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Consumer advocates call for NV Energy to refund $15 million

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Updated: 8/06/2013 10:17 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- A refund of nearly $15 million is what consumer advocates say is owed to NV Energy customers.

“We believe every dollar counts and the commission to take us seriously,” said Erik Witkoski, the state's consumer advocate.

Witkoski is joined by the staff of the Public Utilities Commission in pushing for a $15 million refund for NV Energy customers.

They argue the utility made so much money last year, it does not need to keep the revenues from energy efficiency programs.

“If they're earning more than their authorized rate or return, that money should come back under the law,” Witkoski said.

Lydia Ball, the Executive Director of the Clean Energy Project, has concerns about the current policy in place.

“In a year when the utility makes record profits, are they still allowed to make more off energy efficiency projects,” Ball said.

The same mechanism that protects the utility, Ball says, also creates a disincentive to use energy efficency programs.

“Should they only be able to cover their costs or should they be able to cover the projected revenue that they'd lose out on. There's a happy balance between the two of them,” she said.

Ball staying clear of saying just how much of the $15 million should go back to the consumers but trusting the commission will make a fair decision.

“There's cost that the utility takes but there should be a benefit for the ratepayer on the energy efficiency measures that they receive,” she said.

NV Energy doesn't comment on current cases but in their rebuttal, they claim the commission doesn't have the authority to give the green light on a refund.
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