Advocates back policy to reduce energy costs, protect public health, create local jobs, and reduce blackout risks
CARSON CITY — The Nevada Senate Growth and Infrastructure Committee introduced the Energy Savings bill (SB382) today. This bill–which has already garnered support from local business, consumer, and environmental organizations–would make it easier for Nevada homes and businesses to keep their utility bills low, air clean, and power running, even during extreme weather.
With the Energy Savings bill in place, NV Energy would help customers cut down on energy use and bills by:
- Ramping up energy efficiency programs to deliver electricity savings equivalent to 1.3 percent of its retail sales each year—something that peer utilities in Colorado, Arizona, and other states are already doing to reduce bills and greenhouse gas emissions
- Doubling funding for programs that serve low-income customers, who often spend larger portions of their incomes on home energy costs than wealthier customers
- Creating new performance-based incentives to better align NV Energy’s business model with state energy efficiency goals
“No one should have to choose between keeping the lights on, putting food on the table, and keeping up with rent,” said Dylan Sullivan, a Reno-based senior scientist with NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). “At a time when far too many Nevadans are making painful economic decisions and falling behind on their payments, it’s essential that our state leaders work to reduce utility bill costs through energy efficiency programs. Even beyond making Nevada more affordable, energy efficiency programs help us avoid blackouts by reducing the amount of power needed to keep all our air conditioners running at the same time on those hottest summer days.”
“Our policymakers must take immediate action to deliver on the goals of Nevada’s Climate Strategy,” said Paul Selberg, executive director with the Nevada Conservation League. “Energy efficiency must be the foundation upon which we build our response to the climate crisis. While we are currently not on track to hit our state’s climate goals, this bill is an important step in the right direction and puts Nevada on the right track.”
“Energy efficiency is the cheapest way for Nevada to meet its energy needs,” said Ellen Zuckerman, co-director of the Utility Program for the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project. “By eliminating energy waste, we reduce the need to generate power from more expensive options while supporting more local jobs, cleaner air and water, healthier families, and more affordable electricity. The bill creates the right incentives to eliminate energy waste, further investment, and growth, and allow Nevada to lead on energy efficiency.”
“Energy efficiency is a prudent investment, saving energy and money for ratepayers,” said Matthew Casale with the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG). “Nevada consumers need financial relief now more than ever. More funding for energy efficiency programs will result in new and improved opportunities and tools to reduce energy waste and electricity bills.”
“Major Nevada industries recognize that implementing energy efficiency programs is necessary to keep costs low,” said Alli Gold Roberts, director of state policy with Ceres. “Legislation that puts energy efficiency first will guarantee Nevada is seen as an economic engine in the Southwest.”
“Energy efficiency targets assist with ensuring electricity reliability and will help Nevada reduce the fossil fuel emissions that cause climate change,” said Cameron Dyer, a Nevada staff attorney with Western Resource Advocates. “As climate change causes more extreme weather and heat waves, energy efficiency and conservation are cost-effective ways to help adapt our electricity systems to these challenges.”
“In the midst of the global pandemic, many members of our communities are experiencing new or exacerbated financial constraints and access to power should not be a challenge for anyone,” said Denise Rohrer, co-chair of the Sierra Club Legislative Committee. “Now is the time to invest in public services and community infrastructure to ensure everyone has access to essential services by creating a sustainable, efficient, and clean energy economy.”
NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world’s natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.
The Nevada Conservation League (NCL) is the independent political voice of Nevada’s Conservation Community. We work to maintain and enhance the natural character of Nevada and the quality of life for Nevadans through effective advocacy, the election of pro-conservation candidates and building collaboration.
The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project 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.
Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization working with the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. For more information, visit ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.
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.
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.8 million members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person’s right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action.