tv Nevada Newsmakers NBC January 6, 2016 12:00pm-12:30pm PST
herzik, mendy elliot ernie and b.c. on "nevada newsmakers" we're pleased to welcome to the show is reid hamilton of hamilton solar. 2015 is going to be incredibly challenging for the solar in the state of nevada. it's kind of a broad question. for residential solar it's dead. unless there's a massive ruling it's not going to change. >> we're waiting to see from the p.c. e from the bureau fof consumer protection. that the damage has been done. so you invested in solar and you want to invest in solar.
is going to make sense that solar is going to go forward because the net metering rates. utility. so it's been cut in half. even more than half. so essentially you not to sell anything back to the ng energy. >> and you're at work you're going to get 10 cents credit. now you're going to get the wholesale rate which is 2 and a half to 4 cents. >> they killed the value of the net metering. the second they added a charge for people who want to have net metering. we don't know what that charge
but a lot of the solar systems save 20$20 to $40 to $50 a month. so that wipes that savings. >> and for every homeowner. whether you have solar or not. this is a new charge. basically this is essentially you want to go solar this is your solar charge. we knew this was coming. but they've done to the terms of between $3 to $5 a month which is somewhat manageable. and we've sat down and ran the math. it costs you more money to have solar on your home than not. i'm going to play devil's advocate here. this is not only happening in nevada. which is the power companies
they still have to be there when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow. and somebody has to pay the cost of that. and at this point in time that's paid by the customer base. do you have a rebuttal. it's a challenging aspect or way to look at it. in 2014 the nv energy had a study done that tried to show what the economic impact of the net metering or people going to solar was. back in 2014 it was a $36 million it was to the economic base. now they went back and it was a 6 $600 negative impact. $600 in the south. and $400 in the north.
advocate is going to prevail? >> you know, i don't know. i hope so. but at the end of the day i'm doubtful. this was such a massive blow that in my opinion this is whether nv energy it's a way for them to slow down the momentum we've made over the course of the last five or six years. nobody thought it was going to explode the way it was. now we're a real threat to nv energy. so the and this ruling. a small company like me. two weeks ago i was a guy with 35 employees. in a week i'm going to be a guy with three employees. this has a massive massive impact on us. what the puc and what nv energy
state of nevada which is look i do i have a different business model than the large guys. at the same time i support the energy and the effort that they've done to help the industry grow that. so they're putting us on our heels. are there any rebates for solar from the power company from the federal government. >> it's kind of funny. one week we're seing berating the itc which is the 30% tax credit. that was set to expire at the end of this year 2016. that got a five-year extension. we have a five-year window to design our businesses and grow. which is a long time in the
there's a small cash back on the "nevada newsmakers" we continue our conversation with reid hamilton. he heads up hamilton solar a company that is diminish rapidly from 35 employees to three employees if the rules continue. i'm surprised at this point in time puc has been such a champion of all renewables to condemn or condone the actions of the puc and the actions of the nv energy. he did back in september when we interviewed him in september. and they needed to get in the modern era. what are your thoughts about
be doing at the same time. that's why we're here. he's obviously sun setting his career. it would be tough to try to put words in his mouth right now. if i were him i'm looking at nvern for years i helped create this solar program and this renewable program. and the for a long times we've supported that. and now some very short and irresponsible actions have essentially kled this industry. it's been the holidays. i've been talking a lot of friends from all over the place. and their first reid, what's going on. it's gotten to the point where it's simply embarrassing. we're in nevada. we bring in tesla, and all these bring and latest and greatest things yet we kill the environmental industry.
>> on the other side of the social security number you have nv energy working with companies like switch and charging a premium to do that. and they're offering residential customers the chance to have renewable energy again at a premium. >> your thoughts on that. at the end of the day nv energition a business. so if you take a look at some of the solar impacts over the course last couple of years what impacts have been made for nv energy compared for net metering customers. a lot of the positive growth has been switch style projects and essentially where there's a negative economic net metering has been crushed. can i ask you a quick question. as an outsider.
like to you. >> to be honest my job is to ask questions rather than answer them. questions. i would have to ask you what you thought about the idea that several major casino companies wanted to withdraw from nv energy and buy their own energy on the market. and the puc ruling made it so expensive for them to leave they all balked at leaving. on some good-sized commercial projects that would have been
rules it will make economic sense for these guys because of the scale of the projects. it's obviously an interesting part. >> rebecca wagner who was on the puc recently resigned and went into private practice. what difference has that made in terms of how the puc is operating. with rebecca we had a sense of an ally with the puc. >> it's my personal opinion we need to all be responsible. we as a community whether we're business owners whether we're on the puc. we need to be conscious of what's going on in the environment. and so with rebecca i think she really cared about the environment and was able to find ways let's take the environment
side and blend them together so they make sense. and he was very quick to the solar industry with all of the complaints against the puc's ruling to say they're a legal body. they take the positions they take, and as governor and i'm paraphrasing. essentially he said there are other remedies in the courts that solar companies can go through and they should do that rather than attacking the governor's office and the puc. that's fine. i'm a small business. we can go after the puc in this decision and it might take us a six months or a year. it doesn't matter we're out of business. can we come back.
we just brought a lot of people into the state. and now we're sending a lot of people out of the solar industry. i guess that the last issue i would raise is that for for example las vegas review journal have said it's time for the renewable energy is time for to get rid of the government supports and stand on its own. our goal is to get away from subsidies. give us a window. it wasn't hey on december 22nd you have eight days and here's your new rollout. it's going to be a four-year rollout of what the new rates look like. renewables have subsidies. they have one sixth as oil, coal and gas. >> that's where we have to leave it. thank you so much.
time-out. and back on "nevada newsmakers" we have a great pundit panel as ernie adler former state 74 and eric herzik is political professor at unr. and mendy elliot. it's relatively shocking from a business to go from 35 employees to 3. >> i think it's aironic to create jobs yet we're not willing to continue with the subsidy program and solar panels and we're going to perhaps lose 6,000 jobs.
be giving them all these tax credits credits. as i mentioned in the interview with reid it's surprising that senator reed hasn't been more vausive russ in his comments. >> i think he should be. we're losing a lot of jobs. >> and you know that the governor was obviously quite irked both on himself and the puc and said there are legal remedies for this and this should be pursued through the courts. what the governor's role might be in this. in listening to the conversation. we just had a special session. if there was an opportunity to fix, tweak or have some type of
i'm not sure -- i do feel sorry for the courts have to go through the court system understanding the court systems like i do. it is very unfortunate that we had this window of a couple of days and they could have talked about this and discussed what happened at the midnight hour during the last legislative session. eric as you look at this nv energy is a company that wants to make money but there are also rules and regulations about how they go about that. what do you feel is the benefit or loss to the consumer overall for this. this they have a controlled company. they are more or less a legal monopoly. you're losing a lot of the environmental benefit. you have a lot of people i don't care about that.
cents. and so this was a major change. this was a complete reversal and ernie is right by saying if this was a single company coming into the state. sandoval would be doing back flips to give them the same breaks that they are wiping out. >> they're taking this fee from $15 a month to 44$44 a month plus they're cutting in half when they re-sell their solar energy back to the company. it took the state of nevada 20 years to develop this system where we were going to have in essential tis for rooftop solar. they announced at the last hour with very little testimony. very little scution of policy and they just flipped everything 1
if i was somebody that invested 30 $30,000 in solar panels when i have been encouraged i'd be furious. >> men dedo you think there's a class axction suit brewing in this state of ours. >> it might be difficult to have a class action suit. i think it would be very difficult to have a class action suit. i think there is going to be some lit gatings as it relates. they're going to lose their customers. and the employees. they're going to be gone. as reid said they're gone. he's basically out of business. so the city they're pulling out
the courts that's a really lousy remedy. you're up against a massive corporation that's going to do everything they can to delay. if it should be decided upon whether it's done in the special session or done by the governor they both passed on it. they're quite happy with what's going to benefit nv energy. i just want to say. i think that the governor has put in place some excellent policies but i do wonder and i'm not understanding in totality but i do think that there is some opportunities to revisit this. you read it every day the impact of this. this is not just 10 jobs. it's 6,000 job. these are people that cared, and