Judy Treichel was just trying to do the right thing for herself and for the planet – and for that she’s being penalized as a result of efforts by the Koch brothers and other right-wingers working to protect the state’s fossil-fuel monopoly.
A couple of years ago, she spent $8,500 to have solar panels installed on her modest Las Vegas home. She took advantage of a federal renewable energy tax credit and a rebate from NV Energy, Nevada’s energy utility. And because of an arrangement called net metering, she earned money for the power generated by her solar panels that she did not use.
She figured that her investment in the panels would pay off in a few years because of the dramatically lower electric bills she would be paying. And NV Energy stood to win because as more people followed Treichel’s example, the utility company would not have to spend money on new generating plants and could more quickly decommission its remaining dirty coal-consuming plants.