News Releases

Nevada Power Company to File for Electric Rates Decrease

Nov 12, 2002

Sierra Pacific Resources
Contact: Sonya Headen
Phone: (702) 367-5222

For Immediate Release

Deferred Energy Filing Calls For 5.6 Percent Residential Reduction, 5.3 Percent Overall Decrease; Company Also to File For Conservation Recovery

Las Vegas, Nev. -- Nevada Power Company announced today that it will request an overall rate decrease when it files two required rate cases tomorrow with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN). Combined, the deferred energy filing and a conservation cost recovery (GO43) filing will request a decrease of approximately $81 million in annual cost recovery which would result in a 5.6 percent rate drop in the typical residential customer's monthly bill. Nevada Power is requesting an overall average 5.3 percent decrease.

The 5.6 percent decrease for single family residential customers would result in anticipated reductions in monthly bills ranging from $5.62 to $9.20 depending upon energy consumption. Residential customers using 1,250 kilowatt hours would see their monthly bills decrease from $116.08 to $109.69.

"Power markets are changing and energy prices have decreased significantly from the energy volatility debacle of 2000-2001," Walter Higgins, chairman, president and CEO of Sierra Pacific Resources (NYSE: SRP), parent of Nevada Power, said in explaining a large part of the requested decrease."In spite of our financial challenges this year, we were able to contract for reliable power supplies for our customers."

Higgins noted that Nevada Power has challenged in the courts and at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission contracts with suppliers. Some suppliers, including Enron, had terminated their supply contracts just prior to the beginning of summer 2002."We are hopeful that the trend of lower energy prices will continue and that we are successful in our proceedings before the courts and FERC and that these will all contribute to lowering electric rates in the future," he said.

Higgins added that although the western energy crisis has abated somewhat in the past year, there are still deep concerns about the future of Nevada's energy supplies and potential ramifications for the state's overall economic health. He said that the filing also includes a proposal for a process to reduce customers'exposure to price volatility and secure a reliable and economic source of supply for southern Nevada.

Nevada Power is required by Nevada law to make deferred energy filings annually. Under Nevada law, the company makes no profit on fuel and energy costs. During the preceding year, increases and decreases in fuel and purchased power costs are held in a balancing account and these changes are passed on dollar-for-dollar to customers.

The second filing by Nevada Power, known as a GO43 filing, will also be made tomorrow. The company will seek to recover $1.9 million invested in conservation programs, as approved by the PUCN earlier this year. The requested increase ranges from 12 to 20 cents per month on the average single family residential customer's bill. These investments pay for air conditioning load management programs, low-income weatherization grants and assistance, and energy education and information programs.

Both the deferred energy and GO43 filings are subject to PUCN review and approval. Once the filing is accepted by the PUCN, public hearings will be scheduled by the PUCN in the next few months. The company said, subject to PUCN approvals, the rate reductions could go into effect on or before mid- May 2003.

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 a 50 percent interest in an interstate natural gas transmission partnership, several unregulated energy services companies and Sierra Pacific Communications, a telecommunications network development company.