LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Many across the Las Vegas valley are worried about the rising costs of bills, including electricity, and are trying to find ways to cut down costs.
Summerlin resident, Chanel Jamerson said he is trying to cut down costs as electric bills are expected to spike in July.
“So I live in Summerlin and before it was probably like 60 bucks per month and now it’s probably $150,” Jamerson said.
A document submitted to the Nevada Legislature shows ratepayers in Southern Nevada are paying 54.2% more for power than they did in 2021.
“Even the last year it was still probably twenty dollars less or something but it’s still up,” Jamerson said.
The hike is partly due to the rising costs of natural gas prices. Nevada Consumer Affairs reported that the average electric bill in Southern Nevada is expected to be around $470 by mid-summer.
Marissa Shoop, the director of resident services at Nevada Hand, recognizes how costly bills can get for its residents as the nonprofit helps provide affordable housing for low-income communities across Southern Nevada.
“We also know that about the average household spends about 3% of their monthly costs on energy bills but for low-income households, it’s about 6-10% and we know that when that type of percentage impacts their income, it takes away from those essential goods that are necessary,” Shoop said.
One of the ways Nevada Hand supports its residents is through assistance programs. However, for those not part of Nevada Hand, there is still help available.
“Nevada 211 is really a great resource to help all of our community access resources that we may not know are available, so it may be utility assistance or housing, but it’s certainly a place where you can go and get one on one resources for you and your family,” Shoop explained.
For Jamerson, she’s having to make a tough decision
“I’m moving out of town. Everybody’s coming out here, I’m moving out of town. That’s where I’m going Friday. I’m going to Indiana,” Jamerson added. “Yes, it’s ridiculous. I’d rather go out there, everything is much cheaper and they have nice little lakehouses for $200,000.”
NV Energy told 8 News Now the company is evaluating ways to minimize rate impacts for customers during the hot summer months.
Like many other businesses, NV Energy’s costs have significantly increased over the last 18 months. Lower natural gas supplies in the western U.S., along with higher demand due to below-average temperatures, have increased fuel prices.
A statement from Advanced Energy United said in part:
“We know that energy markets – enabled by transmission – that connect large geographies come with big electricity savings. The real-time energy-sharing Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) has already saved participating utilities and their customers (including NV Energy) over $3 billion. I’ve attached a report (also available here) that quantifies the electricity cost savings and resulting economic impacts of a full Western Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) on the Nevada – this includes $32 million per year in electricity cost savings. NV Energy is required by SB 448 (2021) to join an RTO by 2030, and GreenLink is key to enable that participation.”
“In the near term, what resources Nevada decides to build to connect to that transmission has a big impact on Nevada ratepayers. You could build a new gas plant to run a few hundred hours a year, spending hundreds of millions on capital costs, and then be saddled with ongoing operational costs reflective of volatile and expensive fuel markets. Those gas fuel costs are what’s causing the current bill increase, and recent utility decisions have increased – not decreased – Nevada’s exposure to these gas markets. Because of this, the state is currently destined for rate increase after increase.”
There are a number of programs in place to help with utility assistance below: