ever be advanced, new ideas will not be instituted and prices will never come down. By Mr. Fowler’s reasoning, we should tell Faraday Future to go away, and those who don’t have kids in public schools shouldn’t have to help pay for an education system.

I will leave it to Mr. Fowler to figure out how to get a fair rate on wholesale power. For an additional $12,000, I will go off-grid and gleefully watch you pay the rates to the NV Energy monopoly. And as for the politicians and the PUC members, votes count. I know what mine is going to be.

Carl Martin

Las Vegas

Solar crony capitalism

We moved to Las Vegas last summer, purchasing a home and almost immediately falling for the bait-and-switch rooftop solar scam run by NV Energy and the state. In fact, our rooftop panels have been installed and paid for, but are not even functioning yet while we wait for new meter installation by NV Energy.

Uber liberal Warren Buffett’s NV Energy now states its regular customers are being forced to subsidize rooftop solar users. When this new net metering system has reached its shameful apex, Mr. Buffett wants to pay me less than 3 cents per kilowatt hour. Yet he has agreed to pay Crescent Dunes solar plant in Tonopah 13.5 cents per kWh, with that rate actually increasing 1 percent every year. What a bargain! Isn’t that anywhere from 50 to 70 percent higher than widely available wholesale power?

Crescent Dunes is being built by SolarReserve, a California company that has received $737 million in federal government loans for the plant and is guaranteed to be reimbursed for 30 percent of the cost of construction. Predictably, Crescent Dunes has turned into a typical government-sponsored boondoggle, already two years behind schedule and who knows how much over budget. Will Mr. Buffett’s NV Energy customers be asked to subsidize this mess? Of course we will.

Did Gov. Brian Sandoval’s hand-picked Public Utilities Commission OK this “bargain” price of 13.5 cents per kWh? Mr. Buffett is likely taking negotiating lessons from his hero, President Barack Obama. Again, we taxpayers and utility users are being played for fools. Can we say crony capitalism?

Tom Koski

Las Vegas

Misbranded militia

I find it truly amazing that when a group of white men — who look like they’re from central casting on the old “Hee Haw” TV series, armed with rifles and guns — take over federal land in Oregon, they refer to themselves as a militia. As if the word “militia” gives the connotation that what they are doing is righteous. Newspapers and TV stations across the country oblige them by referring to them as such.

But if these people were heavily armed African-American or Hispanic men doing something similar, news outlets would refer to them as hoodlums or thugs or the generic “angry mob.” Apparently, if you are white, you must have good intentions, even if you are breaking the law.

Scott Kagan

Las Vegas

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