Sierra Pacific customers to get refund

Sierra Pacific Power Co. customers will get a refund next month.

Electric customers can expect a one-time cut in their monthly bill of about $11 in September. Gas customers will see a $3 refund, but that won't apply to the Carson City area which is served by Southwest Gas.

The total amount Sierra Pacific is refunding to customers is $9.3 million $8.6 million in electric revenues and $670,000 in gas.

Under the rate plan, the company shares gas and electric division earnings in excess of 12 percent on common equity.

Public Utilities Commission Chairman Don Soderberg said this refund is in addition to the $390,000 refund for Sierra Pacific electric customers approved by the commission July 11.

The commission also decided to recommend reorganization of itself and the PUC staff as part of Gov. Kenny Guinn's fundamental review process.

"We're confident that the reorganization of the commission approved today will enable us to increase efficiencies and streamline processes," said Soderberg.

He said the plan is designed to save $622,030 in personnel expenses each year by reducing the number of staff departments from 7 to 5 and eliminating six positions.

Most of those positions are already vacant.

The PUC's proposed budget reflects those savings, projecting an 18 percent decrease in revenue.

But before any PUC reorganization is approved, both it and the budget must get the approval of the administration and the 2001 Legislature.


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