Advocates for rooftop solar customers and installers applauded the Nevada Assembly for passing legislation to restore an industry that virtually disappeared from the state more than a year ago.
Nevada lost more than 2,500 rooftop solar installation jobs in 2016 after regulators changed the rules on solar customers and installation companies, all but killing a once-thriving industry. The changes had largely put solar out of financial reach for many Nevada consumers.
Assembly Bill 405, which passed with bipartisan support on Tuesday, would make investing in the clean-energy alternative affordable for homeowners again. The legislation now goes to the Nevada Senate.
“AB405 doesn’t just benefit solar customers; it benefits all Nevadans who want to see our state create more jobs, power the grid with renewable resources, and lower energy costs,” says Louise Helton, Founder of 1 Sun Solar Companies in Las Vegas. “This bill could grow our economy while moving us closer to a cleaner, more secure energy future. And it could mean small businesses like mine can hire back the employees we had to let go, contribute to our local economy and make Nevada the national leader in solar job growth once more.”
Conservation advocates also applauded the measure.
“Over a year ago the Nevada Public Utilities Commission moved Nevada backward when they kicked the rooftop solar industry out of Nevada,” said Andy Maggi, executive director of the Nevada Conservation League. “The legislature has taken another huge step today in erasing that decision and putting rooftop solar back on a long-term path for success in Nevada. When voters took to the polls in November this issue was top of mind when they filled out their ballots. The Assembly is responding today by passing AB405 a bill sponsored by Justin Watkins to restore the mechanism that allowed so many Nevadans to choose solar for their homes.”
And advocates for the solar industry said the legislation would usher in a new day for solar in Nevada.
“Net metering empowers rooftop solar customers to invest in clean energy for their own homes and businesses and receive fair credit for the electricity they send back to the grid for local use,” said Jessica Scott, Interior West Director at Vote Solar. “Thanks to the Nevada Assembly for their bipartisan support to restore Nevada’s rooftop solar market clearing the way for Nevada families and businesses to choose solar energy and support local clean energy jobs.”