Advocates for Nevada’s clean-energy economy today applauded Gov. Brian Sandoval’s Executive Order establishing a Committee on Energy Choice, and encouraged the committee to advance policies that will give consumers the opportunity to renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions.

The Committee on Energy Choice will help prepare the state for the transition to a new competitive energy market, and will include the Lieutenent Governor, members of the Legislature, major electric consumers, organized labor, renewable energy experts, senior citizen representatives and others.

“Last November, Nevadans overwhelmingly voted in favor of more clean energy choices for their families and businesses,” said Andy Maggi, Executive Director of the Nevada Conservation League Education Fund. “It’s clear that the Governor heard loud and clear the message Nevadans want the ability to choose cleaner energy and energy efficiency.”

Jennifer Taylor, Executive Director of the Clean Energy Project in Nevada, noted that before November’s vote on the Energy Choice Initiative, advocates for Nevada’s clean-energy economy issued principles for the Choice Initiative. It will be critical that the committee consider these ways to increase the use of energy efficiency and renewable energy, which will create good jobs in Nevada, when forming their recommendations.

“Governor Sandoval’s Committee on Energy Choice has an opportunity to ensure the principles endorsed by energy choice advocates, which will promote a clean energy economy that is already creating healthier communities and thousands of jobs, are an integral part of the market transition,” Taylor said. “Nevada languishes in 47th place nationally for corporate procurement of clean energy from non-utilities or self-procurement and a well-regulated, open market may provide companies that want to do business in the Silver State with better direct access to our renewable resources. Nevada’s businesses and consumers want to choose clean energy and energy efficiency because they know it’s good for our state and good for the bottom line.”

Among the principles articulated by CEP, NCL and other clean-energy advocates:

• Energy choice should bring benefits, including clean energy and lower bills, to all consumers, from low-income users to large industrial customers.

• Existing customers, especially low-income consumers, should not be left with significantly increased costs.

• All energy providers should have to meet the Renewable Portfolio Standard guaranteeing that a percentage of Nevada’s electricity comes from clean energy sources.

• The transition to a new energy market should include local clean energy production through community solar, rooftop solar or other “distributed generation.”

• Energy efficiency programs should be integrated into the new market.

• A restructured energy market should create good-paying jobs for Nevadans and should provide a fair transition for workers displaced by changes in the market.

• A restructured energy market must include protections to prevent market manipulation, price gouging and other unintended consequences.