Power struggle easier in Nevada | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Power struggle easier in Nevada

Sierra Pacific Power has spared Nevada’s 325,000 electricity users the shock of a hefty rate increase, unlike the one proposed last year for its neighbors to the west.

The Reno utility company has filed for a rate hike amounting to $1 a year in the Silver State for the typical user — defined as one using 715 kilowatt hours a month. If approved by the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, the increase would take effect in mid-June, Sierra Pacific Power spokeswoman Faye Anderson said Wednesday.

In California, PUC hearings are scheduled in San Francisco on April 9 to determine if the utility company can charge users 1.1 cents more per kwh. The typical user who consumes 650 kwh would pay $72.05 per month — that’s an additional $7.42.

If approved, Sierra Pacific’s 46,000 California customers would receive the higher bills by the end of the year.

California and Nevada energy markets have stabilized significantly since the days of brownouts and overinflated wholesale power prices.

Sierra Pacific instituted its last 2-cent-per-kwh rate increase on California users in July.

Nevada’s PUC cut Sierra Pacific’s $205 million rate-hike request last May to $139 million.

By law, utility companies may file annually to recoup energy costs as long as they show no profit and prove their expenses were legitimate.

Tribune News Service and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at swood@tahoedailytribune.com

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