Sierra Pacific files for decrease in electric rates |

Sierra Pacific files for decrease in electric rates

Sierra Pacific Power Company is seeking a 15.2 percent for its California electric customers.

If approved, the typical residential customer using 650 kilowatt-hours of electricity would see a $14 drop in monthly bills from $95 to $81, or a 15 percent decrease.

The California Public Utilities Commission is expected to hold hearings into the request, and could issue a decision as early as August, for reduced rates to take effect on Sept. 1, according to utility officials.

About 80 percent of Sierra Pacific’s 46,000 California customers reside in the Lake Tahoe Basin. The company’s California service area extends from Portola in the north to Markleeville and Topaz Lake to Coleville in the south.

The filing was made under the California Public Utilities Commission’s Energy Cost Adjustment Clause filing, which allows the utility to annually file to recover an under-collection, or return an over-collection of energy costs, such as fuel for power plants and power purchased on behalf of its customers, with no mark-up by the utility.

When these energy costs are lower than what the company charges its customers, the company requests to decrease rates. Conversely, when energy costs are higher than the utility charges its customers, the company requests an increase.

The last time the company filed to change its energy rates was in April 2006.

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