Open Electricity Markets
”Open” Markets = fair, competitive, deregulated, or choice markets. Avoid “Enrons” by insuring lots of competition.
A city or county chooses default suppliers. Individuals and businesses can opt-out directly to the market
The Nevada Legislature to Minimize Regulations on the Energy Market and Eliminate Legal Energy Monopolies Amendment, also known as Question 3, was on the November 8, 2016, ballot in Nevada as an initiated constitutional amendment. It was approved with over 72% of the vote
|A “yes” vote supported this constitutional amendment to require the Nevada Legislature to establish “an open, competitive retail electric energy market,” reduce energy market regulations, and prohibit energy monopolies (WON WITH OVER 72%)|
|A “no” vote opposed this constitutional amendment to require the legislature to establish an “open and competitive” retail energy market.|
In Nevada, initiated constitutional amendments need to be approved in two even-numbered election years, meaning that Question 3 needed to be approved in 2016 and again in 2018 to amend the Nevada Constitution.
Currently, utility companies in Nevada are permitted to establish monopolies in their geographic service areas. The Nevada Public Utilities Commission, whose members are appointed by the Nevada Governor, regulates utility prices and other energy policies. This model of regulated and state-imposed monopolies originally was established to incentivize electrical infrastructure development. In 2016, NV Energy controlled 90 percent of the state’s energy market.
The measure was designed to prohibit electricity monopolies, thus ending the monopoly that NV Energy has in the state. The measure would place a guarantee in the Nevada Constitution that energy customers have the right to choose their energy provider and generate their own for resale. If Question 3 is approved again, the Nevada Legislature would be required to pass laws by July 1, 2023, establishing an “open, competitive retail electric energy market” and entitling customers to “safe, reliable, and competitively priced electricity.” The measure would allow the legislature to permit NV Energy or another firm to maintain a monopoly on the electricity distribution grid, such as transmission lines.
Nevadans for Affordable Clean, Energy Choices, the support campaign, raised $3,435,000 as of November 17, 2016. The Las Vegas Sands Corporation was the top donor, contributing $1,925,000. Opponents organized as the No Handouts to Billionaires Committee, which received $910,000.00 from IBEW 1245 and the Nevada AFL-CIO. Other supporters of Question 3 included Tesla Motors and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D). Polls indicated that around 68 percent of likely voters supported Question 3 prior to the election.
Text of measure
Ballot title The question on the ballot was as follows:
|“||Shall Article 1 of the Nevada Constitution be amended to require the Legislature to provide by law for the establishment of an open, competitive retail electric energy market that prohibits the granting of monopolies and exclusive franchises for the generation of electricity?Yes No ||”|
The ballot summary was as follows:
- See also: Article I, Nevada Constitution
1. Declaration of Policy:
The people of the State of Nevada declare that it is the policy of this State that electricity markets be open and competitive so that all electricity customers are afforded meaningful choices among different providers, and that economic and regulatory burdens be minimized in order to promote competition and choices in the electric energy market. This Act shall be liberally construed to achieve this purpose.
2. Rights of Electric Energy
Effective upon the dates set forth in subsection 3, every person, business, association of persons or businesses, state agency, political subdivision of the State of Nevada, or any other entity in Nevada has the right to choose the provider of its electric utility service, including hut not limited to, selecting providers from a competitive retail electric market, or by producing electricity for themselves or in association with others, and shall not be forced to purchase energy from one provider. Nothing herein shall be construed as limiting such persons’ or entities’ rights to sell, trade or otherwise dispose of electricity.
(a) Not later than July 1, 2023, the Legislature shall provide by law for provisions consistent with this Act to establish an open, competitive retail electric energy market, to ensure that protections are established that entitle customers to safe, reliable, and competitively priced electricity, including, but nor limited to, provisions that reduce costs to customers, protect against service disconnections and unfair practices, and prohibit the grant of monopolies and exclusive franchises for the generation of electricity. The Legislature need not provide for the deregulation of or distribution of electricity in Order to establish a competitive market consistent with this Act.
(b) Upon enactment of any law by the Legislature pursuant to this Act before July 1, 2023, and not later than that date, any laws, regulations, regulatory orders or other provisions which conflict with this Act will be void. However, the Legislature may enact legislation consistent with this act that provides for an open electric energy market in part or in whole before July I, 2023.
(c) Nothing herein shall be construed to invalidate Nevada ‘s public policies on renewable energy, energy efficiency and environmental protection or limit the Legislature’s ability to impose such policies on participants in a competitive electricity market.
Should any part of this Act he declared invalid, or the application thereof to any person, thing or is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect the remaining provisions or application of this Act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this Act are declared to be severable. This subsection shall be construed broadly to preserve and effectuate the declared purpose of this Act.