Study finds net metering cost shift is $36 million in Nevada

August 24, 2016

new study by Energy and Environmental Economics, Inc. (E3) shows, in Nevada, net metering is creating a cost shift from rooftop solar customers to non-solar customers to the tune of $36 million each year.

"Overall, for the state of Nevada, NEM generation is a costlier approach for encouraging renewable generation than utility-scale renewables," reads the report.

The sharp decline in prices for energy from universal (utility-scale) solar compared to costs for rooftop solar, which have not dropped similarly, is the main reason, the report says.

APS has been a strong advocate for fixing Arizona's net metering rules, educating policymakers and the general public about the unfair and growing cost shift caused by the subsidy. In Arizona, which has more rooftop solar than Nevada, the annual cost shift is more than $50 million each year.

The Nevada Public Utilities Commission has taken steps to reduce the rooftop solar subsidy, bringing the rate being paid to rooftop solar customers for their excess energy closer to the wholesale energy rate.

Energy experts including Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett, recently retired First Solar CEO Jim Hughes and executive director of the Institute for Electric Innovation and Brookings Institution fellow Lisa Wood have recently expressed opinions regarding why net metering fails electric customers. 

Las Vegas Review-Journal (Aug. 18, 2016): Rooftop solar shifts $36M a year to nonsolar ratepayers in Nevada, study says

Las Vegas Sun (Aug. 18, 2016): Study says solar customers shift utility costs to traditional ratepayers