How rooftop solar’s sweetheart deal went sour in Nevada, as it should have

If you live in Nevada, you might think the big, hot-button issue of the 2016 campaign season isn’t radical Islamic terrorism, illegal immigration or the skyrocketing cost of ObamaCare. No, if you live in Nevada you might think the biggest issue of the 2016 campaign season is…

Rooftop solar.

Rarely has such a tiny minority of self-interested players generated so much annoying, vuvuzela-like sound-and-fury on such a comparatively insignificant public policy matter.

And when I say tiny, I mean T-I-N-Y. Indeed, in a state of some 2.8 million people, the number of rooftop solar customers is all of around 17,000 homeowners. That comes to all of about 2 percent of power customers.

And make no mistake; even with all the government and utility subsidies rooftop solar owners have enjoyed over the years, these folks aren’t your average working stiff. Most rooftop solar owners are in the upper-class.

And yet this privileged, high-income 2 percent has all manner of liberal politicians on their side, including socialist presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

Why? Because at the heart of the issue is “green” energy, the Holy Grail of liberalism. And anything even remotely perceived as fighting so-called “global warming” is sacred and must be protected, even at the expense of siding with the “evil” rich.

At the heart of the matter is the issue of “net-metering” – a program whereby NV Energy is forced to pay retail prices for rooftop-generated solar electricity rather than generating cheaper in-house power or paying wholesale on the open market.

In other words, 98 percent of NV Energy customers have been forced to pay higher prices for electricity in order to subsidize the 2 percent.

That little scam ended on January 1st. And rooftop solar owners are hopping mad. But their anger at NV Energy and the PUC is misdirected.

The rooftop solar industry knew all along that all good things come to an end. They just wanted to put it off as long as they could to fatten their profits as much as possible before the bottom fell out.

The 2 percent who bought into the taxpayer/ratepayer subsidy scam, brought to them by feckless politicians, have just learned an important lesson known well by limited-government conservatives…

A government powerful enough to give you anything you want is powerful enough to take away everything you have.

So the bottom line is this…

If you believe in the global warming propaganda and want to “do something” about it, then buy a rooftop solar system and salve your conscience on your own dime, not the taxpayers.

And if it doesn’t pencil out financially without the subsidies, blame the rooftop solar salesman who sold you this bill of goods knowing full well that change was in the air, not NV Energy or the PUC.

Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach A longer version of this column can be found at MuthsTruths.com

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