NV Energy on June 6 filed a report with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada requesting no rate increase for its electricity customers.
NV Energy field the required General Rate Case with the PUC for its northern utility, Sierra Pacific Power Company. The filing requests no change to the company’s core electric operations revenue requirement, which are costs associated with management of the utility and delivering electricity to customers.
“If today’s filing is approved, our customers will continue to experience the lowest overall electric rates in nearly a decade,” said Paul Caudill, President and Chief Executive Officer of NV Energy. “My colleagues at NV Energy have embraced the challenge of competition, changes in the western energy markets, and exciting new technology. The fact that we are holding our costs steady, after a significant decrease in revenue requirement that was approved by the Commission in 2013, is a testament to their commitment to our customers.”
The filing also seeks a decrease in the costs needed to fund delivery of natural gas to Sierra Pacific Power Company’s customers.
NV Energy’s two utilities, Sierra Pacific Power Company and Nevada Power Company, are required by law to make General Rate Case filings every three years. Sierra Pacific Power Company’s filing in 2013 resulted in a $39 million dollar decrease in annual core operations revenue which provided significant bill savings for customers over a three-year period. The company is requesting through the June 6 filing to provide price stability through 2020.
NV Energy customers are now benefiting from a number of new or enhanced customer service options that have been put in place over the past three years, including a customer contact center that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
“We are now recognized industry-wide as one of the leaders in the use of technology to improve the customer experience,” said Pat Egan, Senior Vice President of Customer Operations. “We are leveraging the digital smart meters that have been installed statewide to help customers manage their own energy use and save money. Our MyAccount web portal and new mobile app now offers more than 600,000 customers access to timely information that is changing the way we interact and support them.”
While the company seeks no increase in its core operations revenue requirement, legal mandates require NV Energy to adjust rates for most customer classes. If approved as filed, this reallocation of costs for the average northern Nevada single-family residential electric monthly bill, based on a monthly use of 739 kWh, will result in an increase of $1.46, or 1.87 percent, from $78.10 to $79.56. Multi-family residential customers and small business customers would experience a decrease.
“Even with these changes, the residential customer bill will be around $80, lower than it was in the summer of 2007 at $100,” said Caudill.
A recent report by the Texas Coalition for Affordable Power, which included an extensive benchmark analysis that compared residential electric rates between deregulated and deregulation-exempt areas of Texas, also compared increases in prices that occurred throughout the United States between 2002 and 2013. From 2002 to 2013, Nevada was found to have experienced the second lowest overall increase in residential electric prices.
The company is required by Nevada Revised Statutes to make this filing at least once every three years, which is an independent regulatory review of its electric and natural gas prices. The PUCN will schedule a consumer session and hearings in the coming months to review NV Energy’s rate case request. If approved as filed, the rates would take effect on January 1, 2017.