Nevada: Governor’s task force recommends bringing back net metering

On Tuesday, the New Energy Industry Task Force assembled by Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval voted to approve earlier draft recommendations which include a call for bringing back net metering, along with a minimum bill of up to $25 per month, as an interim measure “to resurrect the residential and small commercial solar market in Nevada”.

The task force made a number of other recommendations, including calling for study to determine the value of distributed solar which will count both costs and benefits to the system, and the convening of a group to assist the state in compliance with the Clean Power Plan.

Specifically, the task force directs the legislature to come up with bills for a return to net metering and a value of solar study in 2017. However, so far these are only recommendations, and will require action by the governor and/or the legislature to become concrete policy.

“The task force doesn’t have any authority unto it itself,” Bring Back Solar Alliance Deputy Campaign Manager Chandler Sherman explained to pv magazine. “It will be the blueprint that the legislators look at.”

Bring Back Solar Alliance applauded the task force’s recommendations, noting that the minimum bill would be far better than the current fixed charges, which are set to rise to $40 per month for solar customers over the next 12 years.

Sherman notes that compromise was important here, to get out a solution which can resurrect the state’s solar industry. “It needs to be something that will pass quickly,” she explains.

The task force’s recommendations follow on Nevada regulators “grandfathering” over 30,000 PV system owners who had already installed their systems or applied for net metering when it dismantled the policy in December of last year.

It also follows on Nevada Governor Sandoval replacing two of the commissioners at the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) last week. This includes commissioner David Noble, who oversaw the ruling that dismantled net metering in the state.