Three key clean energy bills have received overwhelming bipartisan support from both chambers of the Nevada Legislature, and have gone to Gov. Brian Sandoval for his signature to become law.
The bills are:
• Assembly Bill 223, sponsored by Las Vegas Assemblyman William McCurdy II, which provides support for energy efficiency and, in particular, expands access to energy efficiency projects to low-income residents, renters and others who face obstacles to taking advantage of energy efficiency’s cost saving benefits;
• Senate Bill 145, sponsored by Las Vegas Senator Pat Spearman, which provides incentives to use electric vehicles and to develop electric storage capacity;
• And Senate Bill 204, sponsored by Las Vegas Senator Kelvin Atkinson, which directs state regulators to research a target for implementing energy storage.
The bills are among more than a dozen supporting Nevada’s clean energy economy, a growing economic engine that already employs more than 20,000 workers in energy efficiency and solar energy alone. Several other bills are moving through the two chambers of the Legislature and more are expected to go to the governor in the final two weeks of the legislative session.
The energy efficiency legislation got high marks from advocates for communities of color, which overwhelmingly support clean energy and energy efficiency measures.
“We believe in the power of energy efficiency to cut costs for residents and businesses across the state of Nevada, while boosting conservation and growing a clean energy economy,” said Rudy Zamora, director of Chispa Nevada, a program of the League of Conservation Voters.
Zamora added that while there is still discussion on important energy bills to come in the next two weeks, passing these three bills is a significant victory. “The Legislature is presenting Gov. Sandoval with an unprecedented number of clean-energy bills, key legislation that will carve out a future of good jobs and economic development in clean energy for people across Nevada.”
“Bringing the bill-cutting benefits of energy efficiency to low-income residents, renters and others who in the past may not have had access is an important step forward for the state,” agreed Sydni Sayles, a member of the Las Vegas Urban League Young Professionals.
The impact will be positive for everyone in the state, said one energy efficiency expert.
“This is a great bipartisan victory for Nevada’s energy consumers. New energy savings programs will produce energy savings that will boost local small businesses,” said Tom Polikalas, Nevada representative for the Southwest Energy Efficiency project. “Money saved on energy bills will mostly be spent on local goods and services. Many jobs will be created in local retail indirectly, and many others will be created as small businesses expand employment in the trades that will make our homes and businesses more energy efficient. Kudos go to many legislative leaders such as William McCurdy II and Jill Tolles for their long, hard work on this bill. We sincerely thank the many stakeholders working to achieve a strong consensus on AB223, from NV Energy to the Nevada Conservation League.”
Annette Magnus, executive director of Battle Born Progress, said the energy storage bills lay a foundation for future renewable energy development in Nevada.
“Energy storage is an important element in the development of a strong clean energy economy in Nevada, and Sen. Atkinson’s SB 204 lays the path for energy storage for our communities,” she said.