News Releases

Sierra Pacific Files to Decrease Both Electric and Natural Gas Rates

Feb 29, 2008

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

Sierra Pacific Power Company today made its annual electric and natural gas filings with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) calling for an overall 4.6 percent decrease in electric rates for northern Nevada customers and an overall 5.5 percent decrease in natural gas rates for Reno-Sparks customers.

Any changes in rates granted by the PUCN will become effective October 1, 2008.

For the typical Sierra Pacific residential customer in northern Nevada using 740 kilowatt hours of electricity, the filing means a 4 percent decrease in monthly bills from $95.64 to $91.86.  For Reno-Sparks natural gas customers using 56 therms of gas, the filing means a monthly decrease of 5.3 percent in bills from $71.58 to $67.79.

"Today's filings reflect declines in natural gas and purchased electricity costs over the past 12 months, plus the expiration of previously approved deferred energy rates,"said Mary Simmons, vice president of external affairs for Sierra Pacific Power Company. 

In addition, Simmons said legislation requiring quarterly and annual filings such as the ones made today lessen the potential for the buildup of large balances in the costs for fuel and power, therefore reducing the likelihood of large annual rate adjustments for customers.

Since beginning quarterly rate adjustments in August 2007, Sierra Pacific has decreased electric rates by over $10 million, or nearly 2 percent.  The company filed last month to decrease natural gas rates by over $7 million, or nearly 4 percent.

The PUCN sets these rates to recover costs the utility pays to purchase electricity or natural gas from external suppliers, or to purchase fuel to generate electricity to serve customers.  These costs are passed on, dollar-for-dollar, with no additional mark-ups or profits to the company. 

In the coming months, the PUCN will hold hearings and undertake a full review of the quarterly adjustments and annual filings.

Sierra Pacific serves approximately 300,000 electric customers in northern Nevada and approximately 150,000 natural gas customers in the Reno-Sparks area.

Headquartered in Reno, Nevada, Sierra Pacific Power Company is the principal utility for most of northern Nevada and the Lake Tahoe area of 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 in the Reno-Sparks area of northern Nevada.