Nevada Just Killed the Solar Industry with 40% Tax Hike
Solar Power has accumulated a great many advocates, but it appears that it’s still a central point for a lot of controversy. For example, billing for electricity can get complicated when people are providing a lot of their own power from solar panels, but are still paying for being connected to the city’s power grid.
A recent ruling in Nevada has left many solar enthusiasts very frustrated, as it came down on the side of NV Energy, leading many people to believe that the decision was bought.
Does this sabotage the off-grid movement? Companies like SolarCity don’t let you truly own the solar panels anyways, so it’s not like they’re truly helping people go off grid – they just want to hook people into their grid.
A lot of people feel very strongly about the state government’s decision here. What’s your opinion? Let us know in the comments below!
The Nevada Public Utilities Commission (PUC) voted unanimously to increase a monthly fee on solar customers by 40% while reducing the amount they get paid for excess power sold to the grid. Adding insult to injury, they made the rate changes retroactive, sabotaging consumer investments in solar energy.
This single move by government regulators will effectively kill the solar industry in Nevada and put an end to the surge of people seeking to detach from the grid by harnessing their own energy from the sun. Just as importantly, it serves to protect the profits of Nevada’s public utility company, NV Energy.
Two major solar companies, SolarCity and Sunrun, have already left the state, causing upwards of a thousand job cuts. Many more renewable energy jobs are at stake. Solar industry supporters and workers are planning to protest the new rates at a rally in Carson City and Las Vegas, as industry and public outcry may force regulators to reconsider their decision.
One Nevada resident wrote in the Las Vegas Sun that she feels “financially ambushed” after tapping into their retirement savings to become a solar household. Before the rate change, the system would have paid for itself in 14 years, but now that will never happen.
NV Energy says that solar customers “don’t pay their fair share to maintain the grid.”
Source: The Free Thought Project