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3 Effects of bad solar regulations

If you’ve been following Solar News over the last month, then you know about the recent net metering ruling in Nevada. If not, then check out REIA-NM’s blog post, “Nevada Regulator, PUC, Gets It Wrong, Big Time.”  In short, the effects of those regulations have resulted in job losses in one of the fastest growing segments of the US economy, the Solar and Renewable Energy industry.

SolarCity, one of the largest installers of rooftop solar in the US, finds their business model no longer makes sense in Nevada.  Without net metering, customers can not switch from utility power to solar power.  However you feel about leasing solar equipment for 30 years, (we don’t like it), this regulation removes the solar option from people who want to do the right thing and buy their energy from a solar provider.  SolarCity alone has made the following decisions based on this case.

  • Laid off 550 workers in Nevada.
  • Shut down its Las Vegas training facility, which opened this last November to train installers from Colorado, Texas, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico.
  • Shut down 3 warehouses in Henderson, Las Vegas and Reno.

Although SolarCity says they will maintain their headquarters in Las Vegas, one has to wonder why.  For other customers, the ruling has removed the major incentive to invest in solar, and every reason a customer might lease a system from anybody.  Similar rate proposals have been pushed by other utilities around the country.  Fortunately in New Mexico. anti-solar fees were not implemented.  We’re members of REIA-NM (The Renewable Energy Industries Association of New Mexico), a group that contributed to the successful argument against such regressive energy policy.

It may not be too late. According to the Las Vegas Sun,

The solar industry and the state’s Bureau of Consumer Protection are challenging the rate change. The PUC next week will consider a request to pause the rates.

Reserve hope for Nevada, but of course, it is easier to stop anti-solar policies before they become regulations. For more information on how you can get involved and contribute to a renewable energy future for New Mexico, please check out REIA-NM.org.

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