PUC Allows 5 Strip Properties To Buy Power on Open Market - 8 News NOW

Janine Gill, Reporter

PUC Allows 5 Strip Properties To Buy Power on Open Market

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(July 31) -- Five major power customers will be allowed to drop Nevada Power as their supplier. The Public Utilities Commission voted Wednesday to let MGM-Mirage, Station Casinos, Coast Resorts, the Sahara and the Fashion Show Mall to buy their power on the open market.

Executives at these casino and Strip properties are pleased with this outcome. Over the last couple of years, their power bills have been rising. Now they have a choice to buy electricity somewhere else. From the lighting, to the slot machines, to keeping people cool, casinos shell out a great deal of money on their power bills.

In a history-making move, the PUC decided that MGM-Mirage, the Sahara, Coast Casinos, Station Casinos and the Fashion Show Mall shouldn't be restricted to buying electricity from Nevada Power. Now they can purchase it from any energy supplier they want.

“This is a method to reduce our power bills at MGM-Mirage and potentially down the road provide options to smaller users to also reduce their power bills down the road,” said Mark Russell of MGM-Mirage.

Nevada Power says even though they are losing big businesses, consumers won't be affected because the properties agreed to pay millions in exit fees and deferred energy costs.

“For the company, this is a good thing. You might see some of our revenue declining, but we will not have to pay as much for revenue and purchase power,” said Sonya Headen of Nevada Power.

Currently state law only allows customers who use at least one megawatt of power a year to purchase it elsewhere. But some in the casino industry feel that down the road it could lead to allowing small businesses and even homeowners to do the same.

To contact Janine Gill, click here.

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