Officials with SolarCity estimate that 1,000 Nevada Residents, including solar customers and solar workers who are being laid off, are protesting outside the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) building in Las Vegas.
Today PUCN will hear a motion to delay the implementation of changes to the states net metering rules, which solar advocates say will destroy the states residential solar market. Many have expressed concern that these changes will affect not only new customers but those who installed solar under the previous net metering arrangement.
As a result of the changes both SolarCity and Sunrun have announced their departure from the Nevada solar market, and are taking hundreds of jobs with them.
SolarCity Public Affairs Manager Chandler Sherman notes that those attending the protest range across the political spectrum. Pro-solar Tea Party leader Debbie Dooley has addressed the protest, which has a presence by both the Libertarian Party of Nevada and the Bernie Sanders for President campaign.
Nevadas Bureau of Consumer Protection (BCP) and the Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) have joined state legislators in calling for a delay in the implementation of the new rules until appeals can be heard.
BCP, TASC, the Nevada Attorney Generals Office, Vote Solar Initiative and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) have jointly filed a motion for reconsideration, however this will be ruled on by the same PUCN members who voted 3-0 to implement the changes.
Additionally, TASC has filed a lawsuit agains the changes.
What appears more important today is the public spotlight that PUCN and Nevada Governor Sandoval are coming under. Adding to the pressure, last week Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton criticized the PUCN decision, stating that it was important to protect the security of investments as the nation moves towards clean energy.
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