Nevada Law Promotes Green Building, Alters Renewable Mandate
Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn approved a bill on June 17th that will create new incentives and standards for green building within the state, while modifying the state's renewable energy requirement. The first half of Assembly Bill 3 focuses on green building, requiring most state-funded public buildings to meet the minimum requirements of the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building standards or an equivalent standard. Every two years, the state must designate two new state-owned buildings as demonstration projects to meet the LEED Silver standard or its equivalent. Also, any private buildings meeting that standard would earn a tax credit, and the products and materials used in building will be exempt from sales tax. The bill also requires the state to create a plan to cut its grid-based energy purchases for state-owned buildings by 20 percent over the next 10 years.
Under the new law, the state's renewable energy requirement, referred to as its "portfolio standard," now allows credit for energy efficiency. The law delays the requirements by two years and drops the near-term requirement by one percent: For 2005 and 2006, utilities must now generate or acquire energy from renewable energy sources or achieve savings from energy efficiency equal to 6 percent of their electricity sales, with energy efficiency providing at most a quarter of the requirement. At the same time, the law extends the portfolio standard by two years and increases the final requirement by 5 percent, boosting the requirement to 20 percent by 2015.
In addition, the law modifies the state's Solar Energy Systems Demonstration Program—providing solar power systems to schools, public buildings, private residences, and small businesses—to add 9,500 kilowatts of solar power over the next five years. The law also establishes a licensing system for installers of photovoltaic solar power systems. See the Nevada State Legislature Web site for the bill's status and full text (PDF 80 KB). Download Adobe Reader.