The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada on Aug. 1 approved an agreement among its regulatory operations staff, NV Energy and the state Bureau of Consumer Protection that will result in a $21.9-million rate decrease for northern Nevada residential electric customers and a $15.7-million rate decrease for southern Nevada customers. The decreases take effect Oct. 1

NV Energy filed with the PUCN in March for approval of fuel and purchased-power expenses for 2018 and a reset of rates related to renewable-energy development and energy-efficiency programs [19-03001, 19-03002, 19-03003]. The decreases result from a multimonth review process that followed, leading to adjustments in Sierra Pacific Power’s and Nevada Power’s deferred energy accounts for 2018 renewable-energy development charges and energy-efficiency programs. Costs for the programs were less than previously forecast. The agreement also refunds the total amount of the energy-efficiency implementation rate revenue and carrying charges received in 2018.

“It is important for NV Energy to provide options for our customers to help them reduce their energy use and utilize new energy technologies without increasing the price they pay for power,” NV Energy President and CEO Doug Cannon said in a release announcing the rate decrease. NV Energy bills are lower than they were a decade ago, according to the release.

Northern Nevada residential electric customers served by Sierra Pacific Power that use 769 kWh of electricity a month will see a decrease of $2.12, or 2.47 percent, on their monthly bills. Typical southern Nevada residential customers, served by Nevada Power, that use 1,159 kWh of electricity a month will see a decrease of 79 cents, or 0.56 percent, on their monthly bills, the release said. Sierra Pacific Power and Nevada Power are both wholly owned by NV Energy, the state’s only investor-owned, monopoly utility.