REFERENDUM GATHERED ENOUGH VALID SIGNATURES TO QUALIFY FOR THE BALLOT

Following the announcement from the Secretary of State that the Bring Back Solar Alliance gathered more than enough valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot, below is a statement from one of the 115,000 Nevadans who signed the referendum petition.

Aaron Dougherty, petition signer from Henderson, said: 

"I want to bring solar back to Nevada so that I have the freedom to choose my energy provider and power my neighborhood with clean solar energy.  
I signed the referendum petition because bringing back solar is the right thing for my community and the nation, and I think the people of Nevada should be able to vote on our energy future in November." 

OPERATION FREE HAS JOINED THE BRING BACK SOLAR ALLIANCE

Las Vegas, Nev. – Bring Back Solar announced today that Operation Free, a nationwide coalition of veterans and national security experts, has joined the Bring Back Solar Alliance. Operation Free is an advocacy campaign of the Truman Center for National Policy and the Truman National Security Project that argues that climate change and dependence on foreign oil pose a threat to national security and advocates for solutions at home and abroad. Expanding renewable energy will reduce fossil fuel reliance, which stabilizes overseas military operations, increases energy independence, and strengthens national security. Clean energy sources like solar also provide opportunities for men and women in uniform when they return home: one in ten solar workers is a veteran.

“The stakes could not be higher: instability from climate change threatens our military operations abroad and our national security at home, and it is crucial that we protect access to affordable clean energy,” said Justin Ford, Organizing Director of Operation Free. “Solar allows our military and our citizens to be more energy independent, reducing pollution and our reliance on fossil fuels. Reviving Nevada’s once-booming rooftop solar industry will also create more jobs for veterans, so that they can continue their service by securing America with clean, renewable energy. We are proud to join Bring Back Solar, who shares our view that all Nevadans deserve freedom of choice to become more energy independent and grow our economy with clean, affordable energy.”

The Bring Back Solar Alliance, supported by over 115,000 Nevadans, is composed of local businesses, non-profits, and outraged homeowners who believe citizens should have the freedom to generate their own clean energy without being punished by discriminatory fees. The Alliance is fighting to reverse the solar rate hike imposed by the Public Utilities Commission last December.

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The Bring Back Solar Alliance is the alliance that supports the No Solar Tax PAC. The No Solar Tax PAC is supported by Nevada citizens, homeowners, businesses, and not-for-profits, working together to bring back Nevada solar, clean energy jobs, and energy choice.

POLL SHOWS MAJORITY OF NEVADANS SUPPORT ROOFTOP SOLAR — AND OLD RATES

---Reposted via Las Vegas Sun

By Daniel Rothburg

Nevadans widely support the rooftop-solar industry and an effort to reverse a new rate structure for customers, according to a survey commissioned by a SolarCity-backed political action committee. The group, known as Bring Back Solar, has spent nearly $2 million on a ballot measure that would reverse a Public Utilities Commission decision that increased bills for most solar customers.

The survey of 600 Nevadans at the end of June finds that a majority of respondents have a favorable opinion of the rooftop-solar industry, regardless of party affiliation or whether they have solar panels. When presented with information that the PUC imposed "new charges" on solar customers, 73 percent of respondents said they would be supportive of a ballot measure that would undo the new rate structure.

“I thought what was most interesting was the breadth and depth of support for rooftop solar, generally, and for overturning the PUC decision, specifically,” said Andrew Baumann, who conducted the poll from June 21 to June 26 for public-affairs firm Global Strategy Group. The results have a 4-point margin of error.

In late December, the PUC approved the new rates for rooftop-solar customers. The decision tripled a fixed service fee and slashed the value of credits solar customers earn for selling excess electricity back to NV Energy. The utility, which is campaigning to keep the new system, disputes the depiction of the rates as “new charges.” NV Energy's stance is that the PUC decision eliminated a cost shift to non-solar customers who were subsidizing those taking advantage of rooftop solar. The company's PAC has spent more than $1 million to defeat SolarCity’s effort and is presenting its argument in TV ads.

One reason for conducting the poll was to understand how the favorability of the ballot measure held up to such messaging. When respondents were presented with nearly verbatim language from the ads and opposing pro-solar arguments, support for the measure slipped three points, Baumann said, adding, “That’s very, very small movement for something like this."

According to the most recent campaign-finance report, NV Energy is the primary funder of the group opposing the ballot measure, although it received a $100,000 campaign contribution from a labor union for electrical workers. (SolarCity’s poll shows that 67 percent of union households polled have a favorable opinion of the rooftop-solar industry, higher than the 57 percent favorable rating for non-union households.) SolarCity was the only listed funder of Bring Back Solar.

In addition to fighting the ballot measure on the airwaves, NV Energy is contesting it in court on the grounds that it does not meet the requirements of a referendum. The Nevada Supreme Court is expected to rule on the validity of the measure this summer. If it is disqualified, Bring Back Solar has pledged to file a ballot initiative in pursuit of a legislative fix.

BRING BACK SOLAR ALLIANCE SUBMITS OVER 115,000 SIGNATURES FOR SOLAR VETO REFERENDUM

Carson City, Nev. – Today, the Bring Back Solar Alliance submitted the signatures of over 115,000 Nevadans to counties throughout the State. The signatures are more than twice the number necessary for the Alliance’s veto referendum to qualify for the November ballot. The Bring Back Solar Alliance, a coalition of Nevada business, not-for-profits, and concerned citizens, is working to overturn the Public Utilities Commission’s solar rate hike.

Erin McCann, Campaign Manager for Bring Back Solar Alliance, issued this statement:

“The will of the people is clear: Nevadans overwhelmingly support solar, and want strong policies to bring solar jobs and consumer choice back to Nevada. After over 100,000 Nevadans signed on to join our campaign this spring, we’re thrilled another 115,000 Nevadans have joined the fight to protect Nevada’s existing solar customers and the right of all Nevadans to generate their own clean energy without being punished with discriminatory fees. Today’s signature delivery is an important step towards overturning the solar rate hike and restoring Nevadans’ freedom to affordably produce their own clean energy.”

The Alliance’s signature delivery comes just weeks after a peer-reviewed study found that rooftop solar’s benefits outweigh its costs by $7 million per year, based on the variables identified by the Public Utilities Commission. If the solar rate hike is overturned and more Nevadans are able to go solar in the future, these benefits are estimated to grow to $14 million per year by 2017, saving Nevadans money whether or not they have solar.

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The Bring Back Solar Alliance is the coalition that supports the No Solar Tax PAC.  The No Solar Tax PAC is supported by Nevada citizens, homeowners, businesses, and not-for-profits, working together to bring back Nevada solar, clean energy jobs, and energy choice.

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STATEMENT ON TASK FORCE GRANDFATHERING APPROVAL

For Immediate Release: May 26, 2016

Contact: Chandler Sherman, Bring Back Solar, csherman@bringbacksolar.org 

LAS VEGAS –

Statement from Chandler Sherman, spokesperson for Bring Back Solar Alliance, on the Task Force vote to grandfather existing solar customers:

"The Bring Back Solar Alliance thanks Governor Sandoval's New Energy Industry Task Force for its recommendation that the Legislature grandfather current rooftop solar customers on the solar rules they signed up for. 

The overwhelming consensus of the leaders from government, labor, the utility, and the rooftop solar industry on the Task Force shows the broad support for protecting existing solar customers from the solar rate hike. 

This is a tremendous victory not only for the over 23,000 Nevada families who have invested in rooftop solar, but also for all 2.8 million Nevadans. As a new study released this week shows, rooftop solar provides all Nevadans $7 million in benefits every year.

Today’s vote is a major step towards bringing back solar for all Nevadans. We look forward to working with Governor Sandoval and the Legislature to address this recommendation during next year’s legislative session."

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