Governor Sandoval Issues Statement Prior to Public Utilities Commission Hearing


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Mari N. St. Martin
Communications Director
(775) 684-5670
CARSON CITY, NV - December 22, 2015

Governor Brian Sandoval issued the following statement prior to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) meeting this morning where the Commission is scheduled to consider a draft measure that will impact net metering policy in Nevada.

"This past legislative session, Senate Bill 374 was approved unanimously in the Nevada State Senate and nearly unanimously in the State Assembly. The Legislature passed the bill, which was supported by the solar industry, as a compromise measure meant to allow the rooftop solar industry to continue to create jobs and grow in Nevada while balancing the interests of non-solar ratepayers.

As approved by state lawmakers, the bill creates a “net metering” framework, enabling homes powered by solar energy to receive a credit on their bills if they generate power in excess of what is consumed in their households. This new law also shifted the regulatory authority over net metering from the Legislature to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and requires the Commission to evaluate the cost borne by traditional energy consumers in a fair and efficient way as Nevada continues to develop homegrown green energy technology by December 31st of this year.

The Public Utilities Commission is a three member quasi-judicial panel with its own decision-making authority. Its rulings are independent from the Office of the Governor and all other elected positions. The Commission is required by law to provide for energy rate stability and balance the interests of ratepayers with business. I cannot, and will not, interfere with its deliberations or try to influence decisions issued by the PUC as it meets its statutory obligations.

In this matter, I am hopeful that the Commission will find a solution that takes into consideration the thousands of jobs created by this emerging industry while balancing the interests of all ratepayers. The current docket, established by Senate Bill 374, will present a decision that any party can ask for reconsideration or seek judicial review.

I am particularly hopeful that we will hear more from the Nevada Bureau of Consumer Protection and the Nevada Consumer Advocate. The Nevada Consumer Advocate is an independent office created by law with the statutory charge to protect the interests of all Nevada consumers. I, like other Nevada ratepayers, look forward to hearing more from the Consumer Advocate and his position on the PUC's final order.

I await the PUC's final decision and remain committed to working with the renewable energy industry and Consumer Advocate moving forward,” said Governor Brian Sandoval.

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Office of the Governor
 . 101 North Carson Street . Carson City, NV 89701 . (775) 684-5670 
Grant Sawyer State Office Building . 555 East Washington, Suite 5100 . Las Vegas, NV 89101 . (702) 486-2500