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The cost of natural gas drives up Nevada utility bills

NV Energy
Posted at 8:39 PM, Jan 02, 2023

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — When you get your first utility bill of 2023, it will likely look a bit different. That’s because NV Energy and Southwest Gas have raised their rates again, this time by nearly 15%. 13 Actions News spoke to a few valley residents who say they’re already struggling to keep up.

“$30 to over a hundred dollars,” said Las Vegas resident Janet Velez.

Velez says she immediately called Southwest Gas when she saw that her utility bill had gone up by over a hundred dollars in November. She says she lives alone in a one-bedroom apartment and was confused by the amount she owed.

“That’s a huge difference, that’s why I called them in the first place because I understand if the price of gas went up, it would go up 30 dollars or something but 3 times? I don’t live in a house,” said Velez.

More expensive utility bills are a harsh reality for many Las Vegas residents. In October of 2022, rates increased by 6% and on January 1st, rates jumped again. But this time by 14.06%. NV Energy says that's about a $23 increase. Casino employee, John Atkinson says he was hit hard by the last hike and is not looking forward to his next bill.

“The energy, the power, the heating. Yes, it's gone up $40 to $50 and it's not fair because companies aren’t giving you a raise,” said Atkinson.

NV Energy Director of Communications, Jennifer Schuricht explained to me how the rates are decided. She says the company first assesses its quarterly costs and then changes the pay rate to recover losses and keep up with rising prices. She says the company doesn’t make a profit off the rate hike.

“The cost of that rate is really the reflection of the actual cost of what we paid for fuel. So as soon as we see that cost go down that decrease will be passed down to our customers as well,” said Schuricht.

If you or someone you know needs assistance paying your utility bills NV Energy says they’re offering plans to help. Click here.