LAS VEGAS (AP) — Utility regulators will allow about 1,200 more customers in northern Nevada to install rooftop solar systems and get older, more favorable rates when they sell back excess electricity.

The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada voted unanimously Thursday to allow 6 megawatts of new net metering capacity in Sierra Pacific Power Company’s territory over the next three years.

The discussion comes a year after regulators raised rates for rooftop solar customers, prompting widespread layoffs in the fast-growing industry. An estimated 32,000 customers with the systems were grandfathered into the better rates this fall, although future customers weren’t eligible.

Regulators say allowing new rooftop solar installations at the attractive rates will support the state’s goal of diversifying its energy portfolio, and will reduce residential customers’ average bills by 1 cent a month.


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