News Releases

Walt Higgins Challenges Critics

Feb 11, 2002

Nevada Power
Contact: Andrea Smith
Phone: (702) 367-5683 or (702) 334-5683

For Immediate Release

Las Vegas, Nev. -- In a news conference today, Higgins summarized portions of testimony that the company filed with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) stating that the company did not buy more power than was demanded, nor did it speculate in order to make money.

"We do not speculate in order to make a profit. We do not purchase more power than we anticipate our customers will need to ensure a reliable supply," Higgins said."The company is not permitted to make money on buying and selling power. Any difference or revenue generated is used only to offset customer costs and does not go back to the company."

Higgins presented several different visuals including: a 10- year perspective of gas prices; an explanation of power and fuel purchases; when they were made; and how buying and selling actually works versus projected load.

"The bottom line is purchasing fuel and power is not simple, but it's something our employees, who have centuries of combined experience, do every day," Higgins said."And although we certainly respect and have faith in the process we are engaged in before the PUCN, we could no longer afford to sit idly by while our critics perpetuate a campaign of misinformation."

The PUCN will be reviewing every single purchase made to ensure Nevada got the best deal possible. Hearings on the deferred rate case will begin on March 4, with any rate changes expected to be effective in April.

Headquartered in Nevada, Sierra Pacific Resources is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries are Nevada Power Company, the electric utility for most of southern Nevada, and Sierra Pacific Power Company, the electric utility for most of northern Nevada and the Lake Tahoe area of California. Sierra Pacific Power Company also distributes natural gas in the Reno-Sparks area of northern Nevada. Other subsidiaries include the Tuscarora Gas Pipeline Company, which owns 50 percent interest in an interstate natural gas transmission partnership and several unregulated energy services companies.