Both Sides Discuss Energy Choice Ballot Measure
In November of 2016, Nevada voters voted in favor of ballot question 3.
In November of 2016, Nevada voters voted in favor of ballot question 3, which would establish a competitive-energy market in the state. It's up for a vote again this year, and if approved, it becomes law.
Currently in Nevada, residents only have one option for purchasing electricity. If the passage of question 3 during campaign 2016 tells us anything, it's that voters are looking to break up the monopoly in the state. However, in a forum on Thursday, NV Energy said residents may want to rethink their vote this November before opening up the market to more competitors.
"You'll have a hundred and something, or whatever the state decides, energy providers that will be offering energy,” said Paul Caudill, CEO for NV Energy.
Caudill and members with the No on 3 Coalition say a competitive market would force some citizens to pay more for their power supply, using a two year Massachusetts study for background.
"They had found over $177 million in overcharges that were targeted to low-income and minority communities,” said Frankie Sue Del Papa, member with the No on 3 Coalition.
Those in favor of question 3 say this wouldn't happen in Nevada. Jon Wellinghoff with Nevadans for Clean Energy Choices says the initiative would lower power bills and give more access to solar and geothermal sources.
"Competition provides the opportunity to shop around so you can look for the lowest price if you want the lowest price, other people want different kinds of services, they may want renewable energy,” said Wellinghoff.
Whatever the argument may be, the Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce wants voters to listen to the views from both sides. CEO Ann Silver says the forums they’re hosting are held with the intention of informing the public.
"We're talking about a constitutional amendment that will alter the Nevada energy landscape, so we think it's critical that people sit, listen, ask questions if they need to, but they leave armed with facts,” said Silver.
The next forum will be hosted by those in favor of question 3. That's happening at the Grand Sierra Resort on April 17th.