Las Vegas Sun

May 4, 2015

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Boulder City approves electricity rate hike

The Boulder City Council passed an electricity rate hike of about 35 percent to help make up a $4 million increase in the contract price the city anticipates paying NV Energy over the next year.

The council passed the customer increase after a public hearing at Tuesday’s council meeting. Nobody spoke at the hearing.

The rate increase goes into effect Jan. 1. But council member Travis Chandler pointed out that residents will be billed at the higher rate for power used in late December.

Finance Director Timothy Inch said the city has two cycles of billing, and January’s bill includes power used in the last half of December.

The city previously raised rates in July by .75 cents per kilowatt hour, which was expected to generate about $1.1 million in revenue — or $90,000 per month — for the fiscal year. But results for the first 90 days, showed an increase of about $86,000 a month, City Manager Vicki Mayes said.

The latest increase will vary based on how many kilowatt hours a household or business uses.

Residential customers using up to 2,000 kilowatt hours would pay 7.43 cents per kilowatt hour, a 1.93 cent increase. Households using 2,001 to 4,000 kilowatt hours would see an increase of 2.54 cents.

Large businesses would pay 11.14 cents per kilowatt hour, up from the current rate of 8.25 cents.

Boulder City Hospital, which pays a lower rate than other large businesses, will see its rate increase 35 percent to 7.49 center per kilowatt hour.

With prices increasing, council member Cam Walker encouraged people to conserve energy.

“It’s frustrating NV Energy put us in this position,” Walker said.

Mayor Roger Tobler said the increase is a huge impact on the community and should be brought back to the council periodically for review.

On Nov. 23, Inch held a workshop to explain the increase to residents and business owners, but no one attended. Inch said he sent notices to more than 800 businesses announcing the workshop.

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