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Video: NV Energy customers protest rate spikes

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By Michelle Baker 

Ratepayers and advocates organized at the NV Energy headquarters on Thursday, April 25, to protest rate increases and what they called the lack of renewable energy from the power company. Customers have long been frustrated with the increasing cost of energy, with some protestors claiming their energy bills continue to spike in price.

“My bills have gone from approximately $180 to $280 or even higher,” customer Grace Thorton Potorti said. “We live on a disabled veteran’s pension and social security. We have, at times, turned off the air conditioner because we don’t want to have a high energy bill, and that’s a real problem when you’re living with a disabled vet who needs to stay cool.”

NV Energy is proposing a $28 service charge increase. Third Act organizer B Fulkerson blamed what he called the company’s superfluous spending as some of the reasons customers are footing the higher bills. 

“The fact that ratepayers have to make up for NV Energy’s bonuses, for their lobbyists, for their big entertainment costs, things like that, is ridiculous,” Fulkerson said. 

Fulkerson and others said they are also frustrated at the lack of solar energy in the state. In 2022, renewable energy sources like solar, hydroelectric and geothermal power in Nevada made up 37% of the state’s energy generation. 

“In 2022, renewable energy resources—mainly solar, geothermal, and hydroelectric power—accounted for 37% of Nevada’s total in-state electricity net generation,” the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported in 2023. “Solar thermal and utility- and small-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) energy together supplied about 23% of the state’s total, while geothermal energy provided 9%.” 

Fulkerson said that to prevent the rates from climbing even more, customers need to speak out at public meetings. He said the Third Act organization plans to oppose these hikes and advocate for more renewable energy in the next legislative session. 

“It’s not the way things should work,” Fulkerson said. “And the only reason it does work this way is because not enough of us [have] spoken up.” 

NV Energy’s spokesperson said, in response to Thursday’s protest, that the company is focusing on renewable energy.

“NV Energy continues our commitment to delivering an environmentally sustainable energy supply to our customers that balances cost and reliability,” Katie Nannini said. “Last week, NV Energy made a filing with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada reporting it had reached an overall renewable portfolio standard of 39.7% in 2023—this means that NV Energy customers are being served by more renewable energy than ever before and in excess of current state law.”

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