Las Vegas power bill set to drop in 2013

Your electricity bill is set to drop in the new year.

The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada approved power company NV Energy’s integrated resource plan Thursday in a decision that will cut the average monthly electric invoice from $142.05 to $138.26.

The decline comes from a drop in the cost of natural gas to fuel the company’s power plants, as well as cuts in the rate that covers energy-efficiency programs and the lower sales that result from conservation.

NV Energy is required to file an updated integrated resource plan every three years. The plan lays out power sources and strategies for the next 20 years. It also gives a glimpse of company expenses that might go into rates in 2014, when NV Energy files its next general rate case.

NV Energy’s June resource filing was its smallest in the past decade, at a total of $155.2 million in spending through 2015. In contrast, the 2006 proposal sought $2.3 billion over three years, including $1.2 billion for a coal plant that was later canceled. The 2009 plan proposed $925 million in new construction and initiatives, including $500 million for the under-construction One Nevada transmission line (ON Line) and $425 million for efficiency and conservation initiatives and solar arrays.

NV Energy said 2012’s smaller plan came partly from slower population growth, which means it won’t need to build new power plants before 2018. Nearly $148 million of the investments in the proposal would go to efficiency and conservation programs, such as financial help for ratepayers looking to upgrade air-conditioning units or unload obsolete refrigerators, rather than to new generation or infrastructure.

NV Energy executives were still running the commission’s order through company models to determine the final amount of spending the board allowed.

Contact reporter Jennifer Robison at jrobison@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4512. Follow @J_Robison1 on Twitter.

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