Nevada regulators approve NV Energy, SolarCity grandfathering proposal

Krysti Shallenberger & Gavin Bade for UtilityDive



Regulators reduced net metering incentives for both existing and future solar customers

The Nevada PUC’s decision to reduce net metering rates at the end of last year set off months of regulatory and legal challenges.

In their decision, regulators reduced net metering incentives for both existing and future solar customers — and made the unprecedented decision not to “grandfather” existing solar customers into the new rate structure, the first time state regulators in any U.S. net metering debate decided not to do so. The new rate structure lowered the net metering credit to $0.09/kWh from $0.11/kWh, with the credit eventually declining to $0.026/kWh by 2020. The decision also created a separate rate class for solar customers and raised fixed charges for them while reducing volumetric rates.

Nevada solar groups and the Nevada Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection challenged the ruling, saying it violated the contract clause of the Constitution because many rooftop solar contracts were predicated on retail rate net metering.

Earlier this week, a Nevada court sided with the solar interests, finding that the PUC’s order was a “denial of fairness and due process through inadequate notice.” But the ruling itself is now likely moot, due to the deal between NV Energy, SolarCity and regulatory staff approved on Friday with the support of each commissioner.
NV Energy maintains that it did not request the exclusion of a grandfathering provision in the original order, and filed an earlier proposal to include one in February, only to be rebuked by regulators.

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