All in the shame boat

A group of 600 NV Energy retirees filed a lawsuit in federal court against the utility on May 19. The former employees, who have an active “Shame on NV Energy” website and Facebook campaign (over 30,000 “friends” strong), claim they gave up additional pension benefits in exchange for maintenance of their health benefits and premiums after retiring.

In a prepared statement, the group said, “NV Energy has reneged on that commitment by unilaterally cutting retiree benefits and increasing their premiums.” They say these cuts were made while the utility reported over $225 million in profits, about a 25 percent increase from the previous year, and CEO Michael Yackira drew a salary of nearly $5.3 million.

Meanwhile, the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada on May 23 granted a rate increase sought by NV Energy to recover its loss in sales from customers conserving energy by doing things like replacing inefficient lightbulbs and appliances. The rate increase, effective July 1, will be 1.6 percent for Northern Nevadans and 3.4 percent for Southern Nevadans.