Las Vegas homeowners irritated with high Southwest Gas bills speak out at PUCN meeting – KLAS – 8 News Now

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Homeowners across the Las Vegas valley are speaking out about their recent Southwest Gas bills.

On Tuesday, Deborah Gaeding made her voice heard at the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada meeting. She shared that she understood increases happen, but wanted justification for the amount and severity of the rate hike.

“You cannot justify double and triple gas prices and expect people to afford that,” she said during the public comment period. “There are families on fixed incomes.”

Gaeding said her bill in November was $60 on an equal payment plan. It jumped to $109 in December with credit. She reduced her bill to $70 for January. She said she got off the equal pay plan, thinking it wasn’t helping, and then had to pay out $197 for February.

Complaints have come into the 8 News Now newsroom through email and social media. Some people claim their bill increased more than 100% with some having to pay hundreds of dollars more.

The PUCN regulates utility companies and approves changes. It’s considering a Southwest Gas request to boost rates by about 10% in April. However, the docket states the Southwest Gas request reflects additional costs of utility operations including wages. Meantime, most executives made more than a million dollars in 2022, according to last year’s proxy statement.

Southwest Gas wouldn’t go on camera. The utility previously sent a statement blaming the price on the rising cost of gas. It read in part, “Natural gas is subject to price fluctuations including supply and demand.”

Several homeowners are planning a protest on Monday. The next increase request hearing is on Feb. 26. The utility company lists financial assistance programs like equal payment plans and energy assistance programs. If you would like to file a complaint about Southwest with the Nevada Public Utilities Commission, you can do that at this link.

Gaeding is coordinating a protest over the gas rates on Monday, Feb. 19, in the Southwest Gas parking lot at 8360 S. Durango Drive.

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