News Releases

PUCN Grants Rate Change for Northern Nevada Customers

Dec 30, 2010

The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) has approved an overall decrease in electric rates for NV Energy’s (NYSE: NVE) northern Nevada electric customers and an overall increase for Reno-Sparks natural gas customers, to become effective January 1, 2011. 

For the typical residential customer using 745 kilowatt hours of electricity per month, it means a decrease of approximately 1.8 percent or $1.57 per month from $87.97 to $86.40

For the typical residential customer using 54 therms of natural gas per month, it means an increase of approximately 1.6 percent or $0.88 per month from $56.72 to $57.60.

Depending upon customer class, the change may result in an increase or a decrease in rates.

The rate changes are a result of the company’s mandatory electric filing made every three years that is called a General Rate Case.  NV Energy’s last general rate cases were filed in December 2007 for electricity and October 2005 for natural gas.  An offsetting decrease was also included in the rate change as part of a mandatory quarterly filing the company makes to adjust rates to more closely match fuel and energy costs.  These costs are passed on to customers on a dollar-for-dollar basis, with no profit to the company.  

Through the end of 2010, NV Energy’s northern Nevada customers experienced eight consecutive quarterly decreases in electric rates and six consecutive quarterly decreases in natural gas rates.  That is in addition to two annual decreases for both electric and natural gas customers.  In just two years, NV Energy’s electric prices have fallen 19 percent and natural gas prices have decreased by 20 percent. 

The general rate change granted by the PUCN allows the company to recover costs associated with investments in new transmission and distribution lines, substation and equipment improvements, labor and a return to the company's shareholders. The PUCN established an overall rate of return for the company of 7.86 percent for electric and 5.15 percent for natural gas, and a return on equity of 10.1 percent and 10 percent respectively. The overall revenue increase to the company is $13.1 million for electric and $2.7 million for natural gas.

In addition to the above rate changes, the PUCN in its order also added to an existing surcharge for electric customers in Washoe County, Nevada to recover incremental costs to place certain electric transmission lines in Washoe County underground, as required by the Washoe County Board of Commissioners. The surcharge will be collected over a three-year period so for the typical residential customer residing in Washoe County it amounts to approximately $1.63 per month, in addition to the changes above. 

The PUCN implemented a similar charge for electric customers in Carson City that will cost the typical residential customer in that county approximately $0.60 per month.

NV Energy is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada and is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Nevada Power Company and Sierra Pacific Power Company, are doing business as NV Energy. Serving a combined 54,500-square-mile territory that stretches north to south from Elko to Laughlin, NV Energy provides a wide range of energy services and products to approximately 2.4 million citizens of Nevada as well as approximately 40 million tourists annually.

These statements contain forward-looking statements regarding the future performance of Nevada Power Company d/b/a NV Energy, 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, changes in the cost of fuel and purchased power and rate changes or adjustments related to fuel and purchased power determined by the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada. Additional cautionary statements regarding other risk factors that could have an effect on the future performance of NV Energy, are contained in the Annual Reports of NV Energy, Inc. and Nevada Power Company d/b/a NV Energy on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009 and in its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2010, June 30, 2010 and September 31, 2010, filed with the SEC. NV Energy 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.

For further information: Faye I. Andersen, (775) 834-4822 Karl Walquist, (775) 834-3891