Next week the PUC will reconsider its decision to tear up the net metering tariffs for residential owners of solar panels and grandfather the rates for existing solar customers.
The draft order is based on arguments the commission had before it when it made the decision to go forward with new rates, but completely ignored. The Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection strongly argued that current solar panel owners should be grandfathered because they had been enticed by the state to do so under the premise they could recoup their expenses in a timely manner, but the new rates renege on that promise.
PUC had decided that over four years it would raise the basic connection fee for solar panel customers from $12.75 to $38.51 and cut the credit for power uploaded to the grid from 11 cents per kWh to 2.6 cents — turning what is currently an asset into a liability.
The rehearing appears to only address the matter of grandfathering current panel owners and would do nothing to change the rates for anyone dumb enough to install panels in the future, which mean those thousands of solar panel installer jobs are permanently lost. The state offered one such company, SolarCity, $1.2 million in taxpayer money to open in Nevada and now it is leaving, along with 550 jobs so far.
Here is a key section the draft order:
Previous coverage of this topic:
Today’s Review-Journal account.