FACT CHECK: Rooftop Solar Under Energy Choice

August 8, 2018

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.

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August 8, 2018 | Video

Channel 8: Energy Expert Jon Wellinghoff on Energy Choice

LAS VEGAS - Former FERC chairman Jon Wellinghoff is now working to pass Question 3, the Energy Choice Initiative. He talks to Steve Sebelius about why he supports it, why the are making it a constitutional amendment, what it will do to energy prices and how to protect consumers.