Nevada regulators "grandfather" existing net metering customers under old rules

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Last Friday an estimated 32,000 home and business owners in Nevada received a welcome ruling from state regulators, which will allow them to continue to receive full retail rate compensation for electricity generated by their PV systems under the state’s original net metering rules.

The unanimous ruling at the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) approves a negotiated settlement between SolarCity, the Nevada Bureau of Consumer Protection, and utility NV Energy, which will allow PV system owners who either had already been approved under the previous net metering or who had a complete submitted application to remain under the original program for 20 years.

This act reverses the least defensible aspect of the ruling last December under which PUCN destroyed the state’s net metering policy. And while NV Energy had submitted a proposal for grandfathering of solar customers in July, solar installers have noted that the utility’s stance has been inconsistent on this issue.

And while last Friday’s ruling does nothing to change the policy implemented for owners of new PV systems, it was nonetheless welcomed by both Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the SolarCity-backed Bring Back Solar Alliance (BBSA).

“This is a tremendous victory not only for the solar customers whose investments will be protected, but also for the tens of thousands of Nevada solar supporters who have advocated tirelessly for solar since last year’s rate hike,” stated BBSA Campaign Manager Erin McCann.

Both organizations stated that they will continue to seek improvements to state policies for distributed solar. “We now must put policies in place that support new solar customers in Nevada so that solar jobs can once again increase, and the robust economic activity associated with solar development can resume,” declared SEIA Director of State Affairs Sean Gallagher in a press statement.