August 5 (SeeNews) - The Nevada Supreme Court yesterday ruled against a referendum proposed for the November statewide ballot that would have given voters the right to decide whether to return to Nevada’s previous, more favourable net metering rules.
The description that serves to explain the measure to voters is inaccurate, misleading, and also argumentative, according to the justices.
Before Christmas 2015, the Nevada Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved, based on recommendations by utility NV Energy, a new scheme for net metering. Under it, the utility service charge for small solar owners goes up and the credits paid to them for power sent to the grid goes down. The changes will occur in phases over 12 years.
The referendum was to give voters a say on the net metering rates, possibly resulting in a return to the more favourable terms that were in effect in 2015. The Bring Back Solar Alliance, backed by solar installer SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY), was the organisation that gathered signatures in support of the referendum. Its campaign manager Erin McCann said Thursday:
“While we’re disappointed that the Court ruled in such a way that the people of Nevada will not be able to vote on this issue, it clarifies the role Nevada’s leadership must play in representing the majority of Nevadans who want to bring solar back to Nevada. Working together with legislators, key stakeholders, and Nevada’s hundreds of thousands of solar supporters, we look forward to crafting strong solar policies that give Nevadans the freedom to power their homes and communities with clean solar energy.”
Last week NV Energy said it is seeking the PUC's approval to grandfather for 20 year solar customers in the state that joined the net metering scheme before December 31, 2015.