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July 28, 2015

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UTILITIES:

Commissioner: Energy programs are tapping out NV Energy customers

A member of the state Public Utlities' Commission has complained that electric ratepayers in Las Vegas and Reno “are maxed out” to pay for initiatives passed by the Nevada Legislature.

Commissioner David Noble said the Legislature doesn’t understand or doesn’t have the information that by approving programs on renewable energy, energy efficiency and subsidies to low-income residents, it's raising the rates of NV Energy customers. Ratepayers are being hit with additional costs to support the programs.

“There seems to be a complete lack of discussion (by the Legislature) about reducing ratepayer costs,” he said Thursday at a meeting of the PUC.

NV Energy must ask for rate increases to cover the cost of the programs, and the PUC must give them higher rates to offset the extra costs.

The commission directed its staff to prepare a report on how much the extra programs are costing homeowners and business.

“They are tying our hands to decide what are just and reasonable rates,” Noble complained. “It’s frustrating to hear ratepayers that want us to do something.”

“Everybody is maxed out,” he said.

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