LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) — The debate over increasing solar power reimbursements, for early adopters in Nevada, will be decided next month.
The Public Utilities Commission will revisit the question of “grandfathering” about 30,000 home solar customers. A new law, approved Dec. 23, 2015, substantially reduced payments they receive for power they sell back to NV Energy.
Later Monday, NV Energy announced it wants to allow customers who already have solar panels to keep more favorable rates for up to 20 years.
The company issued a statement on its plan Monday, just after regulators at the Nevada Public Utilities Commission voted to further discuss the possibility of “grandfathering” existing customers into lower rates.
A total of 41 homeowners told the PUC that they’re losing money under the new law. Many of them invested in solar with their own money, and spoke before the PUC on Monday.
Steve Benton said he’s losing money after budgeting to pay $40,000 for his own solar system and banking on selling power back to NV Energy at a certain price.
“I want my $20,000 back. At least $20,000 dollars, because you’ve effectively halved what I’m getting out of this system. And I think that’s wrong to the citizens,” said Benton.
Many homeowners who spoke at the meeting believed the law cutting solar reimbursements was designed to curb the growth of companies such as SolarCity. It also had the effect of removing the financial incentive that led many people to install solar systems year ago, they said.
The PUC indicated it will make a final decision on “grandfathering” existing solar homes on Feb. 8. An estimated 13,500 homes that have applied for solar may also receive the benefit of the “grandfathering.”