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    Utility bills rising across Nevada in 2023


    December 1, 2022 - Sean Hemmersmeier, Las Vegas Review-Journal

     

      Single family residential customers in Southern Nevada will see their costs for gas and electricity jump by a combined $26 a month starting in January.

      Both NV Energy and Southwest Gas are raising their rates in both Southern and Northern Nevada, according to filings with the state Public Utilities Commission.

      NV Energy’s electricity customers in Southern Nevada will see an average increase of 14.4 percent across all customer classes.

      Southwest Gas, the primary gas utility for Southern Nevada, said its rate increase in the first quarter will range from 4.3 percent to 8.2 percent, depending on customer class.

      Both utilities said the quarterly rate adjustments were necessary because of the rising cost of energy and natural gas. Both also said no profit will be gained from the rate adjustments.

      “This amount is the actual cost we pay for natural gas and other fuel and power purchased to serve the energy needs of our customers,” Jennifer Schuricht, director of corporate communications for NV Energy, said in an email.

      Amy Washburn, a Southwest Gas spokeswoman, echoed Schuricht and said the increases are due to increased domestic demand for natural gas as a result of global events, including the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

      The Consumer Price Index for October indicates that overall energy service prices have increased by 15.6 percent from last year, with electricity costs going up 14.1 percent and natural gas costs going up by 20 percent during the last 12 months.

      The increased rates will take effect Jan. 1.

      Southern Nevada utility increases

      NV Energy said its rate hikes will increase its revenue by roughly $396.8 million. Here’s how the rates for residential customers break down:

      — Single-family residential customers will see an increase of 14 percent, which will boost the monthly bill by $23.43.

      — Multi-family residential customers will see an increase 14.9 percent, increasing the monthly bill by $14.64.

      Other customers, such as commercial properties, will see different increases.

      NV Energy made quarterly adjustments in both the third and fourth quarter of 2022 that raised rates by an average of 6.7 percent. Those two rate increases, plus the one in January, will add $728.2 million to NV Energy’s revenue, according to releases from the utility.

      For Southwest Gas, the January adjustment will boost revenue by $30 million. Here’s the impact on residential customers:

      — Single-family residential customers will see an increase of 4.8 percent, which will increase the monthly bill by $2.76.

      — Multi-family residential customers will see an increase of 4.3 percent, increasing the monthly bill by $1.52.

      The rate increase will boost revenue for Southwest Gas by $30 million.

      In the fourth quarter of 2022, Southwest Gas raised its rates in a range from 6.5 percent to 13.3 percent, increasing its revenue by $42.6 million.

      Northern Nevada utility increases

      Northern Nevada customers of NV Energy will see their rates rise by an average of 12.8 percent across all customer classes, which will net the utility an additional $129 million in revenue.

      — Domestic service customers will see an increase of 10.7 percent for an average increase of $12 a month.

      — Multi-family domestic customers will see an increase of 11.7 percent, or an average increase of $7.1 a month.

      NV Energy also administers some gas utility services to customers in Northern Nevada. These customers will also see an average increase of 4.6 percent across all customer classes. The break down for residential customers is:

      — Natural gas residential customers will see an increase of 4.2 percent, which will raise their monthly bill by $2.54.

      — Liquid propane residential customers will see an increase of 4.1 percent, which will increase the monthly bill by $2.17.

      Southwest Gas also administers some utility services to Northern Nevada and will also increase the rates for these customers. The utility’s rates will increase in a range from 1.8 percent to 5.4 percent, depending on the customer class. These increases will generate an additional $5.7 million in revenue.

      — Single-family residential customers will see an increase of 3.7 percent, which will increase the monthly bill by $3.51.

      — Multi-family residential customers will see an increase of 3.3 percent, which will increase the monthly bill by $1.94.

      This will be the second consecutive quarter Southwest Gas is increasing its rates for Northern Nevada. In the fourth quarter, the utility increased rates to generate an additional $9.9 million.

      Washburn said the rate adjustments for Southern Nevada are generally higher than Northern Nevada because fuel costs are higher in the southern part of the state.

      The different rate increases for NV Energy customers in Southern and Northern Nevada are due to each region’s “unique demand, weather conditions and contracts,” according to Schuricht.

      The next scheduled rate adjustment would take effect on April 1, 2023 and there’s no guarantee rates will go down in the future.

      “International events could likely continue to impact natural gas costs for the immediate future,” said Washburn.

      Schuricht said the company is projecting price declines, but it will take until mid to late 2023 for those to happen and noted supply distributions and other events could impact the price of natural gas.

      “Assuming these declines continue, NV Energy forecasts that the rates associated with natural gas purchases will begin to decrease around October of 2023 and will continue to decrease through 2024,” she said.

      Southwest Gas said customers facing financial hardships can learn about assistance programs by calling 877-860-6020 or visiting its website swgas.com. NV Energy customers can find information payment assistance on the utility’s website.

      Contact Sean Hemmersmeier at shemmersmeier@reviewjournal.com. Follow @seanhemmers34 on Twitter.

      ©2022 Las Vegas Review-Journal. Visit reviewjournal.com.. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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