Task force examine how to proceed if voters approve policy changes for electricity providers


Energy choice continues to be a buzz word leading into the 2018 election year.

The governor’s energy task force is looking into ways to move forward should voters approve some sweeping changes over the next few years.

A couple of major policy changes for electricity providers in Nevada are in voters’ hands.  In 2016, voters passed Question 3, which would essentially end the monopoly NV Energy has on most of the state by allowing competition in the electricity market.

Voters approved the measure by a three to one margin. However, it has to pass again this year to become law.

“We believe that Nevada could be a leader on renewable energy choice,” said Amy, Sierra Club.

Some question whether or not the cost savings will really be there.

“None of the lobbyists, attorneys or out-of-state companies hoping to do business here in Nevada offered any useful Nevada cost information,” said Angel Difazio, Las Vegas.

“This program cannot be implemented, still reduce costs, and be a benefit to Nevadans,” said Mike Hazard, Las Vegas.

NV Energy shares that objection and has switched from neutral to against the initiative, saying in part:

“NV Energy is joining the Coalition to Defeat Question 3 to make sure all Nevadans have the facts about this very complicated issue that has the potential to dismantle an electric system that has and will continue to provide low costs, increased clean energy production, great customer service, and industry-leading reliability.”

As of 2016, about a quarter of the electricity NV Energy provided came from renewable resources. That’s above the 20 percent standard for that year required by law.

More projects are in the pipeline. Supporters of the measure say that’s a starting point, but there’s more work to be done.

“A strong, clean energy standard is the only way to guarantee Nevadans get the power that they’re demanding,” said Rev. Lennon Jackson, director of Faith Organizing Alliance.  “A new initiative on the ballot in 2018, known as Question 1, would require 50 percent of the electricity any power provider provides to Nevada customers to come from renewable resources.  

However, it would have to happen by 2030.

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