What does Question 3/energy choice mean for renewable energy in Nevada?
By Scot Rutledge, former Executive Director of the Nevada Conservation League
Nevada voters face an important decision on the future of energy this November. Question 3 would end the traditional energy monopoly and create an open, competitive energy market in the state of Nevada.
So, what does this mean for renewable energy in the Silver State?
Let’s Talk Solar
Nevada has an abundance of sunshine every year, and the sun is a free energy source that does not create harmful carbon emissions. Right now, much of our energy still comes from carbon-intense fuel sources like natural gas and coal. Why?
Well, it’s a little complicated– but the gist is our energy monopoly, NV Energy, owns coal and gas-powered plants and it is not profitable for them to make the switch to clean energy. NV Energy also got into a big fight with rooftop solar companies and effectively killed rooftop solar in Nevada until the legislature overruled them.
If Question 3 passes, any company that wants to build a solar array in Nevada can do so and immediately be able to sell that energy to Nevada consumers. In addition, rooftop solar customers will be protected from heavy-handed political tricks by NV Energy.
Your Energy Choice
By creating a competitive market, NV Energy will no longer be the only energy provider, and they’ll be forced to compete with companies offering up to 100% renewable energy. That allows us consumers to ‘vote with our wallet’ and choose the type of energy we want, including reweables– this is why opening our electric market to energy choice means more renewable energy for Nevadans.
We have seen these programs become wildly successful in states with competitive retail choice as consumers have saved 14% or more on their bills over time . There is no better place for each and every energy customer to participate in a clean energy economy than Nevada.
With the price of solar energy continuing to drop rapidly as new technology makes it cheaper to build solar panels, we should all have the opportunity to take advantage of our abundant solar resource. Solar power is no longer an expensive luxury and should not be a resource that only NV Energy gets to control.
Every single Nevadan should have the right to choose clean, affordable energy, and that’s why I support Question 3.
About Scot Rutledge
Scot Rutledge has been fighting for strong renewable energy policies in the state of Nevada for nearly a decade. He served as Executive Director of the Nevada Conservation League and worked with a coalition of other environmental groups to defeat NV Energy’s proposals for new coal-fired power plants in addition to expanding Nevada’s renewable energy portfolio standard.