Las Vegas Sun

June 15, 2019

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Ask Mr. Sun:

Why does NV Energy need to assign customers a 19-digit account number?

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Mr. Sun,

Why does NV Energy need to assign customers a 19-digit account number? They only have a few million customers. The Social Security system covers the whole country with just 9 digits.

— Dan Heaton


Eleven digits would be enough give a unique number to everyone on Earth. Twelve digits would likely be enough for everyone who has ever lived.

So why does NV Energy think it’s entitled to use all those numbers just to identify its customers?

Because the 19-digit account numbers are really four numbers pushed together. Here’s how it breaks down:

Digits one through four indicate whether the customer is located in Northern or Southern Nevada. For Southern Nevadans, it is 3000.

The next seven digits are the customer number. It doesn’t change if you move, as long as you remain an NV Energy customer.

Digits 12 through 18 are the “premises” number, corresponding to the street address where NV Energy is delivering its service.

The final number is a payment ID, related to the company’s billing cycles.

Questions for Mr. Sun should be sent to [email protected].

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