Sierra Pacific Power’s rate increase begins today |

Sierra Pacific Power’s rate increase begins today

Staff report

Northern Nevadans can expect to see larger utility bills beginning today.

Sierra Pacific Power Company customers in Reno, Carson City and Douglas County will see an overall increase of 9.2 percent in their bills. On average, customers will see an increase from $96.86 per month to $105.76, based on 750 kilowatt hours per month used, the company noted in a statement.

The increase will be used in part to pay for the company’s new $467 million Tracy Generating Station in Storey County, the company’s first such new power generating plant in a decade.

The plant is expected to generate 541 megawatts of power, enough for 325,000 homes.

Company officials said the new natural-gas-powered generating plant will make energy 30 percent cheaper to produce locally than buying it on the open market.

Sierra Pacific provides power to more than 53,000 customers in Carson City, Lyon and Douglas counties.

This is the first such rate increase approved for Sierra Pacific by the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada since Nov. 2006, said Mike Carano, director of rates and regulatory affairs for Reno-based Sierra Pacific Power, a subsidiary of Sierra Pacific Resources.

“With the completion of this new plant, we move closer to fulfilling our strategy to reduce northern Nevada’s dependence on outside energy suppliers,” said Sierra Pacific Resources CEO Michael Yackira in a statement. “We can now meet virtually all of our customers electricity demand with generation from within Nevada.”