Bailey Schulz of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports on rising gas costs in the Las Vegas area in an article dated January 15, 2020.
Schulz opens by reporting Henderson resident Karen Winterbottom’s surprise when she discovered that her December bill from Southwest Gas had tripled compared to her bill from two months earlier.
In October, Winterbottom paid $71. In November, that total increased to $154. Her December bill came in at $244.
In an email, Winterbottom noted that her house runs mostly on electricity, and that she had used her gas fireplace a few times during the past month but that her gas usage was otherwise the same.
On Nextdoor, a neighborhood social media app, Winterbottom saw hundreds of posts about similar increases in gas bills in the area.
Sean Corbitt, a spokesperson for Southwest Gas, accredited the increased bills to the rising cost of gas and winter weather conditions. Corbitt stated that the company does not profit from the increased bills.
Corbitt also noted that Southwest Gas gave customers prior notice of the impending price hike through quarterly bill inserts as well as on the utility company’s mobile app and website.
The cost of gas rose to $0.02517 per therm; Southwest Gas’ adjusted rates went into effect on January 1. The company’s annualized revenue in Southern Nevada rose to almost $454 million, an increase of 2.6 percent.
February 2019 was the last time the PUC greenlighted an increase in Southwest Gas’ general rates. At that time, the annual statewide general rate increased to $32.5.
Soon after the price increase, the utility company’s dropped to $77.41, a 0.3 percent decrease.