PUC feigns concern of residential power customers

It is passing strange that the Nevada Public Utilities Commission has put out an unsolicited speculation on what might happen if the voters were to again approve at the ballot box in November a constitutional amendment ending the electric power monopoly in the state. The so-called Energy Choice Initiative passed by more than 72 percent in 2016.

But it is downright laughable how the report expresses feigned solicitude for the poor residential ratepayer.

While the report suggests that power rates might go up rather than down, as initiative backers claim, it warns that residential customers might suffer the most.

“If history and experience are any type of guide, commercial and industrial customers, will fare far better, at least initially, than the average Nevada residential family through this proposed change,” the report states. “Large commercial customers, who currently cannot depart bundled electricity service pursuant to NRS Chapter 704B may financially benefit the most, as they cannot currently access a competitive open marketplace that my offer benefits to high-volume users.”

This is the same PUC that currently sets those residential, commercial and industrial rates.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the residential rates set by the PUC were the highest among the eight Mountain states in January 2018, while the commercial rates was the third lowest and the industrial rate was the second lowest in the region.

While residents paid 12.36 cents per kilowatt-hour, commercial customers paid 8.04 cents and industrial users paid only 5.28 cents. Thirty-one states have lower residential power rates than Nevada, according to the EIA. Only four states have lower industrial power rates. Only three states have lower commercial rates.

Aren’t you glad the PUC is looking out for you?




7 comments on “PUC feigns concern of residential power customers

  1. Steve says:

    what kinda horse poop is the PUC trying to spread?

    From the Indy
    “The report found Nevada enjoys the seventh lowest electric rate for combined residential, commercial and industrial ratepayers in 2016, with the average retail price of 8.39 cents per kilowatt hour. It also notes that monthly residential power bills have been significantly decreased (up to $4 a month) after the commission approved reducing NV Energy’s revenue targets following passage of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act last year.”

    But this seems relevant:

  2. That’s because we are in the west.

  3. How much did the rates in those states go down after ending their monopolies? Besides, it is not deregulation. There still are regulations. Free choice is added.

    One study found that from 1997 to 2014 the states that had adopted customer choice for power saw inflation-adjusted residential rates fall 5.2 percent, while monopoly states saw those rates rise 3.9 percent.

  4. Steve says:

    Actually, according to no on 3, those states all experienced increased costs (cant say rates because the claim is those who left the original provider experienced cost increases, rates are a thing set by a regulator). They also claim Nevada would be giving control of its electricity business to California, reaping all the benefits of their higher costs or prices.
    I can’t help but think they may be right, the last attempt to go market was met with incredible manipulation and lack of any competition.

  5. Due to piss poor regulations as a subsequent study reported.

    Click to access summary-findings.pdf

  6. Steve says:

    There are basically no proposed regulations in question 3 (probably due to our “one subject” limitation) We need to be careful.

    My brother lives in Massachusetts. I messaged him. “Hey, question.
    How are your electricity costs effected by Massachusetts “deregulation” ? Lower or higher?”
    This is his response.

    “Ended up being cheaper to stay with National Grid. Most people who jumped were scammed. Companies targeted lower income people with door to door sales…. they were not deals.”
    He also tells me solar works well on the right house. So, it (solar) has limitations, as we well know.

  7. Steve says:

    The more I read on this, the more I find reality resides somewhere in the middle. Both sides claims are rooted in expectations so high (or low depending on the viewpoint) it becomes almost impossible to make an informed opinion.

    Best I can see are two major issues.

    First is how long it could take to realize lower electricity costs. As far as I can tell that seems to take about 10 to 15 years of market forces paying off the monopoly then achieving relative unencumbered competition. Some states (California is a good example) are still waiting for this.

    Second is the remaining monopoly in the form of transmission infrastructure (the grid) in every case I could find, pricing for delivery and access has been going up. In the few I could find, it goes up rather sharply. Both consumer and provider pay to use the grid. (if you have a good place for solar it seems to work)
    This gets a bit worrisome as NVEnergy made it clear they would exit the generation market entirely, leaving us with no choice but to hunt for an electricity provider right off the bat.

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