Poll: Voters oppose PUC solar decision, want special session

A survey paid for by the solar industry indicates voters are angry about the Public Utilities Commission decision on rooftop solar and want a special session of the Legislature to reverse it.

The statewide poll, paid for by the umbrella group Bring Back Solar Alliance and conducted in late January, found:

►89 percent disagree with the PUC's decision on so-called net metering rates. I have seen the question, which reduces the complex issue to a simple proposition of rates being raised. But the point is clear: The industry's public relations campaign has been devastating to the PUC.

More evidence of how the public perceives this: Look at the upside-down approval ratings of the utility and the regulators.

Seventy-eight percent of voters told the pollster lawmakers should have a special session to reverse the decision. It must be noted that question was asked after several push questions were proposed to test messaging strategies. (But I stand with the 78 percent because I ALWAYS want a special session.)

From the polling memo, penned by Erik Iverson of Moore Information: "Nevada voters overwhelmingly disapprove of the PUC’s recent decision to charge higher fees to solar customers in the state. In addition, voter perceptions of NV Energy and the NV PUC have significantly declined since October 2015, before the December decision to charge solar customers higher rates. As a result of the PUC’s decision regarding fees on solar customers, a wide majority of  Nevada voters agree there should be a special session of the legislature to reverse the decision and allow up to 5% of Nevada’s energy to come from solar."

The poll was conducted of 500 statewide voters -- 4 percent margin of error -- by Moore Information, which has done polling in Nevada, including for the retailers and one previous survey on this issue. (For what it's worth, the firm, which is doing polling for Jeb Bush, had a C-plus from Nate Silver & Co. in 2014.)

The survey memo and crosstabs are below.

Mem-NV Voters Survey Results Jan 2016 by Jon Ralston

Cross Tabs Nv Voters 2.3.16 by Jon Ralston