News Releases

California Public Utilities Commission Grants Sierra Pacific Rate Increase

Oct 4, 2006

Media Contact: Faye I. Andersen, (775)834-4822

The California Public Utilities Commission today allowed Sierra Pacific Power Company to recover $11.2 million in costs for fuel and power purchased for its California electric customers. The recovery means an overall increase in electric rates of 16.5 percent. 

The typical residential customer using 650 kilowatt hours of electricity will see a 15.7 percent rise in their monthly bill from $82.06 to $94.93, or about $13 per month.  The change becomes effective November 1, 2006.  The request is a dollar-for-dollar pass-through to customers and does not result in a profit to the company.

"Wholesale energy prices have remained volatile for the past few years and that's why we use this mechanism to recover our costs incurred on behalf of our customers,"said Mary Simmons, vice president of External Affairs for Sierra Pacific. "Energy prices have begun to roll back lately, but have not yet stabilized to levels that would have a positive impact on customers."

Known as an Energy Cost Adjustment Clause, the company filed with the CPUC in April 2006 to recover additional costs of energy such as fuel to generate electricity and purchases of power on behalf of customers, with no mark-up by the utility.  The filing is made when the utility must purchase energy that costs significantly more than it charges customers and needs to adjust rates to recover the costs that are not included in current rates.  When energy costs are lower than the company charges its customers, the company requests to lower rates.  The last time Sierra Pacific requested to recover additional energy costs was two years ago.

Approximately 80 percent of Sierra Pacific's 46,000 California customers reside in the Lake Tahoe Basin. The company's California service area extends from Portola in the north to Markleeville and Topaz Lake to Coleville in the south. Sierra Pacific has approximately 275,000 customers in northern Nevada.

Sierra Pacific Power Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sierra Pacific Resources (NYSE:SRP), is the electric utility serving 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.  Sierra Pacific Resources is also the holding company for Nevada Power Company, serving most of southern Nevada, and Tuscarora Gas Pipeline Company, which owns 50 percent interest in an interstate natural gas transmission partnership.