Today, four clean energy groups, Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, and Western Resource Advocates, announced their opposition to Question 3 on Nevada’s ballot this upcoming election. Question 3 would deregulate the state’s electricity market and could disrupt the state’s progress toward a clean energy future.
If Question 3 passes, NV Energy would get out of the energy supply business and have to sell all of its power plants. The Nevada Legislature would have until 2023 to establish a new, deregulated electricity market. There is no evidence that this new market structure would lower rates below current levels for residential customers.
Most importantly, a deregulated market would interrupt NV Energy’s commitment to double its current level of renewable energy generation by 2023, call into question the future of utility-sponsored energy efficiency programs, and introduce uncertainty into the state’s recovering rooftop solar industry.
Dylan Sullivan, Natural Resources Defense Council senior scientist, issued the following statement:
“Question 3 has been sold to voters as a way to get more renewable energy online in Nevada, but it will actually make it more difficult. There will be years of market uncertainty as the legislature figures out how to implement complex restructuring, and even after that, electricity retailers have shown a reluctance to sign the long-term contracts it takes to get new renewables built.”
Anne Macquarie, Chair of Sierra Club’s Toiyabe Chapter, issued the following statement:
“If Question 3 passes, it will upend the clean energy progress we’re making here in Nevada. Right now, NV Energy has big plans for new solar infrastructure, and the rooftop solar market is quickly recovering, but that may all change. The uncertainty of a deregulated market threatens all of Nevada’s clean energy momentum, and that’s bad for jobs, it’s bad for public health, and it’s bad for clean air and water.”
Howard Geller, SWEEP’s Executive Director, issued the following statement:
“NV Energy spent nearly $500 million helping its customers save energy and reduce peak demand over the past decade, and customers are now saving 2.7 billion kilowatt-hours per year as a result of NV Energy’s programs. Households and businesses served by NV Energy are expected to save nearly $700 million as a result of the utility’s energy efficiency programs implemented over the past decade. In addition, NV Energy has proposed ramping up its programs to help customers save energy starting in 2019. If Question 3 passes, it would call into question the future of these cost-effective energy efficiency programs. Therefore, SWEEP urges Nevadans to vote NO on Question 3.”
Robert Johnston, Western Resource Advocates’ Senior Staff Attorney in Nevada, issued the following statement:
“NV Energy has changed course on renewable energy and is proposing new solar projects that will double its current level of renewable generation by 2023. By taking NV Energy out of the electricity generation business at this critical juncture, passage of Question 3 not only will kill these important projects, but it is likely to create a cloud of legal and regulatory uncertainty that could chill the development of new renewable projects by anyone else over the next 4-5 years while the Legislature figures out the complicated details of restructuring Nevada’s electricity markets. We urge Nevadans to vote No on Question 3.”
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3 million members and supporters. In addition to helping people from all backgrounds explore nature and our outdoor heritage, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org
About the NRDC
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC
The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) is a public-interest organization promoting greater energy efficiency in Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. For more information, visit www.swenergy.org and on Twitter @SouthwestEE
About Western Resource Advocates
Western Resource Advocates (WRA) works to protect the West’s land, air, and water so that our communities thrive in balance with nature. WRA’s team of scientists, lawyers, and economists craft and implement innovative solutions to the most complex natural resource challenges in the region. For more information, visit www.westernresourceadvocates.org and follow us on Twitter @wradv