News Releases

Nevada Power Files Court Motion to Recover Fuel&Purchased Power Costs

Apr 16, 2000

April 17, 2000
Sierra Pacific Resources
Contact: Sonya Headen / Karl Walquist
Phone: (702)367-5680 / (775)834-3891

For Immediate Release

Las Vegas, Nev. - Nevada Power Company filed a motion today in Nevada State District Court in Carson City asking the court to halt an order by the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) to lower the utility's electricity rates in Southern Nevada.

Last month the utility filed a petition with the state court to reverse the PUCN's March 27, 2000, order to reduce rates for fuel and purchased power to serve Southern Nevada electric customers. Today's filing of a"motion for injunctive relief" is the next step in the normal progression of that lawsuit.

The motion asks the court to immediately put into effect a $110 million rate request filed by Nevada Power on Sept. 30, 1999. That request was dismissed in February 2000 by the PUCN, which later ordered the rate reduction.

The rate request is for fuel and purchased power expenses previously incurred to serve Nevada Power's 567,000 electric customers in Southern Nevada, and adjusts future rates to reflect ongoing higher costs for fuel and purchased power. The utility does not realize a profit on rates related to fuel and purchased power because those expenses are normally passed through dollar-for-dollar to customers with no mark-up.

The revenues for fuel and purchased power are needed to ensure the financial health of the company so it can continue providing reliable electric service and support Southern Nevada's rapidly growing economy, according to Doug Ponn, vice president of regulatory and governmental affairs for Nevada Power Company. Even with the increase, Nevada Power's electricity rates would still be the lowest in the Pacific Southwest, Ponn added.

"Prices we pay for fuel to operate our power plants are affected by the same factors that have driven up gasoline prices," Ponn said."Motorists are paying more at the gas pump to drive their cars, and utilities are paying more for natural gas to run their electric generators."