By Dylan Gasperik, Video Production Manager and Account Executive at Tigercomm
One of the frontlines in the battle to protect rooftop solar this year will finally be coming to a resolution in Nevada later this month.
A growing chorus of diverse voices inside the state is engaged on this issue, advocating strongly for greater use of solar power and its shared benefits.
The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN), the government body appointed by the Governor to regulate the state's power companies, is set to come to a decision on the future of Nevada’s net metering program by December 22. Much is at stake; net metering is the crucial tool that enables homeowners to receive compensation for the power produced by their rooftop arrays. Without it, many in Nevada will not be able to afford to install solar to produce clean, water-smart energy.
Driven by the threat of losing this important clean energy market in a state that has been a national solar leader, a large and diverse number of voices have together to defend rooftop solar in Nevada. In October, just before the PUCN was set to meet to discuss the extension, Tigercomm produced this video for Vote Solar, featuring two community leaders in the Las Vegas area who are speaking out to protect net metering:
Pamela and Cassie called for anyone who cared to sign a petition and stand up to support rooftop solar in Nevada. And they did: Vote Solar delivered over 31,000 petitions from Nevadans of all walks of life, demanding that the PUCN extend net metering.
Not only did they sign petitions, they turned out to make public comments in person as well. On November 16, local leaders representing solar workers, Latino families, students, faith groups and the African-American community spoke up to ask the PUCN to extend net metering:
The next day, November 17, shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway Energy (BHE), the parent company of NV Energy, delivered more than 100,000 signatures to BHE headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. The message they sent to BHE CEO Warren Buffett was to "stop the war on rooftop solar." NV Energy continues to deny the benefits of rooftop solar to all ratepayers, and falsely claims that solar owners are not paying their fair share, despite independent research showing the exact opposite. In fact, distributed generation is a net benefit to all consumers in Nevada to the tune of $36 million, effectively bringing costs of the power supply down.
It's increasingly clear that renewable energy solutions, like rooftop solar, are the future of our energy supply. Students know it, community leaders know it, and the 6,000 solar employees living in Nevada definitely know it. The city of Las Vegas recently acknowledged this trend, and committed to source 100% of its power from renewable source, beginning in 2017. Vote Solar and Nevadans of all walks of life are now looking to state regulators at the PUCN, and the elected officials who direct them to invest in the state's clean energy resources.
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