Key bills that would strengthen the state’s clean-energy economy and provide access to energy efficiency and renewable energy for all residents advanced in the Nevada Legislature on Tuesday.
Several bills passed the Senate or Assembly by large margins with bipartisan support, paving the way for consideration by the other chamber. Bills that moved out of the Senate include efforts to strengthen and improve access to energy efficiency measures (SB 150), expand financing opportunities for clean energy improvements (SB 407), make clean energy a priority in resource planning (SB 65), and promote planning for electric vehicles and energy-storage systems (SB 145 and 204).
On the Assembly side, measures improving energy efficiency programs (AB 223) and allowing clean energy financing through property assessment bills were passed and now move to the Senate.
“A clean energy economy must include hard-working Nevadans, and being energy resilient must include efficiency programs, green banks, and energy storage technology,” said Sondra Cosgrove, president, League of Women Voters of the Las Vegas Valley. “Fortunately, our state legislators agree and have supported moving legislation on all these issues forward. If this bipartisan support continues, Nevadans will benefit from leading the nation in renewable entrepreneurship for generations to come.”
“We’re satisfied to see bills pass in both the Senate and Assembly that will expand energy efficiency programs for those who need them the most,” said Rudy Zamora, director of Chispa Nevada, a community organizing program of the League of Conservation Voters, on the passage of SB 150 and AB 223. “The policies will help families lower their bills, while reducing the state’s energy use and lowering fossil fuel pollution that disproportionately impacts low-income families and communities of color.”
“For too long, clean energy projects have been out of reach for low-income families,” Rev. Leonard Jackson, director of Faith Organizing Alliance in Las Vegas, said. “The creation of this loan fund (SB 407) will expand financial access to renewable power, advance economic and energy justice, and create high-paying employment opportunities for our community.”
“Individually, these bills promise to support Nevada’s clean energy economy and bring access to clean energy to everyone in our state,” said Andy Maggi, executive director of the Nevada Conservation League. “Taken together, passage of these key bills will help lay the groundwork for healthy communities, good jobs and economic development for decades to come. There is still a lot of work to do, but legislators have made significant progress.”
Several other important energy bills have received additional negotiation time from legislative leadership, including a proposal to increase in the percentage of energy generated from renewable sources (AB 206); a bill to restore Nevada’s rooftop solar industry (AB 270); a “bill of rights” for residents and businesses investing in solar systems (AB 405); and a bill that would allow residents or businesses to invest in shared, community solar installations (SB 392).