News Releases

Nevada Public Utilities Commission Grants Rate Decrease

Oct 27, 2006


Natural gas bills to drop 2.4 percent in Reno-Sparks area

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

The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) today approved a rate decrease for natural gas customers of Sierra Pacific Power Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sierra Pacific Resources (NYSE: SRP).  The action will reduce customers' natural gas bills by 2.4 percent, or a drop of about $2 per month for the typical residential customer using 59 therms of natural gas (from $82.45 to $80.49).  The new rate becomes effective December 1, 2006.

"This is good news for our customers,"said Mary Simmons, vice president of external affairs for Sierra Pacific Power. "High natural gas prices have plagued our industry for the past few years and today's decision reflects the recent decline in prices as well as lower forecasts of natural gas prices for the coming year.  We're happy to be able to pass along these savings to our customers heading into the winter heating season."

Sierra Pacific Power Company serves approximately 145,000 natural gas customers in the Reno-Sparks area in northern Nevada.

Simmons went on to explain that the company makes an annual filing with the PUCN that is designed to pass along to customers the rising or falling costs of natural gas that the company pays to its natural gas suppliers.  This is done on a dollar-for-dollar basis and does not include any profit or operating costs of the company.  The PUCN also sets a new rate based upon what the company expects to pay for natural gas in the next year to serve its customers, also with no profit to the company. 

Today's action by the PUCN reflects a reduction in natural gas prices since the company made its initial filing in May.  The company worked with the PUCN staff and the state's Bureau of Consumer Protection to reach an agreement that would reduce customers'rates, according to Simmons.

She said that there are a number of things customers can do to reduce heating bills like adding insulation, weather-stripping and caulking windows and doors, and checking out furnaces for efficient operation.

Descriptions of energy efficiency tips, programs, even a home energy audit are available on Sierra Pacific's website 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 834-4444.

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 June 30, 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.

Attached is a list of money-saving energy efficiency and conservation tips which are easy to apply to homes and businesses.

No Cost Tips
These simple steps don't cost a thing, but can potentially save you 10-25% on your monthly energy bill.
* Turn off lights and appliances when not in use. Don't forget your computer - it can use as much energy as a refrigerator. Most new computers have"sleep"settings.
* In the cold months, set the thermostat to 68 degrees when home, and then back to 58 degrees when sleeping or when you're not home more than four hours.
* In the winter, open window coverings on the sunny side of your home to take advantage of"free heat from the sun."Close the coverings on cloudy days or right after the sun sets.
* In the cooling season, close blinds and drapes during the day to keep heat out.
* Also, use your dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer, and cook as late in the evening as possible.
* Set your water heater to 120 degrees.
* Vacuum your refrigerator coils (underneath and in the back) and don't obstruct the coils. They need air space to work.
* Keep the seals (gaskets) on refrigerators and freezers clean.
* Keep your freezer as full as possible. You can place containers or plastic bottles filled with water in the empty spaces.
* Make sure food is cool and covered before it goes into the refrigerator.
* Run full loads in your washer and dryer, and use"solar drying"(clotheslines).
* Use energy saver option on your dishwasher, allowing dishes to air dry.
* Unplug your televisions/VCR when you're on vacation. Most new sets draw power even when they're turned off.
* Keep lights and lighting fixtures clean, especially if you're reducing the number of lights you use. Dirt absorbs light. Let lights cool before cleaning them and never touch halogen bulbs with your bare hands. The oil from your skin can greatly damage the bulbs. Use a small piece of paper to hold the bulb.
* If your dishwasher has a filter, clean it.
* Clean the reflectors underneath the burners on stovetops.

Low Cost Tips
There are plenty of low cost, easy to do projects or steps you can take to save another 10-25% on your energy bill.
* Use compact fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescent ones. This will typically save $1 per bulb changed out (for bulbs running 4-6 hours per day) and reduce heat in your home. Regular bulbs use most of the electricity to generate heat so use care when changing bulbs.
* Clean furnace system and check ducts for leaks.
* Caulk windows and caulk and weather-strip doors. Keep the outside air out and the inside air in.
* Install a hot water heater blanket but be careful not to cover vents or temperature settings.
* Install hot water pipe insulation. Do keep the insulation at least six inches away from the flue (exhaust pipe) of gas water heaters.
* Install electrical outlet and switch plate insulation
* Fix leaky faucets Install low-flow showerheads.
* Replace furnace and air conditioner filters. Spray the filters with a light coating of lemon furniture polish or vegetable oil cooking spray to help trap dirt in the filter.
* Check the seals on your refrigerator and freezer.
* Replace normal thermostats with programmable thermostats.

Added Cost Tips
With the help of a contractor, these steps could potentially save you another 25% on your monthly bill. Remember to do your research before you sign a contract or put down a deposit.
* Install floor and ceiling insulation: It is recommended to have a minimum of an R-30 - R-38 insulation in the attic and R19 insulation in the sub-floor.
* Replace inefficient and single pane windows with energy efficient multi-pane, thermally-broken, vinyl-framed windows.
* Energy efficient appliance replacement. All appliances have an Energy Guide Label that tells you how efficient it is and how much it will cost you to run. Oftentimes, an appliance more than 10 years old is not likely to be energy efficient.
* Service your heating and air conditioning systems once a year, replacing them if necessary.
* Test and seal the ductwork. Not only does this improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system, it makes the house more comfortable.
* Have ceiling fans installed in all bedrooms and your family room. They can make you more comfortable while allowing you to save money by adjusting your thermostat respectively.
* Add window screens or window films to reduce the solar energy from entering your home.