The increase is one and a half percent, which equates to about a dollar-33 a month for the average residential customer.
The reason: Fuel is getting more expensive.
That's not only true for gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, as we've seen...but also for natural gas, coal and fuel oil, all of which Sierra Pacific uses to generate our electricity.
Once a year, the company comes to the Public Utilities Commission to make its case and ask for an increase or a rebate, depending on the costs of fuel and electricity it buys.
Sierra Pacific Vice President of external affairs Mary Simmons says "It's a forum for all of us, including the Public Utilities Commission and a consumer advocate present to hear their concerns of questions that they may have--it provides the consumer with that opportunity."
The meeting starts at 7pm, in meeting rooms A-19 through 20 at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center. You're invited to come speak out about the increase...and to listen to the reasons behind it. It sounds like the increase is already a "done deal." Does it make any difference whether anyone speaks out at that meeting?
In this case, the company has records to show what it's spent on fuel and electricity, and we can expect the P-U-C to vote to let the company pass those expenses on to us customers.
Perhaps that's why sometimes no customers come to these meetings.
But a Public Utilities Commissioner will be here. If there were a significant outcry...it could affect the Commission's decision.