Sierra Pacific customers to experience rate increase |

Sierra Pacific customers to experience rate increase

Christine Stanley
Sierra Sun

Sierra Pacific Power Company filed on Tuesday with the California Public Utilities Commission to increase residential electric rates by 17.2 percent, equating to more than a $13 rise for the average customer using 650 kilowatt hours.

The increase would affect homes in Glenshire, Northstar, Olympic Valley, Alpine Meadows, the Lake Tahoe Basin, and along the Truckee River on Highway 89 south.

Filings such as Sierra Pacific’s, which was set in motion to recover $11.2 million in lost revenue for power purchased for customers in California, are allowable under the commission’s energy cost adjustment clause and occur when a utility purchases energy for more than what it charges consumers. If the utility’s filing is approved, then rates can be adjusted to recover costs.

“This is for fuel, and it is a pass through dollar-for-dollar to the customers,” said Sierra Pacific spokeswoman Faye Andersen. “Energy prices have been going up, and up and up. I would say that every utility in California has applied for increases, but it is also all over the United States.”

It is too early to tell when Sierra Pacific’s rate increase will kick in, said Andersen, but it will likely come late in the year.

“If you look at utilities not only in the West, but throughout the country, fuel coast are hitting everyone,” Andersen said.

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Sierra Pacific’s last rate increase occurred in 2004, also to recover lost revenue, and equated to an average of about $9.33 per month for residential customers.