Boulder City Magazine® September 2009 Issue
by Roger Tobler
Boulder City Mayor
One of the most difficult tasks as an elected official is raising any fee or tax, no matter the rational behind the increase. The current City Council is facing this dilemma now with Boulder City’s utility rates.
Boulder City Magazine®
|Boulder City has enjoyed very favorable utility rates. This was due to our hydro power contracts and a thirty year contract we had with NV Power, now NV Energy. We have known for some time that our power agreement with NV Energy would dramatically increase. In fact, we have been paying the same cost for energy with NV Energy for twenty years.
The Public Utility Commission questioned why our rate that NV Energy charges was below any other customer. We hired outside counsel to review the new rate structures to insure we are not paying more than we should. Remember, we have had the same rate for twenty years, which is unheard of in this industry.
Our power agreement with NV Energy will increase roughly 260%. This means that Boulder City Utility will be paying around $4 million dollars more annually for the cost of power. Fortunately, we receive half of our energy from Hoover Dam. A few years back we entered in to the Silver State Energy Commission with Lincoln County and the SNWA to look for alternative agreements.
We will do everything we can to secure power for the future at hopefully a reduced rate compared with NV Energy. We are able to terminate our power agreement with them in October of 2010. However, any new agreement will still be more expensive than our current agreement with NV Energy.
The City Council will have to raise utility rates to cover the new increases put forth by NV Energy. We will be bringing to the community examples of how this will affect our rates. Our utility fund cannot absorb huge increases and therefore we will be forced to raise everyone’s rates. I know this is terrible news to those on fixed incomes and all others during this difficult economy. We will work diligently to secure cheaper power. In the meantime, we all need to look at conservation measures.
Visit Roger at http://www.bcnv.org/CityCouncil/Tobler.asp.
P.O. Box 61901
Boulder City, Nevada 89006
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