January 14, 2016 — A group of 18 venture capital investors have written Nevada’s public utility regulators, with copies to Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and state legislators, urging the regulators reverse new fees on utility customers with solar that regulators imposed effective on Jan. 1. The investors, Bloomberg News reported, included John Fisher of Draper Fisher Jurvetson andNancy Pfund of DBL Partners. Their letter to Nevada PUC Commissioner David Noble, principal architect of a PUC order adopted Dec. 22 that changed the prior commission rule applicable to solar customers.
As a result of the Dec. 22 order, the two leading solar installers in the state, SolarCity and Sunrun, immediately stopped making solar sales and installations, effectively ending their business in the state and the loss of hundreds of jobs that went with it. The order raised fixed monthly fees, that utility customers with solar must pay, by 40% while cutting and phasing out payments that utilities make for solar generated electricity that solar customers provide to the utilities. Adding insult to injury, the commission applied the new rule retroactively to existing customers who had previously installed solar, which no state had ever done.
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