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PUC approves request to lower power bills for most Nevadans, due to federal tax cuts

Riley Snyder
Riley Snyder

Lower energy bills for most Nevadans are coming next month, after state regulators approved an order lowering NV Energy’s revenue to reflect the reduction in the federal tax code.

The three members of the Public Utility Commission of Nevada voted unanimously, and with little discussion, to approve a draft order on Thursday lowering NV Energy’s revenue requirements by about $83.7 million — reflecting the 14 percent cut in corporate taxes included in the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

The cuts would reduce electric bills by roughly $4.08 a month for Southern Nevadans, while those served by the utility in Northern Nevada would see a monthly rate cut of approximately $2.81 in electric bills and $1.08 in their gas bill (each part of the state is served by a different business entity controlled by NV Energy, and each is affected differently by the tax bill).

At the meeting, PUC Chairman Joe Reynolds credited NV Energy — which proposed the cuts to its revenue in February — for proactively taking steps to address the change in corporate tax rates.

“This shows corporate leadership on their behalf, and corporate responsibility,” he said. “Whether or not the commission may have ultimately ordered them to do that was an open question, but they voluntarily did, and I think that shows leadership on their behalf.”

In a statement, the utility referred back to CEO Paul Caudill’s comments back when the rate reductions were proposed in February, calling the filing “simply the right thing to do.”

Though the order takes effect on April 1, several procedural hurdles related to the effect of the federal tax bill on utilities still lie ahead. The order sets a June hearing and discovery process for several intervening parties — namely a group of major Nevada casinos — who are participating in the case, and Reynolds said in February that he would open a docket to study the effects of the corporate tax rate on other regulated utilities, outside of NV Energy.

Disclosure: NV Energy has donated to The Nevada Independent. You can see a full list of donors here.

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