Friday, Feb. 19, 2016 | 12:09 p.m.
A group pursuing a referendum to lower energy bills for rooftop solar customers plans to circulate petitions at the upcoming Democratic and Republican caucuses.
About 800 volunteers with the Bring Back Solar Alliance are expected at Democratic caucus sites Saturday. They will also be at GOP caucus sites Tuesday.
The group is also spending $250,000 on a TV ad to run during the caucuses.
With backing from SolarCity and several other rooftop solar companies, the alliance is pushing a referendum that would invalidate a Public Utilities Commission ruling increasing NV Energy bills for solar customers over the next 12 years.
Volunteers will ask caucusgoers to sign cards supporting the ballot initiative, which is already being challenged. Alliance spokesman Bob Greenlee said the group is hoping to collect 10,000 cards.
Although most Republican presidential candidates have not taken a stance on the commission’s decision, both candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination have discussed Nevada solar rates.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders criticized the PUC decision and met with solar advocates in Reno. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said solar customers should not be punished with retroactive rate changes and announced support for a federal effort to regulate such rate changes.