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The PUC Meeting - Jan 18

by Knight Allen, NSC Director of Legislation
Published on  February 09, 2012 - reprinted with permission

     Last month I wrote about this and told you I was going to go to the meeting on January 18 and ask questions about the pricing structure. That didn't happen. I am not going to take off after the PUC here. The Hearing Officer made it very clear up front that in the Notice of Meeting & Agenda (which I had not seen) it was emphasized the only subject for discussion was going to be opting out of smart meters. That took me out of the game but I stuck around a while and got some very interesting information.

  First, even if the PUC allows us to keep our analog meters we're going to get hit with a one-time $180 charge. When a member of the Commission asked "Why?" since the meter is already in place and working, the representative from NV Energy said (are you ready for this?) they would replace the. old meter with a "refurbished" analog meter because the ones currently in place are not accurate and are reporting less energy use than is actually happening. Ya like that?? Then, of course, there is the $14 to $15 per month extra charge to come and read the meter.

That brings me to the second very interesting piece of information.  In the room in Carson City (the meeting was teleconferenced) were two representatives from the Attorney General's office. They were there in an official capacity and they lit into both the Commission and NV Energy because in the recent rate increase case the company was allowed to build into its cost structure the expense of physically reading every meter for the next three years when, in fact, they are already getting thousands of meters read automatically. The AG's opinion is because of the unjustified cost in the rate increase NV Energy has millions of dollars flowing right to its bottom line and can very easily charge nothing to anyone who wants to opt-out of the smart meter change over.

  I believe these two pieces of information should be getting far more coverage than they are. However, you can't tell the media what to report or what not to report. But, at least now you know.


  On a lighter note, I stepped into the elevator the day of the meeting. I was wearing a jacket and tie and carrying my briefcase. I was met by a group of women who immediately started asking me if I was with NV Energy. Was I there to support smart meters? Was I friend or foe? Then, one of them came up with the big question, the one that went right to the heart of the matter: "Are you a Good Witch or a Bad Witch?" Just then the elevator door opened and me and my Ruby Slippers hit the floor running. (Witch should have been warlock unless they thought he was wearing a pants suit.)

  Knight can be reached at:  knightallen702@yahoo.com

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