New Poll: Solar Decision Reflects on Governor Sandoval’s Leadership

CARSON CITY, Nev., Oct. 21, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, WPA Opinion Research released new polling that found that more than half of likely voters – 54% – had an unfavorable impression of Governor Sandoval’s leadership upon learning that he’s failed to protect 6,000 solar jobs against attacks from NV Energy.

The poll comes in the midst of the ongoing debate over the future of rooftop solar in Nevada. In July, NV Energy proposed extreme rates that would eliminate savings for any customers who choose to go solar. This proposal is now under consideration by the three-member Public Utilities Commission of Nevada. Upon learning that Governor Sandoval appointed all three members of the Commission, a strong majority of likely voters – 57% – agree that the Commission’s decision on rooftop solar reflects on Governor Sandoval’s leadership.

Prior to learning about the rooftop solar debates, the voters surveyed had a favorable view of Governor Sandoval, with 63% agreeing that he has been a strong leader for Nevada. But after learning that he failed to take a leadership position for solar during both the legislative session and the ongoing proceeding, 54% of likely voters had an unfavorable impression.

“There’s no ambiguity here: there will be political repercussions for the Governor if solar dies on his watch,” said Sarah Wolfe, Public Policy Manager at Sunrun. “Solar in Nevada is more popular than cute babies and apple pie, and solar’s popularity has actually increased in the past six months, despite NV Energy’s attacks.”

When asked about their impressions of energy sources in April, 84% of respondents had a favorable impression of solar. In the latest poll, that number grew to 89% of respondents.

Chairman Paul Thomsen and Commissioners Burtenshaw and Noble will decide the future of rooftop solar by December 31, 2015.

The poll was commissioned by Sunrun, a residential solar company. It consisted of 302 likely voters in Nevada: 35% Republican, 26% Independent and 39% Democrat. For a detailed memo on poll results, see here.

CONTACT: Contact: Lauren Randall, Sunrun, lauren.randall@sunrun.com, 781-608-1485

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