Las Vegas Sun

April 18, 2015

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Correction: NV Energy reduces service fee in kiosk pilot program

CARSON CITY -- NV Energy is piloting a program to allow customers to pay their bills at kiosks, and the utility recently announced to state regulators that it had negotiated a reduced rate for some transactions at those locations.

The utility has set up four kiosks at an NV Energy office in North Las Vegas to test the initiative. This month, NV Energy notified the Public Utilities Commission that it planned to charge a $3.25 service fee for customers who use their credit or debit cards to pay their bills at the kiosks. The $3.25 fee is less than the original rate, which is not listed on NV Energy's filing with the commission. The fee was determined through negotiations between the utility and a third-party vendor that will service the credit and debit card transactions.

The Sun erroneously reported the fee would be $3.50 for all kiosk transactions. Also, the Sun erred in reporting that there would be about 100 kiosks.

The company has started a payment program at 100 grocery and drug stores, but those are not kiosks locations and are not subject to the $3.25 fee.

Southwest Gas, according to its tariff filed with the state Public Utilities Commission, charges $2 for credit cards payments and $1 for a transaction fee at a pay station.

All of the extra fees go to the kiosk operators, not to the utilities.

CORRECTION: This story was updated to correct the errors in the original version. | (January 24, 2013)

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  1. Any grocery store that takes payments currently takes NV Energy payments for free.

    I think what is really happening is that NV Energy will receive revenue from the kiosk vendor and now make money where there was none before.

    Like the fee for having an old style meter, NV Energy is trying to monitize any and all aspects of its operation.

  2. SHOCKER...

    Another way to rip you off, courtesy of NV Energy!

    I'm sure CEO Michael Yakira needs a new yacht or something; in 2011, his compensation was...get this...$7,741,913,

    And they need RATE INCREASES because we're conserving energy, plus added fees @ the kiosks???

    How, exactly, does this happen?

  3. Charging a fee for the privilege of paying your bill? There should never be a fee and SWG should not be allowed to do it either. We may not be able to stop banks, airlines and others from ripping us off, but these are "public" utilities.

  4. These companies should not be allowed to exploit our community.

    Local and State officials should be held accountable for allowing this kind of scavenging.

    Information technology, at the public level, should be used to help Gov't be more efficient - NOT to enable private companies to capitalize on essential services.

    Plenty of money that could be made doing something else. Go sell widgets! Why do elected officials permit this scavenging against their own constituents?

    This is an essential public service - they need to keep the greedy private industry out! The private industry has a duty to ONE class - investors! NOT THE PUBLIC!

    NV Energy is nothing short of a regulated monopoly - those regulating must prevent this private enterprise from gauging the public.

    These actions do NOT serve the interest of our community. It only serves to further weaken our community.

    These kiosks are NOT there for public convenience - they are there for ONE reason - to make the company MONEY!

    Public officials need to act in the best interest of the community!

  5. After reading the comments I don't understand what part of the "Vendor" gets the fee's for running the kiosks? Someone has to pay for and maintain the machines. Seems many are always looking for something to complain about.

    Don't want to pay the fee, don't use the machines. Pay on line or mail it in for free. Really pretty simple.

  6. Fantastic, they lower their costs by not manually processing check payments, AND increase revenue. Wow.

    Imagine the gas station charging you $3.50 extra to pay at the pump, but not charging if you go line up at the cashier. Same with self-checkout at the supermarket.

  7. A service fee for the kiosk owner, because the business doesn't want to pay for a service to get their money. The poor are who get socked again.

    Just consider it a 'convenience tax' for those who can't find the time to write a check and pay their account on time despite having the ability to do so for free by having a bank account with the required balance.

    If the banks use our money for their own investments, we should have a minimum of a free checking service and bill pay.

    In fact, what would happen if we could figure out a way to tack on a fee for the bank's use of our money?

    As far as utilities go, no monopolies should exist on necessary services to the public. I think there should be a public owned option.