NV Energy made a filing with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) that seeks approval to grandfather eligible private rooftop solar customers on July 27. In its filing, NV Energy requests that customers who had installed a private system prior to December 31, 2015 remain on the previously approved net metering rates for 20 years. The company also asks that customers who had an active and approved application to interconnect a system pending on December 31, 2015 remain on previous net metering rates.
"After a number of recent failed attempts to negotiate a resolution of this grandfathering issue with out-of-state private solar suppliers, it became clear that NV Energy needed to step up and act alone," said Paul Caudill, president and CEO of NV Energy. "I have spoken with many of these net metering customers personally, and understand and empathize with their concern. We simply did not want to wait any longer to offer a solution on their behalf and believe our filing today represents the most efficient and timely way to do that."
In its original filing made in July 2015, NV Energy requested no changes in rates for existing net metering customers. In addition, the company advocated for the grandfathering of existing net metering customers and made this clear through a filing made in February of this year with the PUCN, as well as through its support of Governor Sandoval's New Energy Industry Task Force's grandfathering policy recommendation last month.
"Unfortunately, it appears that these out-of-state solar suppliers are more concerned with increasing the subsidies needed to run their businesses than taking care of their approximately 32,000 contracted customers, who are our customers too," said Kevin Geraghty, senior vice president of energy supply. "It seems that they created uncertainty for customers who purchased or leased a rooftop system by not clearly communicating that their rates were subject to change in future regulatory proceedings. Many of these net metering customers entered into 20-year leases believing that they would be locked into a rate, and that they would save money because NV Energy rates would increase every year. Neither of these sales pitches are true."
NV Energy's filing requests a change in the grandfathering issue only as the company believes the remainder of the PUCN's modified final order issued in February 2016 strikes a balance for all customers going forward.
"We feel strongly that this grandfathering proposal is the most effective way to implement the recommendation previously made by NV Energy and that of the New Energy Industry Task Force," said Caudill. "The proposal is simple and fair."
NV Energy is asking the PUCN to take action in the next 90 days.