Nevada Regulators Review Plan To Recoup Enron Payments

State regulators have wrapped up hearings on a bid by Sierra Pacific Power to have its northern Nevada electricity customers cover $20 million of a settlement with Enron over disputed power supply contracts.

The money, representing settlement costs plus legal fees, would be collected over four years and is part of an overall $90 million settlement by Reno-based Sierra and its Las Vegas-based sister utility, Nevada Power, to end a dispute that dated to 2002.

The state Public Utilities Commission will rule on the matter at a later date.

While the PUC's staff backed the proposal, the state's consumer advocate for utility customers challenged the plan on grounds it stems from imprudent power-purchasing by Sierra during the Western energy crisis of 2000 and 2001.