Landmark Legislation: Nevada’s Solar Bill of Rights
Nevada’s Solar Bill: Reinvigorating the State’s Solar Industry and Establishing the Nation’s First Solar Bill of Rights
Last year, the Nevada state legislature enacted Assembly Bill 405, which establishes a net metering system through which residential solar energy owners are credited fairly for the surplus energy they produce. It also provides residents with the right to produce, consume, and store their own energy, earning AB 405 its title as the “Solar Bill of Rights.” Nevada’s Solar Bill of Rights is the first bill of its kind to guarantee residents the right to self-generate electricity.
This legislation both reinvigorated the state’s solar industry, while also setting a new national precedent for consumers’ rights as energy producers. Although Nevada previously had net metering in place, new rates established by the Public Utilities Commission in 2015 were too low to incentivize Nevadans to install solar panels on their property. With AB 405, however, residents who produce more energy than they consume will be reimbursed for their excess energy at 95% of the retail electricity rate. In addition, AB 405 ensures a slew of important rights for residential solar customers, including the availability of detailed rate information for every system sold or leased through a Power Purchase Agreement.
Nevada’s Solar Bill of Rights is one of the newest additions to NCEL’s and the USC Schwarzenegger Institute’s Digital Environmental Legislative Handbook, and will likely serve as a strong model for other states looking to strengthen and incentivize residential solar.