Under a new law, utilities in Nevada will now be able to count electricity savings from energy conservation programs as meeting the state’s renewable energy portfolio standard (RPS).
In June 2005, the Nevada legislature passed a bill (Assembly Bill 03) that modifies the Nevada RPS. The bill extended the deadline and raised the requirements of the RPS to 20 percent of sales by 2015. The bill also allows utilities to receive credits toward meeting the state’s RPS by investing in certain energy efficiency measures. The contribution from energy efficiency measures is capped at one-quarter of the total standard in any particular year. No credits are given for load management improvements.
In 1997 Nevada passed an RPS that required each utility to have one percent of total sales from renewables. In 2001 the law was modified to create the most aggressive renewable portfolio standard passed in the United States up to that point – requiring that 15 percent of all electricity generated in Nevada be derived from new renewable energy projects by the year 2013. Additionally, five percent of the RPS was required to come from solar energy projects. As of May 2005, both Sierra Pacific Power and Nevada Power have yet to meet the solar energy requirements of the Nevada RPS.