Advocate says deregulating Nevada energy market will benefit even small customers
Geoff Dornan, The Nevada Appeal - Despite fears to the contrary, the head of the group pushing for final passage of the Energy Choice initiative said not just big business but residential customers and small businesses will benefit from an open and competitive retail electricity market.
Jon Wellinghoff of Policy/DER (for Distributed Energy Resource technology) told a joint meeting of the Northern Nevada Development Authority and Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce even for small customers, “I think your overall total monthly bills will be less.”
Asked about what the initiative amending Nevada’s constitution to end the monopoly held by NV Energy would do to kilowatt hour rates, he said that doesn’t really matter.
“Nobody has a real interest in how much you pay per kilowatt hour,” Wellinghoff said. “They have an interest in how much you pay on your monthly bill.”
Wellinghoff, head of Policy/DER consulting, is a former member and chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, former general counsel of the Nevada’s Public Utilities Commission and the state’s first Consumer Advocate. He said large customers like the major resorts and mines already have the ability to opt out of NV Energy and buy electric power elsewhere. He said the ballot question before voters in 2018 gives all consumers that right.
“People in Nevada will ultimately have choice for energy,” he said.