News Releases

California PUC Grants Sierra Pacific Rate Decrease

Aug 1, 2008

Media Contact: Faye I. Andersen, (775) 834-4822
Analyst Contact: Britta Carlson, (702) 402-5624

New Filing Today Could Change Rates Again Next April

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and Sierra Pacific Power Company both took actions this week that will affect the electric bills of the company's California customers next month and again in early 2009. 

The CPUC yesterday granted Sierra Pacific's request to reduce its electric rates for California customers by $12.2 million, or an overall 15.2 percent, effective September 1.  The decision was in response to a rate filing made by the company in April 2008, called an Energy Cost Adjustment Clause filing, which allows the utility to file annually to recover an under-collection, or return an over-collection of energy costs, such as fuel for the power plants and power purchased on behalf of its customers, with no mark-up by the utility.

As a result of this decision, the typical residential customer using 650 kilowatt-hours of electricity will see a $14.12 drop in monthly bills from $95.04 to $80.92, or a 14.9 percent decrease, beginning next month. 

Today, Sierra Pacific Power filed with the CPUC a General Rate Case, seeking to increase California customers' electric rates by $6.6 million or 8.1 percent overall.  The company has requested the rate to become effective April 1, 2009. 

If approved by the CPUC, the typical residential customer using 650 kilowatt hours of electricity could see an increase of approximately $6.65 in their monthly bills next year.

In today's filing, the company requested to increase its prices to include capital expenditures for new investments in the company's electric system and maintenance of facilities to distribute electricity to serve customers.  Since the last general rate case filing in 2005, Sierra Pacific has invested $47.5 million to improve its California electric system and serve its California customers.  The filing also includes the cost of energy efficiency programs provided by the company that it is expanding in order to help customers reduce their electric usage and bills.

"Over the past several years we have added new plants, power lines and other electric facilities and programs to serve customers.  This filing reflects these investments and costs from 2005 to 2008 attributable to our California customers,"said Sierra Pacific Power President Jeff Ceccarelli.

The company's filing is subject to review and analysis by the CPUC's staff and other parties. 

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 Markleville and Topaz Lake and Coleville in the south.  Sierra Pacific serves approximately 320,000 customers in northern Nevada.

Headquartered in Reno, Nevada, Sierra Pacific Power Company is the principal electric 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.

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, Sierra  Pacific Power's ability to obtain necessary regulatory approvals and permits, risks related to construction of power plants, changes in  applicable environmental laws or regulations, and Sierra Pacific Power's ability to obtain financing on favorable terms. 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, 2008 and its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007, 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.