The draft order that will be on the PUC’s agenda Wednesday flatly denies any stay of enforcement of new electricity rates imposed on Jan. 1.
The Bureau of Consumer Protection and others proposed the stay, saying the new rates were unfair, discriminatory and basically abrogated a contract between the owners of state subsidized solar panels and the state, whose policy had been to encourage solar distributive power.
But the 39-page PUC order shrugs these off and claims the impact on panel owners is just a couple of percentage points on the annual bill. Though how they calculated that is hard to figure since they propose a 688 percent increase in connection fees for solar panel owners and slashing the credit for power uploaded to the grid from 11 cents per kWh to 2.6 cents over four years.
Nor does the PUC contention that solar panel owners shift $320 million to $480 million in costs to non-panel owner make since. They apparently ignore the fact that NV Energy does not have to build expensive power plants because solar panel owners are producing their own.
Repeatedly throughout the draft there are references to press and media scrutiny and claims of confusion on the part of the citizens, though it is long on assumptions and short on specifics. So far as I have read the accounts have been largely accurate, though some have overlooked key aspects, such as the fact public buildings and schools are exempt from the new higher power bills — a fact largely ignored by the PUC.
The key reason for not delaying the new higher rates is that if they are eventually overturned then the shafted customers can get a rebate for what they were overcharged.
The PUC also shrugs off the 650 jobs immediately killed by the new tariffs.