weather icon Clear

Group looks at possible Nevada electric market changes

CARSON CITY — Nevadans may one day be able to shop around for their electrical provider, weighing options like the cost and source of the power.

The Governor’s Committee on Energy Choice held its first meeting April 26 to look at ways to make that happen, including recommendations for potential policies or new laws needed to open up the retail electric market in Nevada.

The group of about two dozen committee members, chaired by Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison, heard presentations about energy, the electrical marketplace and the oversight role of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Hutchison said after the meeting that the committee will hear from other states that have gone through a similar process.

“At the end of the day, you got to make sure that the lights go on when someone hits a switch, and you’ve got to make sure that the rates are stable and acceptable to the ratepayers,” he said. “And how this is going to play out eventually has differed in various states, and I want to understand why it differed in California versus Texas, for example.”

Voters approved

Nevada voters in November approved Ballot Question 3, and Gov. Brian Sandoval established the committee in February with an executive order. If Ballot Question 3, called the Energy Choice Initative, passes again in the 2018 election, the Nevada Constitution would be changed to make the electricity market more competitive and give consumers more choices.

The committee would provide recommendations for state lawmakers to implement as early as the 2019 legislative session. Lawmakers would have until July 1, 2023 to pass laws.

But Hutchison stressed the need for Nevada policymakers to finish well ahead of that deadline because the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission would need to approve any state rules involving how the wholesale market would operate.

“What it tells me is that the legislative and the regulatory bodies need to act sooner rather than later,” Hutchison said. “We don’t have really until 2023. What we have really is probably until 2021 and then try to get everything approved over that next two-year period.”

Contact Ben Botkin at bbotkin@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-0661. Follow @BenBotkin1 on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Las Vegas sports face coronavirus-related economic damage

The coronavirus pandemic has inflicted substantial financial damage on the Las Vegas sports scene. Fans may need patience before a full recovery takes place.

UNLV looking to raise $1.5M to recoup COVID-19 revenue losses

UNLV is looking for donations to help keep momentum going in its athletics department amid financial stress created by the coronavirus pandemic.

NFL countdown: Raiders add speed to offense

The Raiders took the fastest receiver in the NFL draft in Alabama’s Henry Ruggs, and all the pieces are in place for quarterback Derek Carr to have a career year.

IRS says non-filers with dependents must act by May 5

The Internal Revenue Service on Friday, April 24 issued a special alert for Supplemental Security Income and Department of Veterans Affairs beneficiaries to act by May 5 if they didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 and have dependents so they can quickly receive the full amount of their Economic Impact Payment.

Gov. Sisolak eases restrictions on some Nevada businesses

Beginning Friday, May 1, Nevadans will again be able to play golf, patronize all retail businesses and undergo medical procedures unrelated to the COVID-19 outbreak as Gov. Steve Sisolak announced that, while he is extending his Stay at Home order through May 15, some of the restrictions of his previous order that expires Friday, May 1 will be relaxed.

DETR announces successful update of unemployment site

The Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation announced Monday a successful weekend update of its unemployment insurance website at ui.nv.gov. The agency also added and launched a performance feature on April 18 that affords filers another option to reset their online password 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Federal government approves disaster aid for state

Gov. Steve Sisolak announced Monday that his request for a Major Disaster Declaration for Nevada in response to the COVID-19 outbreak has been approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Pahrump GriefShare going to online meetings in face of Coronavirus

With the novel coronavirus pandemic spreading all across the globe, the world is in a state of continual flux and change but one thing that does not change is the harsh reality that people pass away and those left behind must deal with the pain of losing a loved one.