LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — As a big power bill increase looms for NV Energy customers, neighbors in the Las Vegas valley said they are already struggling to pay their bills.
“It’s up to $280,” single mom Elva Gutierrez said. “Sometimes it’s almost $300 and I can’t even afford that,” adding she is already having trouble affording the basic necessities during the holiday season.
In a filing with the PUC, NV Energy and Southwest Gas said customers will see their electric bills go up more than 14%, with a single-family home paying just under $23.50 more each month on average.
Gas bills are expected to go up by 4.8%, which will add $2.76 to a typical single-family home bill.
Residents like Cremolda Moore do not have the extra money to spend and are having to figure out how to cope and share what they have gone through.
“My sister and I live together, and we are on a fixed income,” Moore said. “Since the summer, the bill went from $150 something to $312 and now that it’s getting cold at night, we’re up to $400 and we don’t have that kind of money.”
Joseph Kelley echoes Moore’s concerns as well, following a rough year for his family.
“The lights in our house and electricity got cut off earlier this year for a week or two, due to how high the prices out of nowhere went up,” he said. “Some type of energy assistance program is the only way because I have a family of 5 and I’m the only one working so it’s hard.”
Both utility companies offer assistance programs for people having trouble paying their bills.
When it comes to the reasoning behind the increase both companies cited the rising cost of natural gas and added that they are not making any profit from the rate hike.
Southwest Gas customers experiencing financial hardship can find support by clicking HERE.
Southwest Gas also encourages customers to take advantage of its Equal Payment Plan (EPP) which helps make monthly bills more predictable throughout the year. Customers can also reduce their natural gas use by following these helpful conservation tips found here: www.swgas.com/tips.
NV Energy customers can find information on assistance including FlexPay and Equal Pay by clicking HERE.