News Releases

Voluntary Curtailment Program Could Save Electricity for Nevada

Feb 8, 2001

Nevada Power
Contact: Karl Walquist or Bob Sagan
Phone: (775) 834-3891or (775) 834-4834

For Immediate Release

Sierra Pacific Power and Nevada Power Company filed a proposal today with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) that offers an incentive for large electricity users to curtail their energy use.

"Hopefully, the voluntary curtailment program will reduce the statewide requirement for electricity during high demand periods," according to Mike Smart, acting vice president of resource management for Nevada's two biggest electric utilities.

"This will be an efficient way for us to find additional resources at an economical price and customers who are in the program will have a financial incentive to curtail their usage. This program will reduce the need to purchase expensive spot market electricity during peak demand periods," Smart said."The most likely participants are large commercial electricity users such as hotel-casinos and gold mines. Initial discussions we've had with customers about the program have been very encouraging."

Smart said the program would be offered to customers with a minimum load of 1 megawatt and the ability to curtail a minimum of 500 kilowatts. Customers will have the option to voluntarily curtail their electric demand when called upon by the utility. (1,000 kilowatts equals 1 megawatt. One megawatt represents enough electricity to serve about 650 households.)

Curtailment credits, based on a percentage of the market price for electricity, will be calculated monthly and applied to the participating customers'bills.

Program details were developed over the past few months in workshops held with PUCN staff, the Nevada Bureau of Consumer Protection and major electricity customers.

The Voluntary Curtailment program was one of the proposals included in the Comprehensive Energy Plan the utilities filed with the PUCN on Jan. 29. Pending PUCN approval, the program could begin during the spring of 2001.