June 1, 2021
Carson City, Nevada (May 31, 2021) — Conservation groups today welcomed the Nevada Legislature’s passage of Senate Bill 448, a measure that will align electric utility plans and investments with state climate goals. The expansive bill now goes to Gov. Steve Sisolak to be signed into law.
SB 448 will address key issues in energy transmission, electric transportation, rooftop solar, clean electricity, renewable energy storage, energy efficiency, and more.
“WRA praises the Nevada Legislature’s strong support of Senate Bill 448, which will build Nevada’s new energy economy. Nevada is taking bold strides to build out our electric transportation and transmission infrastructure and implement long-term decarbonization planning to reduce the harmful fossil-fuel emissions that cause climate change,” said Cameron Dyer, Western Resource Advocates’ staff attorney in Nevada. “Senate Bill 448 provides important investment in low-income communities that bear the greatest burdens of both climate change and air pollution and will spur job creation and economic benefits through an accelerated transition to clean energy.”
“Senate Bill 448’s passage will reduce emissions, eliminate wasteful energy use, and make electric vehicles more accessible to low- and middle-income Nevadans,” said Ellen Zuckerman, Utility Program Co-Director for the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project. “At a time when far too many Nevadans are making painful economic decisions and falling behind on their electricity bills, it’s essential that we offer them new and improved opportunities to save energy. Thankfully, this bill does just that.”
Key elements of Senate Bill 448 include:
- Supporting regional electric grid planning to ensure that Nevada and neighboring states can provide reliable, affordable, clean electricity to their residents in the years to come;
- Strengthening Nevada’s transmission infrastructure through smart planning to ensure reliability and resiliency as well as access to expanded renewable generation of all types;
- Accelerating the transition to electric vehicles through a $100 million investment from NV Energy to invest in new electric vehicle charging stations and electric buses, with at least 40% of this infrastructure located in historically underserved communities;
- Increasing opportunities for rooftop solar in commercial and apartment buildings by clarifying existing laws and programs;
- Aligning the utility planning process with state climate goals by requiring utilities to forecast how they could achieve an 80% reduction in their carbon dioxide emissions from 2005 levels by the year 2030;
- Expanding the successful Renewable Energy Tax Abatement program to include renewable energy storage facilities in addition to the renewable energy generation facilities that are currently covered; and
- Doubling funding for energy efficiency programs that serve low-income customers and public schools in historically underserved communities.
The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) is a public interest organization promoting greater energy efficiency in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. For more information, visit www.swenergy.org.
Western Resource Advocates works to protect the West’s land, air, and water so that our communities exist 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 and #ProtectTheWest.