Energy Efficiency, Utilities - June 24, 2019
Nevada customers to receive payment for staying with utility
The city of Henderson, Nev. and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority will receive $1 million in annual cash payments from NV Energy over the next five years.
The payments will be made in return for a promise to not switch power service providers, according to a report by the Nevada Independent. The contracts also include language requiring the city to satisfy “renewable energy objectives,” including the possible purchase of renewable energy credits.
The utility has made similar arrangements with other local customers, including Station Casinos, the Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas Sands, the Atlantis, Golden Gaming and South Point.
It is estimated that the payments made annually by NV Energy to its largest customers could run into the millions or tens of millions of dollars.
Spokeswoman Jennifer Schuricht noted that "the utility is seeking a $120 million rate cut for Southern Nevada customers in its upcoming general rate case, and said the cost of complying with the contracts are not currently recovered through electric rates and that the PUC would need to approve any possible future recovery for cash payments made to those customers."
"If NV Energy ever decided to seek recovery in the future, it will be done through an open and transparent public process with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, who will decide what is in the public’s best interest," Schuricht told the Nevada Independent.
The agreements to pay companies to continue sourcing their power from NV Energy follows a recent trend of businesses filing to leave in 2018 and 2019 under a law that would allow large customers to leave utility service and purchase electricity from other entities, provided they pay a usually substantial impact fee determined by the PUC to ensure other utility customers aren’t left with higher costs.