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September 1, 2014

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NV Energy customers in Northern Nevada get break on service charge increase

CARSON CITY — NV Energy customers in 210,000 single-family homes in Northern Nevada won a small victory today with a reduction in their monthly electric service charge.

The state Public Utilities Commission voted 2-1 to lower the charge from $17.50 to $15.25. The commission previously voted to boost the charge from $9.25 to $17.50.

The state Bureau of Consumer Protection, which initially recommended no increase, asked the PUC to reconsider the rate hike.

The service charge is different from what consumers pay for the amount of electricity they use. The PUC lowered that rate.

Dan Jacobsen, technical staff manager for the Bureau of Consumer Protection, called it a “bit of a victory.”

Commission Chairwoman Alaina Burtenshaw said the PUC did a “bad job” in explaining to consumers what the service charge includes. She agreed with Commissioner Rebecca Wagner that there should be a gradual increase, rather than one big jump.

Voting against the reduction was Commissioner David Noble, who wrote the original order setting the service charge at $17.50.

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