Nevadans Want More Solar

Joanna Schroeder

According to a recent poll, 74 percent of Nevadans would be less likely to re-elect a legislator or politician that failed to raise the solar cap in Nevada. The support of solar is bi-partisan with 69 percent of Republicans and 80 percent of Democratic likely voters. The poll was conducted by Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research and commissioned by the Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC).

Alliance for solar choice logoThe poll comes as Nevada’s nascent solar industry reaches an arbitrary cap on growth. Unless the cap is lifted this legislative session, says TASC, the industry will shut down as soon as this summer for the simple reason that it’s popular enough to hit an artificial ceiling. The Alliance cites that the U.S. has seen more than 150 net metering expansions since the policy’s inception, and zero retractions. Nevada would be the first major job-creating solar state to refuse to raise a net metering cap.

“In politics today it is rare to find three- quarters of voters agreeing on anything, but an overwhelming number of Nevadans report they are less likely to re-elect a politician who fails to raise the solar cap,” said Ryan Steusloff, Vice President of Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research.

Last week, close to one thousand solar workers, consumers, veterans, educators and families rallied outside NV Energy’s headquarters in Las Vegas to urge their elected officials to lift the solar cap and preserve solar jobs. In 2014, Nevada was #1 nationally in solar jobs per capita with 5,900 solar workers. The state saw a 146% increase in solar industry job growth last year. Without net metering, these jobs will be lost.

Seventy percent (70%) of likely voters across party lines in Nevada support net metering and 84 percent have a favorable impression of solar energy, finds to poll. The solar cap is an arbitrary limit on the number of Nevadans who can participate in solar net metering. Net metering is a policy that exists in 44 states that allows homeowners, businesses and schools to get retail rate credit for the extra energy their solar panels produce. The extra solar energy goes onto the electricity grid for neighbors to use, and the utility re-sells the energy at the same retail rate.

NV Energy is lobbying against net metering to stop solar growth and protect their monopoly status. Raising the solar cap in Nevada will save jobs and save water during a time of intense drought. Raising the cap will also increase healthy market competition and bolster consumer choice.

Clean Energy, Electricity, Renewable Energy, Solar