Net Energy Metering Polarizes States, Potentially Politicians
As the 2016 election heats up, net energy metering (NEM) is an issue that voters and candidates want to hear more of. In states like Nevada, the issue is especially pressing where the emerging industry continues to clash with public utility provider NV Energy. The two sides stand opposed over Nevada’s net-metering cap. NV Energy’s recent application for a three-part charge in the state has many up in arms. However, NV Energy contends that its application, which includes a credit reduction for solar customers, is necessary to address an “unreasonable cost shift” between the varying fields of consumers.
The first candidate to feel the pressure was Hillary Clinton. The Democratic candidate left many in attendance disappointed when the subject wasn’t raised during a recent stop in the state. With a growing focus on green initiatives and technology in the state, candidates stumping in Nevada should expect the issue to arise. While the Clinton momentum certainly won’t derail due her omission of the topic, it could impact their standing when it comes to primaries. With candidates offering a range of sentiments towards climate change and green practices, it will be interesting to see where candidates side in states such as Nevada.
An issue like net energy metering has the potential to be one of the proverbial boom or bust topics of this election cycle. A candidate must walk a fine line in satisfying one side of the aisle without completely isolating the other side. However, with candidates like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders offering a dose of candidness in their speeches and plans other politicians may be pressed into taking a stronger stance than usual. While Hillary Clinton was able to not address the issue this time, there is a high likelihood that won’t be the case the next time she or other candidates stop in the Battle Born State.