weather icon Clear

Las Vegas to consider leaving NV Energy

The city of Las Vegas is considering leaving NV Energy for an alternative power provider, setting the stage for it to potentially join a recent exodus from the utility monopoly.

Next week, the City Council will consider approving a letter of intent to negotiate an energy purchasing agreement with Texas-based Tenaska Power Services Co., city documents show.

In that same meeting March 6, policymakers will decide whether to authorize City Manager Scott Adams to negotiate an energy purchasing agreement with NV Energy as current agreements expire this year.

City spokesman Jace Radke said Thursday that efforts to cut energy costs do not disregard the possibility of retaining NV Energy.

“Discussions are ongoing,” Radke said in an email.

The strategy mirrors the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s decision this month to approve a search for a better energy deal, through NV Energy or a different provider.

It’s believed the city would be the first municipality in Nevada to explore leaving NV Energy under the state statute that makes it possible to buy energy off the open market. The state Public Utilities Commission declined to confirm Thursday.

If the City Council greenlights both negotiations, the agreements for retail services would return to the council for review and possible action.

Leaving NV Energy requires approval from the PUC, which has levied hefty exit fees on companies that have left. The commission and NV Energy seek the fees because they claim companies that leave the utility increase costs to existing customers. Radke said the city had not filed any paperwork with the PUC.

MGM Resorts International, which left NV Energy in 2016, paid $86.9 million in exit fees, and Caesars Entertainment Corp. was assigned $47.5 million in exit fees in 2018.

According to city documents, Tenaska would provide nonfinancial support to the city in the exit process. Its power delivery to city parks, facilities and streetlights would begin only after the PUC approved the city’s exit from NV Energy.

“We believe we are the best energy partner for the City of Las Vegas, and will continue to work closely with them to offer solutions in order to keep them as a fully-bundled customer,” NV Energy spokeswoman Jennifer Schuricht said in a statement Thursday.

Last year, 10 companies began efforts to leave NV Energy, more than in the previous five years combined. In 2019, others have joined, including The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and the convention authority.

In June, the City Council directed staff to evaluate options for continuing to receive 100 percent of its energy from renewable resources while further cutting costs. After evaluating proposals, staff circled Tenaska as the leading offer, according to a staff report.

The city’s ongoing renewable energy use has led to cost savings of more than $5 million annually, the report said.

Contact Shea Johnson at sjohnson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272. Follow @Shea_LVRJ on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Media's Double Standard On Incitement And Trump - Video
Over the weekend, an Elizabeth Warren-supporting socialist who opposed gun violence used a rifle to commit a mass murder in Dayton, Ohio. The media has downplayed that aspect of the tragedy.
Project Our Care Tour Kicks Off In Las Vegas
U.S. Rep. Dina Titus joined health care advocates and local residents as part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour kick off in Las Vegas on Monday, August 5, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders talks about guns, response to El Paso shooting
Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke about his response and continued policy ideas about guns and gun control to the Review-Journal after a panel of other topics. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg On Gun Control And Climate Change - Video
Pete Buttigieg talks about his campaign for the 2020 election and how Nevada is a vision of what the future can be.
Beto O'Rourke speaks in Las Vegas
Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke spoke to supporters at the East Las Vegas Community Center in Las Vegas, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Nevada Senate leader Kelvin Atkinson sentenced to prison
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, who pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds, was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trumps Strength is also a Weakness - Video
One of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths — his ability to shape national narratives — is also a great weakness.
Tax the Rich Bus Tour makes a stop in Las Vegas - Video
The Tax the Rich Bus has stopped in Las Vegas as part of its summer tour. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ - Video
Assembly Woman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ to bring the community together to hear about the candidates up for election and for people to gather and have fun.
Democrat Virtual Caucus - Video
Elizabeth Warren visits Las Vegas
Senator Elizabeth Warren made a campaign stop at the East Las Vegas Community Center on Tuesday July 2, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Aaron Ford Speaks About Bill AB431
AB431 is a bill sponsored by Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson to restore the right to vote for formerly incarcerated individuals. Attorney General Aaron Ford spoke at the AM&E Church in North Las Vegas about the bill, on Monday, July 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Right Take: Biden's Racially Questionable Comments
Joe Biden has uttered racially charged statements for years. Now that he’s the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination, he may finally face prolonged scrutiny for them.
Christopher Rufo Discusses Homelessness In The USA - VIDEO
Christopher Rufo discusses homelessness in the United States and how politicians can work to improve conditions for those with drug addictions.
Clark County 2019 Election Results - Video
The 2019 Elections wrap up in Clark County including an upset in the Boulder City Mayor race.
Olivia Diaz talks about her win in Ward 3 - VIDEO
Las Vegas City Councilwoman-elect Olivia Diaz talks about her election win in Ward 3 and what lies ahead for her.
Greene discusses Read by 3 and Opportunity Scholarships - VIDEO
The Nevada Legislative Session is over and the results are mixed for Nevada students, according to Tom Greene, Senior regional legislative director, Excel in Ed in Action.
Bernie Sanders visits Las Vegas
Sen. Bernie Sanders made a stop at Roy W. Martin middle school on Thursday, during his campaign trail.