With NV Energy’s new corporate ownership, coincidentally or otherwise, things move fast in nicking pockets of customers, observed Grumpy Editor. What’s more, media did not raise eyebrows over the latest developments.
Des Moines-based MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. acquired the then New York Stock Exchange-listed Nevada utility, with 1.3 million customers, less than five months ago.
MidAmerican changed its name to Berkshire Hathaway Energy just last Wednesday. The renamed holding company, owned by Berkshire Hathaway, a publicly traded company, is led by investor Warren Buffett.
April 30: NV Energy filed a proposal with the Nevada Public Utilities Commission to close three of its coal-fired Nevada power plants this year and completely end use of that cheap-energy from coal power facilities within five years. The utility said it plans to make up for the lack of coal power by acquiring two existing gas-generated plants in southern Nevada and two solar farms.
May 2: NV Energy south filed a general rate request with the Nevada Public Utilities Commission. The effect of the increase would be about 1.85 percent. The utility figured that is $2.82 a month for an average residential customer in southern Nevada, based on a typical residential bill of $152.97 with an average use of 1,136 kilowatts a month --- in a desert region where residences usually use air conditioning from May to October.
Tacked on to the proposal was more than a 50 percent boost in NV Energy’s basic service charge to $15.25 a month from $10. Unlike retail stores, for example, that include data processing, customer assistance, billing and accounting as the cost of doing business, NV Energy collects a flat monthly charge for those routine services to customers.
A major news outlet said the latest PUC rate hike filing “reflects one of the smallest increases to customers in more than a decade” --- the writer apparently overlooking a 2.75 percent jump effective January, 2012. More recently, the PUC authorized a boost in NV Energy rates effective only 34 days ago.
NV Energy is not alone in raising rates. Other states also will see soaring prices for electricity, the result of coal-fired plants closing, reductions in nuclear power, natural gas pipeline constraints and shifting to more expensive renewable energy.
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