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OPINION: Planning for the future, NV Energy keeps customers and workers top of mind

Jesse Newman
Jesse Newman
Opinion
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The sign at NV Energy corporate headquarters

Delivering reliable, safe and affordable energy is not only NV Energy’s goal — but the goal of the thousands of IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) brothers and sisters who have dedicated their careers to serving customers. I know firsthand the commitment to the people we all serve, which is why I would like to correct inaccuracies that were shared in a recent op-ed by a representative of the Toiyabe Chapter of the Sierra Club.  

The op-ed mentions that NV Energy is proposing to spend hundreds of millions to expand the use of fossil fuels, costs that will be passed on to ratepayers. This is misleading and intentionally fails to tell your readers that the proposal put forward by NV Energy includes more than 1,000 megawatts of new solar and geothermal energy and more than 1,000 megawatts of new battery storage. These projects will help provide reliable, affordable and clean energy to customers.  

The proposal does include a plan to add more natural gas peaking units. These units are a critical and cost effective resource (compared to other alternative plans) to ensure customers have reliable power when and where they need it, when other resources may not be available. These units will be used at peak times only in the summer months.

NV Energy has long been a national leader in renewable energy and the additional natural gas units do not detract from NV Energy’s efforts to meet and exceed the state renewable standards.

Additionally, the op-ed conflates the filing of NV Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan with a separate filing that NV Energy has put forward for approval by state regulators, related to a proposed change in the basic service charge that Northern Nevada customers pay. This is a monthly charge that covers the cost of basic service. Adjusting the basic service charge in Northern Nevada does not increase average customer bills, it addresses the inequity where customers without rooftop solar subsidize costs for those who have the economic means to have a rooftop solar installation. 

The proposal to adjust the basic service charge creates stability, equity and fairness for customers, and importantly, does not result in an increase in the overall average customer bill. The basic service charge requested increase also comes with a decrease in the portion of the bill that covers the charge for energy use and delivery.  Don’t be fooled by those that are trying to protect this cost shift that favors rooftop solar owners.

NV Energy’s plan balances meeting increased growth, complying with renewable portfolio standards and ensuring customers have access to affordable, reliable and safe energy when they need it — it's forward-looking, comprehensive and considers the future energy needs for Nevadans, and how NV Energy plans to meet the present and long-term needs of current and future customers.  

The plan supports diversification of NV Energy’s portfolio, affordable rates for customers and will spur economic activity and create more jobs for Nevada’s workers.  

Jesse Newman is the business manager for the International Brotherhood of Electric Workers, IBEW 396.  

The Nevada Independent welcomes informed, cogent rebuttals to opinion pieces such as this. Send them to [email protected].

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