NV Energy has taken great care to keep rates stable while ensuring we are able to meet the energy needs of our state. Between 2006 and 2012, NV Energy engaged in an aggressive building-and-acquisition strategy to increase our owned-generating fleet, in order to shield our customers from unpredictable energy markets.
The result was the addition of 3,100 megawatts of highly efficient natural gas-fired generation that now allows us to supply approximately 80 percent of the energy needs of Southern Nevada and 100 percent of Northern Nevada through our own generating resources, making Nevada virtually energy independent. Our customers can take pride in the fact that our reliable service is delivered by one of the safest employee teams in the country.
NV Energy’s top priority is to create greater value for our customers through increased service and stable rates. We were able to reduce our year-over-year operating and maintenance expenses between 2013 and 2014 by 10.5 percent, without layoffs and while improving customer service options. We then leveraged these savings during our 2014 general rate case filing, when, for the first time since the 1970s, we reached a settlement agreement that resulted in no increase in revenue for the company.
Our customers have also experienced two electric rate decreases this year alone, due to fuel and purchased power savings that resulted from our earlier investments, with another decrease taking place on Jan. 1. We continue to seek opportunities to reduce costs and maintain stable, if not reduce, customer rates.
At NV Energy, we want what’s best for all our customers — those who choose to install renewable generation and those who do not. Customers who install rooftop solar systems receive grid services from NV Energy 24 hours per day, seven days per week. The cost of providing these services is significant. This is why we supported Senate Bill 374 during this past legislative session. SB374 provides the Public Utilities Commission with the latitude to create a sustainable net metering program.
Make no mistake, we support solar energy in all forms. Our first company-owned solar project, Nellis Solar Array II, will be in service by the end of this year, joining eight other solar projects currently providing energy to our customers. And we recently received approval to move forward with two of the lowest-cost solar energy contracts in our company’s history. By the end of next year, when these two solar projects go into service, the solar energy that NV Energy delivers to our customers will be the largest renewable energy source in Nevada for the first time in our state’s history.
We strive to work with our customers, both large and small, to develop value propositions (such as those offered through our NV GreenEnergy Rider program) that allow customers to grow their Nevada-based business with new renewable resources.
No one cares more about protecting Nevada’s electricity users than NV Energy. We recognize our responsibility to provide a vital product, and we will continue to strive to be the best energy company — delivering high quality, reliable service at competitive prices, with options that meet the needs of all our Nevada customers.
— Kevin Geraghty is vice president of energy supply for NV Energy.