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Sierra Pacific hearing delayed

Appeal Capitol Bureau

Tuesday’s hearing on Sierra Pacific Power’s request to have customers cover the cost of its settlement with Enron Corp. has been rescheduled.

The utility wants northern Nevada electric customers to pay the $20 million settlement involving disputed power supply contracts with Enron during the 2000-2001 western energy crisis. Utility officials said it’s reasonable for the customers to pay and the Public Utilities Commission staff agrees with the request.

But state Consumer Advocate Eric Witkoski said the utility should absorb the cost because it didn’t follow its own purchasing strategies and bought too much power during the electricity shortage.

“In our review, we feel these contracts shouldn’t have been entered into,” he said in an earlier interview.

The PUC hearing is now set for Oct. 1-3.