PUC shrugs off impact of new tariffs

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.

PUC cost shift


PUC presumes

PUC draft


5 comments on “PUC shrugs off impact of new tariffs

  1. iShrug says:

    This illustrates why government has no business picking economic winners and losers. An artificial market was created for the solar industry, on the backs of taxpayers. State legislators and the Governor’s office were influenced by both the NV Energy lobby and the renewables lobby. NVE did not need to build new conventional plants, nor did they need to purchase more power from renewable sources in order to comply with the RPS.

    Rooftop solar companies — and solar in general — would not be in business, were it not for federal government policy, subsidies, and tax credits. Customers understandably wish to take advantage of these as well.

    Sooner or later, we all lose. That is, taxpayers, captive rate payers, and employees who work for an artificial industry lose. Politicians already have their cut. Bureaucracies and monopolies are too big to fail.

  2. Dixie Rae says:

    I find it interesting that conservatives hate subsidies. Unless of course they benefit directly. Mr. Mitchell finds the Order unfairly accuses the media of confusion. He has previously indicated that he has installed solar panels. And at the same time he erroneously states that customers have a contract with the “state.” As a solar customer, Mr. Miller should know that his contact is between him & the solar installer, not the “state.” The additional application to connect his system to the grid is with NVE, not the “state.” The application he signed fully advised him that rates & laws are subject to change. The media is confused. So are customers like Mr. Miller.

  3. […] funny coming hours before Nevada’s PUC finalizes new rooftop solar tariffs that will destroy the future of rooftop and those jobs, as well as steal […]

  4. Subject to change, not utter abrogation.

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