News Releases

Electric Rates in Northern Nevada to Remain Stable

Jun 7, 2006

Media Contact:
Faye I. Andersen, (775) 834-4822
Analyst Contact:
Britta Carlson, (702) 367-5624

PUCN Approves Agreement for No Additional Electric Rate Changes in 2006

Sierra Pacific Power Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sierra Pacific Resources (NYSE:SRP), announced today that its electric rates in northern Nevada are expected to remain stable for the next year following the approval of a settlement agreement by the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN).

The agreement– entered into by the utility, the PUCN staff, the Bureau of Consumer Protection (BCP) and parties participating in recent utility rate hearings – assures that there will be no additional electric rate changes in 2006.

"This agreement provides rate stability for our electric customers over the next year, which is good news,"said Mary Simmons, vice president of external affairs for Sierra Pacific Power Company. "We worked with the PUCN staff, the BCP and others to achieve this and we are very pleased with the result."

Sierra Pacific filed its last annual mandatory deferred energy case on December 1, 2005, requesting the recovery, over a one-year period, of approximately $46 million of fuel and purchased power costs that it had incurred.  The approved settlement agreement allows full recovery over a two-year period but does not affect rates on July 1, 2006, because of previously approved rate changes.   Deferred energy costs are recovered on a dollar-for-dollar basis with no profit to the company.

Simmons said customers' electric bills are typically lower in the spring as the area transitions from winter to summer temperatures.  However, she reminded customers that there are many things everyone can do to improve the energy efficiency of homes and businesses that will reduce bills and save money.  She suggested setting thermostats in the summer to 78 degrees when at home and 85 degrees when away.  Suggestions for how to stay cool this summer while holding down energy costs are attached to this news release.

A description of energy efficiency tips, programs, including a home energy audit are available on Sierra Pacific's web site at  The company also has brochures that urge customers to“Take Control of Your Energy Use”, available at the company's office, or by calling (775) 834-4444.

Headquartered in Reno, Nevada, Sierra Pacific Power Company is the principal utility for most of northern Nevada and the Lake Tahoe area of California. The company serves approximately 300,000 electric customers in northern Nevada and 45,000 electric customers in California. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sierra Pacific Resources, which also is the holding company for Nevada Power Company, the electric utility for southern Nevada. Sierra Pacific Power also distributes natural gas to approximately 135,000 customers in the Reno-Sparks area of northern Nevada. Other subsidiaries of Sierra Pacific Resources include the Tuscarora Gas Pipeline Company, which owns 50 percent interest in an interstate natural gas transmission partnership.

Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding the future performance of Sierra Pacific Power Company, within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, unfavorable rulings in Sierra Pacific Power's general rate cases and deferred energy rate cases. Additional cautionary statements regarding other risk factors that could have an effect on the future performance of Sierra Pacific Power Company are contained in its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2006, and its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2005, filed with the SEC. Sierra Pacific Power Company undertakes no obligation to release publicly the result of any revisions to these forward-looking statements that may be made to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

Stay Cool This Summer While Holding Down Energy Costs

How can you stay comfortable this summer without racking up high energy bills?

"The most important thing you can do to save energy in the summer is to adjust your thermostat to a higher setting,"said Ralph Negron, one of the energy experts with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Department at Sierra Pacific Power. "We recommend setting your thermostat at 78 degrees when you are home and 85 degrees when you are away."

Among his other energy savings tips were the following:

  • Install a programmable thermostat to automatically set your air conditioner to operate when needed and remain off when not needed, usually at night, the early morning and times when your home is not occupied.
  • Open windows to let Mother Nature cool your home at night and in the morning when it is the coolest.
  • Make sure the blinds and drapes are closed during the warmer parts of the day to keep the cool air in.
  • Be sure your air conditioning unit is operating efficiently by replacing the air filters and cleaning the condenser coils to make sure that they are free of debris.
  • Caulk around windows and doors and install weather-stripping on doors.
  • Use ceiling fans to circulate air and keep indoor temperatures cooler. Plus they're more energy efficient than air conditioning units.

Many of the conservation tips that Sierra Pacific recommends will help you save energy year-round, such as turning off lights and appliances when they're not in use and running dish washers and washing machines only with full loads. Use your dishwasher, washing machine and dryer later in the day because these appliances can rapidly heat a house, and consider barbecuing outside instead of using the stove.

Additionally, Negron suggested replacing incandescent light bulbs with more efficient compact fluorescent bulbs, a low-cost measure that can save up to a dollar per month for each bulb changed.

Sierra Pacific's Appliance Rebate Program offers customers rebates for replacing older, less-efficient refrigerators and clothes washers with qualified ENERGY STAR appliances. ENERGY STAR appliances meet the strict energy efficiency guidelines of the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.

For more energy tips or additional information about Sierra Pacific's conservation programs, including the Energy Star Rebate Program, log ontowww.sierrapacific.comor call (775) 834-4444.