Advocates for Nevada’s clean energy economy, and the local jobs, reliable electricity, and cleaner air that renewable energy brings, testified in favor of Assembly Bill 270, a bill to restore Nevada’s rooftop solar industry.
A December 2015 regulatory decision to change the rules on how solar customers are compensated for the energy they generate put solar out of reach for Nevada consumers and gutted the state’s once-thriving solar industry. A state and national jobs census released in February by the Solar Foundation found Nevada lost more than 2,500 rooftop solar installation jobs in 2016 following the changes, which increased electric prices for homeowners with rooftop systems.
AB 270, sponsored by Assemblyman Justin Watkins of Las Vegas, would restore Nevada’s rooftop solar rates and make investing in the clean-energy alternative more favorable for homeowners.
“Nevadans are ready for the Silver State to lead on solar jobs once again,” said Jessica Scott, Vote Solar Interior West director, “and we look forward to continuing to work with lawmakers and regulators to chart that strong long-term path forward. We applaud Assemblyman Justin Watkins and Assemblyman Chris Brooks for their diligent work to restore Nevada’s solar industry and to re-establish Nevada as a clean energy leader.”
“During the recession, rooftop solar was the bright spot in the Nevada economy,” said Louise Helton, owner of 1 Sun Solar Electric in Las Vegas. “We were booming. And after the PUCN decision, we’re dead. It’s time for legislators to respond to the public’s enormous support for clean energy by bringing solar back to Nevada.”
“We are eager for this 2017 Legislature to restore the net metering policies that made Nevada a national clean energy leader,” said Travis Miller, director of The Great Basin Solar Coalition. “The citizens of this state have sent a resounding message that they oppose separate rate classes for solar homeowners. With AB 270 we can push to recapture our state’s reputation, restore jobs, and protect the health of our citizens.”
“We support AB 270 and the restoration of fair and equitable net metering,” said Casey Coffman, regional vice-president of sales for Sunworks in northern Nevada. “Our legislators have an opportunity to restore the commitment they have made to privately owned renewable energy in Nevada. Rooftop solar saves all ratepayers money, while bringing thousands of good-paying jobs to our state.”