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Sunny Las Vegas is one of the best places to invest in renewable, clean solar power for your home or business; it could even be the “solar capital of the world,” according to Mayor Pro Tem Steve Ross. The local energy industry, however, isn’t too happy about this potential for a major shift to solar energy. NV Energy claims that paying solar users for net metering forces them to raise rates for non-solar customers, which has caused the Public Utilities Commission to make a decision allowing NV Energy to charge those with solar panels more and pay them less for the energy they sell back to the grid.

Over 31,000 signed petitions against this action, and now that it has passed, there has been a lawsuit, a public protest, and many frustrated citizens, because net metering and drastically lowered energy bills were how many people planned to pay for their new solar panels. While the PUC decision is a serious challenge, there is much to be hopeful for: a payment plan for solar installation proposed by Steve Ross, a new Tesla battery that would make off-grid solar possible, and a chance that this Monday, PUC may decide to allow those with existing solar panels to keep the better net metering rates. Short-term hurdles are to be expected as our country transitions to renewable energy, but making the switch is a choice you make for the long term. For Nevada solar, the future is still very bright.

Net Metering in Nevada

What is Net Metering?

Net metering allows you to use energy generated by your leased or purchased solar system to offset your monthly power bill. If your solar system produces more energy in a billing period than you use, your excess energy will be pushed back onto the grid and used by other electricity customers. You will earn credits for the excess energy. The credits are recorded on your electric bill. The credits will be automatically applied in the next billing period in which you consume more energy than you produce.

Net Metering Rates - Assembly Bill 405 (2017)

Effective June 15, 2017, Nevadans who choose to net meter will fall under a rate structure set by the Nevada Legislature in Assembly Bill 405 (AB 405).

This rate structure applies to renewable energy systems of not more than 25 kilowatts, which is typical of a rooftop solar system installed at a home or small business.

The net metering rate structure is tiered and set to decrease over time as the amount of electricity produced by net metering systems hits 80 megawatt benchmarks. (See “Net Metering Rate Tiers” below for more information.)

Net metering customers will remain in the same customer class as non-net metering customers and cannot be charged any fee or charge that is different than that charged to non-net metering customers. Net metering customers will pay the same basic service charge and other fees as non-net metering customers.

Net Metering Rate Tiers

  • 95% of the retail rate: This is the current net metering rate for those who agree to net meter on or after the effective date of June 15, 2017. This rate will be in effect until the amount of electricity produced by net metering systems signed up at this tier equals 80 megawatts. Customers who sign up to net meter under this rate will keep it for a period of 20 years at the location where the net metering system was originally installed. (“Retail rate” is defined as the Base Tariff General Rate (“BTGR”), Base Tariff Energy Rate (“BTER”) and Deferred Energy Accounting Adjustment (“DEAA”) Rate combined. For more information on the BTGR, BTER and DEAA, please review the PUCN’s Northern Nevada Electric Rates & Charges fact sheet or Southern Nevada Electric Rates & Charges fact sheet.)

  • 88% of the retail rate: The net metering rate will decrease to 88% of the retail rate when the amount of electricity produced by net metering systems under the 95% tier equals 80 megawatts. Customers who sign up to net meter under this rate will keep it for a period of 20 years at the location where the net metering system was originally installed.

  • 81% of the retail rate: The net metering rate will decrease to 81% of the retail rate when the amount of electricity produced by net metering systems under the 88% tier equals 80 megawatts. Customers who sign up to net meter under this rate will keep it for a period of 20 years at the location where the net metering system was originally installed.

  • 75% of the retail rate The net metering rate will decrease to 75% of the retail rate when the amount of electricity produced by net metering systems under the 81% tier equals 80 megawatts. Customers who sign up to net meter under this rate will keep it for a period of 20 years at the location where the net metering system was originally installed.

AB 405 Capacity

Tier 1
Applied Capacity
13.956 MW*
Installed Capacity
2.939 MW*
Tier 2
Applied Capacity
0 MW*
   Installed Capacity
0 MW*
 Tier 3 
Applied Capacity
0 MW*
  Installed Capacity
0 MW*
Tier 4
Applied Capacity
0 MW*
  Installed Capacity
0 MW*

*The numbers shown will fluctuate as customer-generator applications are submitted, withdrawn, or expire. The information will be updated as new projects move into the queue. The information regarding applied-for capacity is provided as a courtesy and is not meant to be a legal determination of capacity. The information regarding installed capacity is required by AB 405; AB 405 requires the PUCN to post certain findings on its website regarding installed capacity. The PUCN will make a determination at an open meeting regarding required installed capacity findings and will then post that information on this website.

Nevada PUC OKs policies to help rooftop solar industry grow

Nevada PUC OKs policies to help rooftop solar industry grow

The Nevada Public Utilities Commission has approved an order that establishes net metering policies to help the rooftop solar industry grow. (Jeff Scheid/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

CARSON CITY — The Nevada Public Utilities Commission approved an order Friday that establishes net metering policies aimed at helping the rooftop solar industry grow.

(more…)

Bills in Nevada Legislature would increase renewable energy goal

Bills introduced in the Nevada Legislature on Monday will position the Silver State as a leader in energy efficiency and renewable energy, clean-energy advocates said.

Monday was a big night for renewable energy in Carson City, with five new bills introduced designed to reduce energy use, increasing investments in homegrown renewable energy, lowering costs for consumers, and boosting the state’s economy.

Assemblyman Chris Brooks’ bill to increase the amount of energy Nevada utilities get from renewable sources, called a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), would spur investment in the state’s solar, geothermal and wind resources. The RPS bill would replace the existing benchmark of 25 percent by 2020 with a goal of 50 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2040.

Additionally, bills introduced by Sen. Pat Spearman and Assemblyman William McCurdy would expand energy efficiency measures. These bills would widen access to cost-effective energy efficiency programs that reduce energy use and are designed to save consumers money, especially in low-income communities.

San Francisco approves green roof mandate

San Francisco approves green roof mandate

Residential solar company Sunrun installed the system on The Painted Ladies, which included a Sunrun Birghtbox storage solution, under a solar lease program.

San Francisco has become the first city in the U.S. to approve such an obligation, which requires all new construction projects to have 30% of their roof space set aside for green roofs and/or solar panels, while one of the Californian city’s most iconic buildings also gets a solar makeover

(more…)

Switch sues Nevada PUC, NV Energy over denial of energy purchase

CARSON CITY — The data storage company Switch on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against the Nevada Public Utilities Commission and NV Energy in the wake of the revelation that the former PUC general counsel inappropriately commented on matters pending before the agency using a social media pseudonym. (more…)

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