Sunny Nevada Just Killed The Solar Industry With 40% Tax Hike, Derailing The Off-Grid Movement

Free Thought Project – by Justin Gardner

While Nevadans were celebrating the holidays under solar-powered lights, the Nevada Public Utilities Commission (PUC) voted unanimously to increase a monthly fee on solar customers by 40% while reducing the amount they get paid for excess power sold to the grid. Adding insult to injury, they made the rate changes retroactive, sabotaging consumer investments in solar energy.

This single move by government regulators will effectively kill the solar industry in Nevada and put an end to the surge of people seeking to detach from the grid by harnessing their own energy from the sun. Just as importantly, it serves to protect the profits of Nevada’s public utility company, NV Energy.  

“It will destroy the rooftop solar industry in one of the states with the most sunshine…There is so much wrong with the decision,” said SolarCity CEO Lydon Rive. “The one beneficiary of this decision would be NV Energy, whose monopoly will have been protected.”

Two major solar companies, SolarCity and Sunrun, have already left the state, causing upwards of a thousand job cuts. Many more renewable energy jobs are at stake. Solar industry supporters and workers are planning to protest the new rates at a rally in Carson City and Las Vegas, as industry and public outcry may force regulators to reconsider their decision.

One Nevada resident wrote in the Las Vegas Sun that she feels “financially ambushed” after tapping into their retirement savings to become a solar household. Before the rate change, the system would have paid for itself in 14 years, but now that will never happen.

“With the new pricing for [net metering] customers, the value or price of the energy they produce will be vastly reduced. In addition, the flat service charge for NEM customers will rise to three times that charged to nonsolar residential customers, a kind of penalty for producing much of our own electricity. The people with solar on their homes feel cheated; solar businesses are closing or leaving.”

NV Energy—a regulated monopoly with an “authorized rate of return”—is unabashed in saying that the surge in renewable energy is cutting into their profits. Last year the company, owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, got Sen. Patricia Farley to draft the amendment that shifted the state’s net metering over to the PUC. In their view, solar customers “don’t pay their fair share to maintain the grid.”

With the rate changes, Nevada regulators are demonstrating the willingness and ease with which government can neutralize the “off-grid” movement while protecting their favorite utilities. Rooftop solar, along with innovations such as Tesla’s Powerwall, represents a huge opportunity for people to free themselves from an energy structure ruled by corporations and state co-conspirators.

Residential solar customers are not the only threat to the profits of NV Energy.

“A consortium of casinos and businesses is looking to leave NV Energy’s grid and start generating their own power, saying they’re being placed at a competitive disadvantage because they’re paying more for energy than their business rivals in nearby states. The state Public Utilities Commission has said it would charge hefty fees — $27 million in the case of Las Vegas data center Switch — to let industrial ratepayers leave the system.”

The fight between NV Energy and the solar industry may be a microcosm of a larger struggle involving the fossil fuel industry. The American Energy Alliance, a fossil fuel advocacy organization backed by the infamous Koch brothers, applauded the Nevada decision as a matter of national policy. They are pushing efforts in other states to curtail the rise of solar energy.

In this vein, the outcome of Nevada’s situation could have implications far beyond that state.

“Nevada could set a precedent for other states, Hugh Wynne, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., wrote in note Tuesday. Regulators across the country are grappling with how to spur the development of clean energy sources while ensuring operators can collect enough money to maintain and update their grids. – Bloomberg News

The question must be asked, why does government protect the status quo? Why is it assumed that existing utility operators must be preserved in this rapidly changing energy landscape? Instead, consider that old utility grids are no longer applicable in the 21st century.

This is a pivotal moment in the evolution of the energy paradigm. We have the ability to leave behind the dirty, corrupt legacy of fossil fuels and enter an era of localized, renewable energy. As The Free Thought Project reported in November, within 25 years we could have a complete energy transformation, as the cost of renewables declines and technology advances exponentially. Rooftop solar and localized systems will lead the revolution.

In order to achieve this, we must break from the grip of those who would keep us in the dark ages to satiate their thirst for power and wealth.


31 thoughts on “Sunny Nevada Just Killed The Solar Industry With 40% Tax Hike, Derailing The Off-Grid Movement

  1. This is because Nevada has huge solar power facilities being built all over the state and they want the customers to use that power and not their own. Total BS, total fraud, you name it, it’s not good.

    When I’m driving into Nevada coming in from the I95 northbound , you see these huge solar facilities,you see them coming in through LA off of the I15 as well, and see them coming in through Bullhead city.(I95 north)

    1. I’ve seen these wind powered monstrosities in southern Minnesota that litter the landscape. These F’N things are HUGE! Apparently, with government grants, of course, they’re “economically feasible”. Then, the owner’s all get together and pay those grants back and everything’s square. (In fantasy land) Free electricity for all my buddies, the rest of you, here’s your bill for services rendered.

  2. thats only for the people that buy all their solar equipment from the power company and having them install it all. Most off-grid folks do the installs themselves and buy the equipment off ebay or craigslist. This is only for the “starbucks” off-gridder.

      1. but the first paragraph says (voted unanimously to increase a monthly fee on solar customers by 40% while reducing the amount they get paid for excess power sold to the grid.) That means they were already paying. So they got it all from the energy companies and are “selling” extra energy to the energy companies.
        They’re not off-gridders. The people that are being targeted here, are the ones that paid for install and signed contracts with the energy companies.

        1. We will have to see how it plays out, long story short they don’t like off gridders or do it yourself solar people, that’s not in the JEW playbook.

          I know people who live in Nevada that live way out,and they have their own solar how long that’s going to last is in question.

          They also have their own water wells, etc.

        2. These systems are they are talking about are grid tied systems. They offset or eliminate their electric bill. If they over produce they get a chech for the over produced amount, usually 2 to 3 cents per kilowatt (thats what it is here in PA). My wife and I own a small (just us) solar installation company and we and our customers are made to jump through hoops to put these systems in.

      2. Hey Mark, I know you’re talking solar in Nevada, I’m just sayin’ what we’re dealing with here. I would guess, in your travels, you’ve been been on I-90 out of Lacrosse headin’ to Rapid City. Maybe not, I don’t know, but you wouldn’t forget these giant wind mills.

        1. Oh yeah Millard,

          These giant turbin wind farms are all over the country now, I see them all over.

          California is huge wind farm, Iowa is huge wind farm, the Dakotas and Wyoming are huge , anywhere where there’s a lot of wind.

          Texas is huge

          1. Nevada is all about mining – the minerals, the Sun, the wind & the peoples pockets…

            I suspect the Gov (Sandoval) will have something to say, he has been working many deals to bring biz to NV for some times now.

            Likely, if any of them know, the libtards in Las Vegas will make some waves.

    1. Here in Nevada the huge solar farms are mostly Photovoltaic.In the last year or so there were solar companys installing solar packages on peoples homes for free. The catch is, you can not remove it for 25 years and your rates are subject to change after a few years.
      Warren Buffet owns” NV Energy”, need i say more?

      1. You are right Wade. The people on my mom’s block got them installed for free but were locked into a twenty year contract at,get this, $90.00 per month. That’s going to be hard to live with. When they knocked on our door I told them to go f$&k themselves.

  3. A hand full of parasites can by majority vote steal what ever they want from you. “America. What a country.”

  4. “Just as importantly, it serves to protect the profits of Nevada’s public utility company, NV Energy”

    …they are a bunch of crooks.

  5. See what happens when a “collective” (may as well call them Borg, “We must assimilate you into the collective.”.) They’re like Terminators, they absolutely will not stop, programmed in their thought processes to have no regard for humanity, exploiting their fellow man for their own gain and pleasure. They all must hang, in public, to send a message that this type of thinking or behavior will not be tolerated.

  6. I have a grid tied system here in PA and we over produce 9 months out of the year. Our electric provider has a flat rate of 25 dollars. WE had a credit of 1200kw and we didn’t pay the flat rate we got a letter that they were going to disconnect us if we didn’t pay up.

  7. “… government regulators will effectively kill the solar industry in Nevada and put an end to the surge of people seeking to detach from the grid by harnessing their own energy from the sun.”

    The stinking jews haven’t yet figured out how to block sunlight to anyone that wouldn’t pay an ‘energy tax’ for using it.

    1. “stinking jews”. Where does the origin of that start? Before or after the world was created? Of course, anti-Semitism was here way before that, right?

  8. The trick is to buy your own solar panels, install them yourself and not tell the power company about it. You get your bill reduced and only pay the utilities the minimum amount per month. Don’t get greedy and try to get it to zero. Buy back from the utilities is a no win situation.

  9. Grid tie is not off grid and too expensive. I run my solar and wind independent from commercial. Got to run your own separate wire though, no biggy. Their power goes down, my middle finger goes up. Most the time I don’t use theirs.
    Tip: With an AC wind gen. a guy doesn’t need heavy cable until after the rectifier, braided wire to the rectifier.
    DC wind gen. needs expensive cable all the way.

    1. Tesla was right Hal. Edison was still a great mind, the jews hated him. All those law suits…. can you say hollywood?

  10. The nearest grid is 20 miles away from me, and I have enjoyed living off the grid with solar for going on 4 years now, with no intervention from the government. I would fight to the death if my lifestyle was disrupted or regulated out of existence!
    I live in the high country of northern Arizona.

  11. Finding components to get off grid are the hard part. Some are easy to find, some, next to impossible. Any suggestions? And yes, I know about E-bay and Craigslist.

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