Vivint Solar CEO, Greg Butterfield, responds to the net-energy metering rule adopted by the Public Utilities Commission in Nevada.
LEHI, Utah, Jan. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Vivint Solar (NYSE: VSLR), is proud to stand at the forefront of the fight for affordable residential solar energy and the continued growth of the industry. Our customers in 12 states and the District of Columbia enjoy clean and abundant power while reducing their monthly bills, and 2016 will see service rollouts in more states. We will vigorously defend consumers' right to choose where their electricity comes from.
A recent Wall Street Journal editorial unfairly characterizes as a "tantrum" efforts by the solar industry to remain economically viable in Nevada, where a powerful political effort has put our service offering on hold. What happened in that state is a microcosm of how regulation can stifle competition in a growing market, harming consumers and the environment in the process.
As I and others in the solar industry have warned for months, the decision by the Nevada Public Utilities Commission to end its net metering program will cost jobs, economic output, and consumer choice, while protecting the interests of an entrenched monopoly - NV Energy.
NV Energy prevailed by depicting solar consumers as freeloaders enjoying a price break at the expense of others. This is deceptive. In reality, those consumers' investments in solar returns surplus energy back to the grid. This energy is cheaper to distribute and cleaner than the power provided by public utilities.
The editorial also labeled policies intended to boost the growth of solar as "corporate welfare," when net metering is simply a policy to ensure that government-backed monopolistic power companies pay people for the clean energy their solar-equipped homes produce and send into the grid.
Moreover, the Nevada Public Utilities Commission's own study, released in July 2014, found that net metering cuts overall costs for everyone by reducing taxpayer investment in transmission infrastructure and reducing the amount of power lost during transmission, because surplus net-metered energy is consumed locally. The decision by the Commission robs Nevadans of that value and gives it back to the utility.
Were we and our competitors to proceed with operations in Nevada, customers would lose money, limiting adoption only to those willing to make an environmental statement—distracting from one of the first truly disruptive energy innovations in more than 100 years. Lawmakers in other states should focus on protecting jobs and reducing consumer costs, instead of following Nevada's dated model of corporate welfare for entrenched industries.
About Vivint Solar
Vivint Solar is a leading provider of distributed solar energy systems - electricity generated by a solar energy system installed at a customer's location - to residential customers in the United States. Vivint Solar's customers pay little to no money upfront, receive significant savings relative to utility generated electricity rates and continue to benefit from guaranteed energy prices over the 20-year term of their contracts. Vivint Solar finances, designs, installs, monitors and services the solar energy systems to make things easy for its customers. For more information, visit www.vivintsolar.com or follow @VivintSolar.