Nevadans prepare to vote on electric restructuring

In addition to Clinton-versus-Trump and other issues, voters in Nevada will be asked to decide Nov. 8 on whether to overhaul the current regulated utility monopoly model and move toward a competitive retail electric market.  

A “yes” vote on “Question 3”supports inserting language into the Nevada Constitution requiring “an open, competitive retail electric energy market,” the reduction of energy market regulations, and the elimination of energy monopolies.” 

This ballot measure proposes to amend the Nevada Constitution to require the Legislature to provide by law for an open, competitive retail electric energy market by July 1, 2023.opolies and exclusive franchises for the generation of electricity.

 Nevadans for Affordable Clean, Energy Choices is a political action committee that includes members such as Tesla, MGM Resorts, the Las Vegas Sands casino company and Wolfgang Puck Dining among others.

“If approved, Question 3 will provide Nevadans with options for cleaner, more affordable electricity,” the organization says on its website. “By creating an open, well-regulated electricity market, Nevada consumers will have the ability to choose their service providers based on important factors such as price, reliability, and the ability to choose to purchase more renewable energy,” the choice organization said.

NV Energy, a Berkshire Hathaway Energy affiliate, is the incumbent utility holding company. In August, NV Energy published a “key principles” document to “promote discussion” with stakeholders on the energy choice initiative.

“What is not included here is any discussion of risk, or a compilation of lessons-learned from areas of the country that have taken steps toward deregulation of historically regulated energy markets,” NV Energy said in the document.

The NV Energy document said that “energy choice can take many forms” and noted that the transition away from carbon-based electric power is already occurring.

“Market restructuring must not shift costs to vulnerable populations,” NV Energy said. NV Energy also maintains that market restructuring must not result in unrealized development or stranded assets. Restructuring should also protect employment for Nevadans, the company said

A group organized to advocate defeat of Question 3 is called the No Handouts to Billionaires Committee.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.