Public Invited to Tuesday's Meeting on Proposed Electricity Rate Increase

The Nevada Public Utilities Commission is holding a consumer session tonight (March 25) to get feedback on a proposed rate increase for Sierra Pacific Power Company.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:00 pm at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.

Sierra Pacific is proposing a 16% increase for electricity usage. For the average household that pays $98 a month, it would mean an increase to $113.

The bulk of this proposed increase would go towards the new plant in Tracy, which Sierra Pacific says is more energy efficient than other plants. The company says this rate change is something it looks at every 3 years to update its general costs.

"What it takes to run power plant setup poles, run wires,” said Mary Simmons, vice president for external affairs for Sierra Pacific. “Required every 3 years to do that."

Rates change all the time, and sometimes they actually do go down. Simmons said the rates went down on October 1, and then again on January 1.

"Everyone knows gas prices go up and down,” said Simmons. “So does natural gas.”

Tonight’s meeting is just meant to gather input. Commissioners will make a decision at a later date.