This is the full text of the comments given by Local 1245 Retiree Club member Rita Weisshaar at the PUCN hearing on May 23, 2011 regarding NV Energy rates. The hearing was conducted in Las Vegas; Weisshaar delivered her comments via video link from Carson City.
I just want to say a few words on behalf of the people and ratepayers of Nevada. We come before your today to present you a petition with 3,029 signatures of those opposed to this rate increase collected from May 11 to May 22 from an online Shame on NV Energy Face Book petition. We now have over 35,000 fans.
It will be the rate payers, residents and visitors in Nevada who will be ultimately affected by your decision on this matter. The people of Nevada have suffered so much already due to this terrible economy. We are listed as ranking in the highest numbers of the states in so many negative categories: unemployment, foreclosures, bankruptcies, domestic violence, suicides and the highest electric rates in the mountain states. Many of us are still on unemployment and more are turning to public assistance as their unemployment runs out.
We, the people of Nevada are hurting.
A rate increase has a negative impact on all Nevadans and visitors. Not only when it targets residential customers and domestic rates but also when the increase is for commercial customers because those costs are passed to us the, the consumers, in higher prices in many things we can’t live without. The people of Nevada can’t afford to take another hit no matter how small it is perceived by some to be. Especially from NV Energy a company that made profits of $227 million and gave its CEO Michael Yakira a pay raise to reach over $5 million in compensation in 2010.
Sierra Pacific Power and Nevada Power Company are not companies in dire straits on the verge of bankruptcy as so many Nevada residents and businesses are. Even though this type of cost recovery is allowed by law, we implore you to consider the impact your decision will make on us. Please show us that you represent and protect the people of Nevada against undeserved and unnecessary rate increases.