Riley Snyder, The Nevada Independent
The end of rooftop solar?
Hinting at such apocalyptic questions has become a mainstay in campaign ads run by opponents of the Energy Choice Initiative, a proposed constitutional amendment that would require Nevada to drop its current electric monopoly model and move to a competitive retail market by 2023.
The Coalition to Defeat Question 3 (which has been almost entirely funded by the state’s incumbent utility, NV Energy) has seized the politically popular issue of rooftop solar as a possible casualty if the ballot measure were to pass in 2018.
“Question 3 would also eliminate Nevada’s current rooftop solar program, which serves thousands of homes,” a narrator for a recent digital ad with more than 145,000 views said.
The claim, which has been repeated on social media by the campaign, has elicited a staunch response from proponents of the ballot question, who have called such an assertion “patently false,” an “absurdity” and “insulting.”
The issue of net metering — a billing mechanism where rooftop solar owners are credited for adding surplus energy generated back onto the electric grid — has simmered recently but as recently as 2016 was such a contentious issue that even presidential candidates mentioned it during campaign stops in Nevada.
The Yes on 3 campaign — which is being largely funded by the Las Vegas Sands and Switch — has also been quick to point out that NV Energy funded a PAC that sought to prevent a referendum on a state law criticized as limiting the rooftop solar industry.