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About the Energy Choice Initiative

Explanation

This ballot measure proposes to amend the Nevada Constitution to require the Legislature to provide by law for an open, competitive retail electric energy market by July 1, 2023. The law passed by the legislature must include, but is not limited to, provisions that reduce costs to customers, protect against service disconnections and unfair practices, and prohibit the granting of monopolies and exclusive franchises for the generation of electricity. The law would not have to provide for the deregulation of the transmission or distribution of electricity.

Approval of this ballot measure would add a new section to the Nevada Constitution establishing that 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 but 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. The proposed amendment does not create an open and competitive retail electric market, but rather requires the Legislature to provide by law for such a market by July 1, 2023. The law passed by the Legislature cannot limit a person’s or entity’s right to sell, trade, or otherwise dispose of electricity. Pursuant to Article 19, Section 2, of the Nevada Constitution, approval of this question is required at two consecutive general elections before taking effect.

A “Yes” vote would amend Article 1 of the Nevada Constitution so that the Legislature would be required to pass a law by July 1, 2023, that creates an open and competitive retail electric market and that includes provisions to reduce costs to customers, protect against service disconnections and unfair practices, and prohibit the granting of monopolies and exclusive franchises for the generation of electricity.

A “No” vote would retain the provisions of Article 1 of the Nevada Constitution in their current form. These current provisions do not require the Legislature to pass a law that creates an open and competitive retail electric market and that includes provisions to reduce costs to customers, protect against service disconnections and unfair practices, and prohibit the granting of monopolies and exclusive franchises for the generation of electricity.

Digest

Article 1 of the Nevada Constitution contains various rights granted to the people of Nevada. Approval of this ballot measure would add a new section to Article 1 of the Nevada Constitution that would require the Legislature to provide by law, no later than July 1, 2023, for an open, competitive retail electric energy market with protections that entitle customers to safe, reliable, and competitively priced electricity. The law passed by the legislature must include, but is not limited to, provisions that reduce costs to customers, protect against service disconnections and unfair practices, and prohibit the granting of monopolies and exclusive franchises for the generation of electricity. This constitutional amendment would have an impact on public revenue; however, the amount of the impact cannot be determined.

Existing law, found in Title 58 of the Nevada Revised Statutes, generally authorizes a single utility to provide electric service to customers in each electric service territory in the state. This means that most Nevadans are required to purchase electricity from a single provider. Utility providers are regulated by the Nevada Public Utilities Commission (PUC), which is charged with providing for the safe, economic, efficient, prudent, and reliable operation and service of public utilities, as well as balancing the interests of customers and shareholders of public utilities by providing public utilities with the opportunity to earn a fair return on their investments while providing customers with just and reasonable rates.