PUCN approves electric increase to reflect rising energy prices

RENO, Nev., May 19, 2005 (PRNewswire-FirstCall) — The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada approved an overall 4.4 percent increase for Sierra Pacific Power Company’s northern Nevada electric customers, to reflect the rise in fuel and energy costs. The new rates, effective June 1, 2005, will result in a $3.67 per month increase, from $82.77 to $86.44, for the typical residential customer using 715 kilowatt hours of electricity. Sierra Pacific Power Company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sierra Pacific Resources.

The approval by the PUCN is a dollar-for-dollar recovery of fuel and purchased power costs incurred on behalf of customers from December 1, 2003 through November 30, 2004. The action also sets a new rate going forward which is higher than the current rate, as a result of increased natural gas and purchased power prices.

“These rates reflect increased prices for fuel and power in the energy market,” said Mary Simmons, vice president of external affairs for Sierra Pacific Power Company. “Since making our annual deferred energy filing in January, energy prices, especially for natural gas, have continued to rise dramatically. We are aware that any increase is difficult for our customers and we encourage them to conserve energy to ease the impact of higher prices. We appreciate the fact that the PUCN recognizes this as well and we will continue to work with them to meet the energy challenges facing our state and the nation.”

Sierra Pacific Power Company serves approximately 325,000 electric customers in northern Nevada and 45,000 electric customers in and around the Lake Tahoe Basin. The company also serves approximately 135,000 natural gas customers in the Reno-Sparks metropolitan area.

Below is a list of money-saving energy conservation tips.

Take Control of your Energy Use

Money Saving Conservation Tips for Electric and Natural Gas Customers

No-Cost Tips

Save 10 to 25 percent on your energy bill
* Turn off lights and appliances when not in use.
* In the winter, turn your thermostat down when sleeping or not at home.
* In the summer, turn your thermostat up when sleeping or not at home.
* Set your water heater thermostat to 120°.
* Vacuum the coils underneath and on back of your refrigerator.
* Close foundation vents in the winter months.

Low-Cost Tips

Save an additional 10 to 25 percent
* Change incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs. You can typically save one dollar per month on each bulb changed (For bulbs on four to six hours per day.)
* Caulk windows and weather-strip doors.
* Install a water heater blanket. Install water pipe insulation.
* Plant trees and shrubs on south and west sides of residence.
* Fix leaky faucets. Install low-flow showerheads.
* Use ceiling or room fans to keep the air moving.
* Replace furnace and air conditioner filters monthly.

Added-Cost Tips

Save up to an additional 25 percent
* Fully insulate your attic, walls, pipes and air ducts.
* Upgrade your windows to vinyl frame, double-pane units.
* Replace your old appliances with new energy-efficient models.

About Sierra Pacific Power [ www.sierrapacific.com ]

Headquartered in Reno, Nevada, Sierra Pacific Power Company is the principal utility for most of northern Nevada and the Lake Tahoe area of California. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sierra Pacific Resources, which also is the holding company for Nevada Power Company, the electric utility for southern Nevada. Sierra Pacific Power also distributes natural gas in the Reno-Sparks area of northern Nevada. Other subsidiaries of Sierra Pacific Resources include the Tuscarora Gas Pipeline Company, which owns 50 percent interest in an interstate natural gas transmission partnership.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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