By Mike Clifford
Nevada News Service
It’s going to be another scorcher this month in southern
Nevada, but thanks to action by Nevada Lawmakers, local consumers will
not be forced into higher electricity rates during peak load times.
Barry Gold, advocacy director, AARP-Nevada, said the Silver State is
among the first in the nation to pass a law (AB 173) that prohibits
power companies from imposing mandatory time-of-day rates.
AARP was a prime supporter of the measure, which Gold said protects
many Nevadans who already are struggling to pay their electric bills.
“The people who will be affected would be tele-workers, stay-at-home
moms, people with disabilities, seniors or really anyone who can’t get
out of the house in the daytime and needs to run their air
conditioner,” Gold said.
Gov. Brian Sandoval signed the measure into law at the end of May,
after it passed by unanimous votes in both the Senate and the
Assembly. NV Energy also supported the final version of the bill,
after language was inserted that allows for optional time of use
Gold said his group became active in the issue because local consumers
were expressing concerns about the new smart meters being installed in
their homes and how those new meters might affect their rates at the
hottest times of the day.
“You automatically got a smart meter unless you opted out. People were
very afraid, because smart meters can be the gateway to time-of-day
rates. So, this says, even if you have a smart meter, no one can be
forced into paying more for electricity during peak loads.
California passed a similar law, Gold said, but it has a sunset
provision, while Nevada’s new law provides consumers with permanent
More information about the measure is available at http://openstates.org.