Not a month goes by without a story of some assault on solar-friendly policies by utilities, or by the Utility Commissions that are often in their pocket.
During the holidays at the end of 2015, it was Nevada’s utter dismembering of its net metering policy. Nevada is—or was—one of 42 states that offered net metering, a program through which customers with solar arrays are compensated for the energy they produce on their rooftops or in small installations connected to the electric grid.
NV Energy Inc. unleashed this full frontal attack on the program that—in one quick vote of three unelected commissioners—pulled the rug out from under 17,000 solar customers and eviscerated at least 8,000 solar jobs. And the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) was happy to oblige.
Nevada has the highest number of solar jobs per capita in the United States, but for how long?
As Nevada’s PUCN invited this “solar black hole” over one of the nation’s sunniest states, many pointed out how NV Energy fought tooth and nail against the successful net metering plan, and ultimately secured its demise.
NV Energy, the state’s largest utility, is a subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy. This net metering battle was high profile.
Many have pitched it as a Buffett versus Musk showdown, as NV Energy’s demands would prove to cripple Solar City’s business in the state, which was dependent on a consistent net metering program.
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