Committee approves green energy bills

(AP) " Proposals dealing with hybrid cars, energy-efficiency standards and solar power were among green energy bills endorsed Tuesday by a key Nevada Senate committee.

The bills endorsed by the Energy, Infrastructure and Transportation Committee are part of an effort to create a green economy in Nevada. They now move to the full Senate.

SB242 would require the state Energy Office to adopt efficiency standards for portable electric spas, pool pumps and other equipment.

SB327 would encourage the large-scale use of electric vehicles by authorizing the state Public Utilities Commission to give incentives and portfolio energy credits to utilities that invest in power-charging networks and other technology-related investments. The bill also calls for an electric vehicle car demonstration project.

SB188 would encourage development of solar hot water heating systems through another demonstration project. Project participants could get rebates or portfolio energy credits from the state PUC.

SB73 would revise local government roles in enforcing energy conservation and efficiency. The measure would require that conservation and efficiency standards adopted by the state Energy Office be incorporated into buildings codes for local governments. The local governments could adopt stricter standards if they so chose.

The proposals are among many green energy measures the lawmakers are considering this session.

Others include a Gibbons administration bill aimed at reducing energy use in state buildings, and a plan to explore possible use of Hoover Dam as a hydropower source.

Other bills expand homeowners' rights to use systems for solar and wind energy by prohibiting property covenants that unreasonably restrict a solar or wind system; and charge the state with reviewing policies dealing with geothermal resources and making recommendations on how best to develop those resources.

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