NV: Curtains close on net metering soap opera, for now


S.B. 374, one of the most controversial — and dramatic — bills in Nevada’s legislature this year, is now law. The bill requires utilities to offer net metering to customers who install eligible systems until the aggregate capacity of accepted or approved completed applications for net metering equals 235 MW. After that limit is reached, utilities must offer net metering in accordance with a new tariff submitted on or before July 31, 2015, and approved by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) on or before December 31, 2015. In reviewing such tariffs, the PUC is authorized to: (1) establish one or more rate classes for customer-generators; (2) establish terms and conditions for customer-generator participation in net metering, including enrollment limitations; (3) after the tariffs are adopted, close the new tariff to new customer-generators; and (4) allow utilities to set “just and reasonable” rates and charges to prohibit cost-shifting from net metering customers to other customers.

S.B. 374 removes, for net metering customers, an existing prohibition against utilities from revising schedules or imposing any rates on residential customers based on the time of use. It also requires utilities’ triennial resource plans to include DG deployment within a required low-carbon intensity scenario, an analysis of the effects of net metering on the reliability of utilities’ distribution systems, and the costs (to utilities) to provide electric service to all customers.

Net metering tariffs approved by the PUC under S.B. 374 may not take effect until after the date on which the 235-MW capacity requirement is met. If the PUC does not approve the required tariff by December 31, 2015, then beginning on January 1, 2016, utilities must offer net metering under the current law.