Liz Garcia is a recent graduate of Spanish Springs High School in Sparks, Nevada. She was president of her school’s Action Team the Green Paws and worked to make her school Idle Free.
On August 19, Liz had the opportunity to travel to Las Vegas to speak to a public comment session of the Nevada Public Utilities Commission on the value of rooftop solar in Nevada. Zahaira Romero, a 2013 graduate of Sierra Vista High in Las Vegas, also spoke at the hearing.
ACE’s Reb Anderson sat down with Liz after her trip and asked her a few questions.
Reb: What was the public comment session about?
Liz: The public comment session was about keeping the policy of net metering in place in Nevada. [Reb note: Net metering is the policy where utilities pay back their customers for any extra electricity they produce from their solar panels that goes back into the grid.) For the majority of the time, it was the public asking to keep the policies in place for solar energy.
R: Had you ever been to Vegas before? What was it like?
L: For a first timer going to Vegas, it was very hot and humid. Similar to Reno just a lot hotter. It was a super nice experience to see around the town with (ACE Associate Program Director) Vernard and his student from Vegas, Zahaira. They were very welcoming and inviting!
R: Did you get nervous to speak before the Public Utilities Commission? Were there any other young people there?
L: Public speaking is not my strong suit at all but Vernard did a good job at keeping me positive and made it a lot easier for me to deliver my speech to the commissioner. I felt very accomplished after. There were a couple of young-looking people but probably not as young as me and Zahaira. The majority of them were older folks, which was a little intimidating.
R: What did it feel like to know you were getting the chance to speak publicly for solar in Nevada?
L: I felt very accomplished especially since it is something that can benefit our state as a whole. Solar is really something I stand for. Having the big turn up of supporters was also such a great feeling. It felt like they had my back.
Congrats, Liz and Zahaira!