Las Vegas Sun

October 31, 2014

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Companies object to plan to abandon residential power rate increase

CARSON CITY — The state Public Utilities Commission today delayed approving a stipulation in which NV Energy agreed to drop a request for a $37 million rate increase for Las Vegas-area residential customers.

The commission agreed to give three parties a chance to present objections to the stipulation among the Las Vegas utility, the state Bureau of Consumer Protection, the staff of the PUC and the Southern Nevada Hotel Group.

The commission gave Wal-Mart, Kroger Co. and Switch Ltd. until Sept. 10 to present their objections to the agreement.

In prior documents, the companies did not outline why they opposed the agreement. But they suggested they would be hit hard by the stipulation, which calls for no increase in rates for residential customers.

A hearing is set for Sept. 24 for the commissions to consider the objections.

Dan Jacobsen, staff manager for the Bureau of Consumer Protection, said the decision by the commission was a positive sign, because it did not reject the stipulation outright.

“We think it will be very helpful for Southern Nevada customers to not experience an overall increase in base electric rates for three years,” Jacobsen said.

Under the settlement, NV Energy will be allowed to raise its monthly charge to customers, but it will decrease the charge per kilowatt hour. The utility had initially asked to raise the basic charge for single family residences by $5. The agreement will allow the rate to increase by $2.75. It will go to $12.75.

If the PUC approves the settlement, NV Energy will have 10 days to submit the decreased charges for kilowatt hours.

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