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Nevada PUC Holds Public Hearings on Southwest Gas Rate Proposal

The Nevada Public Utilities Commission will hold consumer hearings Tuesday and Wednesday on the gas cost recovery case of Southwest Gas Corp., which has asked to raise its rates overall by $41.6 million to cover deferred costs of wholesale fuel supplies as of last March 31. The Las Vegas-based gas-only utility proposed to begin collecting the higher rates Nov. 1.

Evidentiary hearings will be held next month (Sept. 20-21) for the proposed increase which is $35.1 million in costs to Southwest customers in its southern division, and $6.4 million for its customers in northern Nevada. A consumer hearings will be held Tuesday in the north, and Wednesday in Las Vegas for the general public.

As part of the rate adjustment, the utility is proposing changes in its "base tariff energy rate" (BTER) for both the northern and southern divisions. In total, it is proposing a 13.34% increase for the average residential customers and 14.37% overall in the south; 10.65% for the average residential customer, or an 11.23% overall rate hike in the north.

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