The Nevada Supreme Court Apparently Doesn’t Favor Democracy

So let’s get one thing clear first, NV Energy is using made up arithmetic and scare tactics to try to keep their customers from going to other energy companies, specifically SolarCity and SunRun for their energy needs and environmental preference. Why? To maintain their energy monopoly and thus earnings. Although many energy companies are “legalized” energy monopolies by the U.S. government, at some point in time, common sense needs to supersede self-interest. The irony is that NV Energy offers solar and is actively building up their renewable infrastructure division. But it’s not nearly as profitable as their fossil fuel offering. So they are just stalling until their renewable infrastructure is better and when that happens, you will see them forcefully move customers to solar or wind. It’s ridiculous. Everything they do is for money, and none of the benefits of the environment,  the Nevada economy, or what the citizens of Nevada want in general.

The Nevada Supreme Court’s Decision on Nevada Solar

Two weeks ago, the Nevada Supreme Court confirmed what many expected which is, government doesn’t care what the public wants. Rooftop solar advocates and the TASC folks, were hopeful that their efforts would force state government to let the Nevada voters decide how they consume energy after a rate hike this year destroyed the solar industry and many jobs along with it in Nevada. Most thought their chances of this happening were good because they gathered more than double the number of voter signatures needed (115,000 voter signatures total) to put a referendum on the November ballot. After all, the is a democracy at every level. Well, apparently this isn’t a democracy, it’s a dictatorship because the Nevada Supreme Court UNANIMOUSLY declared the measure was unfit for a statewide vote. WTF?!

Why did they make this unanimous decision?

Basically they stated that Nevada’s leadership must play a direct role in representing the majority of Nevadans who want to bring solar back to Nevada. The Nevada Supreme Court Justices said that a referendum was fundamentally flawed because their argument was “inaccurate,” ”misleading” and “argumentative.”

Nevada Supreme Court Solar Ruling

So what’s the next step for solar proponents? 

There’s two things going on that are a response to the ruling, one of which is far more promising for solar in Nevada than the other.

The best one – many in the public, non-profit, and private sector will have to put substantial pressure on state legislators to change state policies…or they will face re-election problems. In simple terms, you will see many TV ads from organizations funded by Solar City and Sun Run that directly oppose state elected officials in their upcoming elections this November if they don’t publicly support solar policy changes.  Many of these state representatives and senators are encountering a more solar-savvy electorate who want more favorable solar policies.

The other one – Governor Sandoval has requested a bill for next spring that would “grandfather” existing customers back into their old rates which is about 30,000 customers. NV Energy recently announced it’s pursuing an effort to do the same through the Nevada Public Utilities Commission. But we’ll believe that when we see it.

Nevada Solar PUC

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