Understanding NV Energy’s past, present and future will help shape your solar purchase decision for your Nevada home. First, let’s dive into a brief history of the utility company that has, until recently, had a pretty tempestuous relationship with the Nevada populace.
NV Energy Rate History: Net Metering Changes
Nevada first started implementing net metering at the retail rate in 1997. Over the years the policy has changed, allowing more renewable power production, and at more affordable returns.
In the summer of 2015, like in past years, Nevada was about to reach their renewable energy cap. That May, legislators passed Senate Bill 374 moving the decision to the Nevada Public Utility Commission (PUCN).
When August came that year, the PUCN extended current payment through the end of the year. This gave a glimmer of hope, but when December came they voted to implement NV Energy’s energy proposal. This allowed NV Energy to charge all solar customers 40 percent more for fixed fees and cut their excess metering returns by 50 percent.
In response to the PUCN’s decision Governor Sandoval had the Nevada Bureau of Consumer Protection file a motion to block the ruling. Unfortunately, for legal reasons, Sandoval could not intervene in the PUCN’s decision.
This change affected everyone. Solar companies had to pull out of the state, forcing many to find new jobs – rallies and protests ensued.
Nevada’s Current Net Metering Decision: Assembly Bill 405
Over the next two years, a war waged in Nevada over solar power. Finally, in March of 2017, the AB 405 received approval from Sandoval, turning Reno once again into a solar power hub.
This new bill establishes protections for and ensures the rights of solar customers. Net metering will now stay even if Nevada decides to deregulate electricity. Solar customers are also protected against higher solar related fees.
These new provisions secure solar for those choosing to invest in it from now on out. Many can now breathe with ease knowing that their investment was not all for naught.
The Future of Solar for NV Customers: Why You Should Go Solar as Soon as Possible
For those who don’t have solar yet, the time to get it is now. The net metering rate is set to change after every 80 megawatts of solar generation.
Once you have signed up for net metering you are guaranteed the same rate for your excess generation for the next 20 years. This rate, however, is subject to change if you move your array to a different home.
Below is a table of the schedule that will impact users:
- 95 percent of the retail rate: This rate became effective on June 15, 2017. This tier has already reached 80 MW.
- 88 percent of the retail rate: As of December 6, 2018, NV Energy has reached a total capacity of 34.024 MW of residential solar in this tier.
- 81 percent of the retail rate:
- 75 percent of the retail rate:
Nevada’s biggest year for solar produced 100 megawatts. If this trend continues, you can expect buyback rates to decrease by 7 percent each year until it reaches the floor rate of 75 percent.
Solar Backup’s Role in Utility Rate Changes
For those that opt to get solar now, you’ll get 88 percent of the retail rate for all your excess energy for the next 20 years. If you purchase battery backup for your system before your 20-year agreement is up when the rates change it won’t affect you.
Go Solar Group only installs systems that are compatible with battery backup. Meaning there is no need to worry about your current system’s ability to integrate with batteries down the road.
If you get solar from Go Solar Group, you also have the option of having a free Secure Power Supply installed. This is a home integrated solar backup option; it allows you to access some of the power produced in current time by your panels during a power outage.
Emergency solar backup gives peace of mind when the grid goes down. Let’s be honest; everyone could use some more of that.