Yazmyn Pelaez

Nevadans demand greater scrutiny of fossil fuel spending to lower electricity bills

Federal investments in energy efficiency, weatherization, and highly efficient electric appliance programs will help

***Photos are available here.***

LAS VEGAS — Yesterday, dozens of NV Energy customers, clean energy advocates, and community leaders packed into the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada’s consumer session to speak out against skyrocketing electricity bills. They urged the Commission to scrutinize every dollar spent by the utility on fossil fuels, consider increased assistance for households struggling to pay their bills, and do everything they can to protect ratepayers from increased costs.

NV Energy is overly dependent on methane gas, an out-of-state fossil fuel, to generate power. The price spikes for methane gas have driven up customer electricity bills and put Nevada families’ financial well-being at risk. Customers are outraged and deserve a swift transition to reliable, affordable, and local clean energy. 

With the passage of our nation’s Affordable Clean Energy Plan, Nevada has a historic opportunity to leverage federal funds to help our state’s utility customers weatherize their homes and lower their electricity bills. 

“Nevadans deserve affordable access to energy efficiency, weatherization, and highly efficient electric appliances that can help reduce energy consumption and lower utility bills,” said Nevada Conservation League’s Deputy Director, Christi Cabrera-Georgeson. “NV Energy must do more, and funds from President Biden’s Affordable  Clean Energy Plan can help.”

“This past year has been challenging for Nevadans. I’ve heard many stories of hardship, shock, and outrage because utility bills are becoming unsustainable for low- and fixed-income households,” said Dr. Mary House, CEO of Caring Helping & Restoring, Inc. “We’ve gone from record-high winter heating bills to anticipating skyrocketing summer cooling bills, with more rate increases on the way. We can’t keep doing this. Nevadans deserve clean energy solutions that will stabilize our costs.”

“I have solar panels on my house and benefit from lower, more stable electricity bills than many of my friends, neighbors, and community members, said Pastor Marlon Anderson, Clean Energy Organizer for Faith Organizing Alliance. “I urge the Commission and NV Energy to do more to help others benefit from clean energy as I do, especially renters and those with high energy burdens. Clean energy, energy efficiency, and weatherization programs will help stabilize electricity bills while making our homes more comfortable.”

“Hardworking Nevadans have been clear about one thing: We want clean, reliable, and affordable energy, not more of the same,” said Angel Lazcano, Environmental Justice Organizer for Somos Votantes. “We need the PUCN and NV Energy to help accelerate our state’s transition to renewable energy and provide working families across the state with an energy source that’s cleaner, more affordable, and less volatile than methane gas. The utility needs to do more to diversify their mix, leverage the funds from the Inflation Reduction Act, and prioritize local clean energy, which has more predictable costs for working families like us.” 

This session comes just months after NV Energy requested and the PUCN approved a new 440 MW methane gas peaker plant at the Silverhawk Generating Station in North Las Vegas. That new plant doubles down on volatile methane gas while passing the costs to customers. The utility must move away from fossil fuels to local renewable energy, which has more predictable and stable prices. The decision can be found here.


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