Group Calls For More Inclusion In Nevada Energy Policy Making

Jul 21, 2016

Nevadan business leaders and political experts discuss energy-related topics.
Credit Marcus Lavergne/Reno Public Radio

Business leaders in the state who want their voices heard more easily by the Public Utilities Commission have formed an Energy Efficiency Business Coalition. Reno Public Radio’s Marcus Lavergne has more:

The state’s EEBC would be an offshoot of the original organization formed in Colorado in 2007. Some of their goals are spreading information on energy efficiency to businesses around the state and influencing policy making.

Tom Polikalas is one of the Nevada branch's founders. 

“We have a tremendous opportunity to create jobs, help people have lower energy bills and generally brighten Nevada’s future, but the key is public education and public involvement.”

Public involvement was emphasized during the EEBC’s first meeting, but members called the process daunting.

Paul Thomsen is Chairman of the PUC, and although he encourages participation, he sees why the process might scare people away.

“Because it’s like a courtroom if you participate you can be cross examined and deposed by other parties, so very similar to a courtroom and that makes people kind of wary to whether they want to participate.”

Still, Polikalas says participation is the best way to influence policy changes involving clean energy and technology; in fact, Nevadans will have the opportunity to vote on two energy-related issues in November.

Supporters of Question 5, a veto referendum, will look to repeal a PUC-approved price hike for solar customer rates.