October 27, 2022
CARSON CITY — After months of intervention, Western Resource Advocates, Sierra Club and the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) are celebrating a recent settlement negotiated with NV Energy, consumer advocates, business interests, environmental groups, and Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) staff that will expand energy efficient technologies and opportunities with greater equity across Nevada.
The settlement with NV Energy’s demand side management (DSM) proposal, approved by the PUCN on Oct. 25, increases financial incentives to low-income and traditionally underserved communities to access more energy efficient heating and cooling equipment, appliances, and lighting technologies. The settlement also creates stricter policies on energy efficient building codes for new construction, prohibits landlords or property managers from increasing rents after receiving low-income appliance replacements, and ensures that all appliances installed are ENERGY STAR certified.
The parties also agreed to create two new working groups within the DSM Collaborative, a group of stakeholders that work with NV Energy to improve energy efficiency programs for the utility’s customers. The collaborative focuses on creating new, innovative programs for low-income customers and reevaluating Nevada’s energy saving goals. The new working groups, Program Development and DSM Savings Goal, will structure low-income programs aimed at lowering eviction rates and defaults on energy bills, and provide energy audits to low-income customers that they were previously unable to access.
“We’re pleased to see that through today’s settlement, NV Energy will increase funding to help low-income and underserved communities access energy saving appliances that will help customers save money on their monthly bills while reducing overall energy consumption,” said Hunter Hollman, staff attorney with WRA’s clean energy program. “The settlement also created a new pilot program for customer-owned energy storage measures. This pilot program has the potential to increase the reliability and resiliency of the energy grid all year round by distributing flexible, clean energy resources throughout our communities.”
“Energy efficiency saves NV Energy customers money while reducing carbon emissions and grid demand,” said Elspeth Cordua DiMarzio, senior campaign representative with Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign. “Looking forward, it’s critical to fully transition to an all-electric buildings sector equitably by reducing costs to low-income folks.”
“NV Energy’s energy efficiency and demand management programs save money for all of its customers and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Angie Dykema, Nevada representative with SWEEP. “These programs are especially essential to help customers save money during this time of increased energy prices. This settlement agreement will expand NV Energy’s programs, especially to Nevada’s most vulnerable communities.”
“Google supports this important investment in our communities to help schools and vulnerable Nevadans save money and energy on their power bills,” said Ellen Zuckerman, Western U.S. regulatory lead with Google LLC, one of the agreement signatories.