Nevada residents voting yes or no on Question 3 are deciding whether or not the state will go off the grid.
NV Energy is the biggest electrical company in the state, providing 90 percent of the state’s electricity. However, Question 3 would reduce energy market regulations and eliminate legal monopolies.
Question 3 would create an open energy market in Nevada.
Supporters of Question 3 claim deregulation would bring in more competition, driving down rates and creating jobs while opponents say it would do the exact opposite as it has in other states.
The ballot measure is a proposed amendment to the state’s constitution which requires voter approval during two even-numbered elections. State legislators would then have until 2023 to come up with an implementation plan, including regulating out of state power companies doing business in Nevada.
“It doesn’t matter that they are outside the state; the point is to enter our market to sell electricity to Nevadans, said Lucas Foletta, Yes on Question 3 campaign. “Those companies, if they so choose will have to comply with certain regulatory requirements and thresholds in order to get into this market.”
However, the No on Question 3 campaign does not believe out of state companies will be regulated, and they believe this will put ratepayers at risk.
“What happens is, power generators from outside the state can come in unregulated and sell to customers whatever power they want to sell to them,” said Mike Schneider, No on Question 3 campaign.
Question 3 would allow consumers to shop around for electricity, but here’s the question: Does more options mean cheaper rates?
It depends on who you ask.
Schneider doesn’t seem to think it will mean cheaper rates.
“They’re dreaming,” Schneider said. “Every state that they deregulated in, the cost has gone up to the rate payer in every single state.”
“That’s just fear mongering,” Foletta said. “When they talk about other states, what they’re really talking about is California in the late 90’s and what Enron did there.”
Enron was an energy company behind a fraud scandal that significantly affected California residents.
When it comes to job creation, Yes on Question 3 released a study that the first ten years of having an open market, an estimated 63,000 new clean energy jobs would be created.
Opponents say it will force major layoffs at NV Energy.
“I think it’ll be disastrous in the short term and the long term,” said Schneider.
“Under our current system, where by we buy electricity we’re giving up all the benefits of competition,” said Foletta.
When it comes to Question 3, NV Energy has decided to remain neutral. However, in a statement, the company did release a list of ‘key principles’ for Nevada’s energy future.
It states the document does not include the risks, nor the impact deregulation has had in other states. It also laid out what it believes customers want including, affordable rates, access to clean energy, and job security for power company’s employees.