Legislative mandates increase average family’s power bill by $236 a year; Updated

Victor Joecks

NV Energy's plan to raise power rates, called "NVision," has received a lot of attention, but the Legislature doesn't need to pass any new laws to increase the cost of your electricity. The laws it's already passed are doing that just fine.

The Public Utilities Commission recently did an analysis of power rates and found that legislative mandates cost the average family $19.71 a month in Southern Nevada and $15.01 a month in Northern Nevada.

What would your family do with an extra $236 a year?

Here's what the acronyms stand for.

  • RPS: Renewable Portfolio Standard
  • DSM: Demand Side Management (energy efficiency programs done to comply in part with Nevada's RPS)
  • TRED: Temporary Renewable Development Charge ("temporary" charge of 20 years which benefits a solar project in case of utility financial difficulties)
  • UEC: Universal Energy Charge (subsidy used to assist low-income folks)
  • Franchise fees are charged by local governments.

As the charts make clear, Nevada's Renewable Portfolio Standard is driving up your rates substantially. Why? Because "renewable" energy is up to four times more expensive than natural gas and coal.

And with NV Energy required to obtain 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2025, the costs to your family are only going to increase.

But some legislators aren't satisfied with those rate increases and want to force Nevada's families to pay even more by increasing Nevada's RPS to 35 percent by 2025.

Good grief. Another way government takes away money (and hence opportunities) away from your family.

Update: Thomas Mitchell with 4th St8 emails with more info:

The RPS cost for 2012 is really a carry over of the number from 2011. It should be higher when FERC releases Form No. 1 this month for both Nevada Power and Sierra Pacific. I have looked high and low for any Form No. 1 from FERC and have yet to find one.

More bad news for ratepayers.