PUCN Upholds Southwest Gas Purchases

Apr 27, 2001, 01:00 ET from Southwest Gas

    LAS VEGAS, April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The Public Utilities Commission of
 Nevada (PUCN) today (Friday) upheld the natural gas purchasing practices of
 Southwest Gas (NYSE:   SWX), rejecting a proposal by the Commission Staff that
 would have disallowed $8.1 million in gas costs incurred by Southwest last
 summer.  There is no profit to the company from its gas purchases, which are
 subject to review and approval by the PUCN.
     The decision reaffirms the Commission's decision of last December when it
 approved, subject to audit and possible adjustment, an increase of
 $55.3 million to recover the unprecedented run-up in natural gas prices the
 company experienced from June through September of 2000.  As a result of that
 decision, average residential bills increased about $7.60 a month in southern
 Nevada on an annual basis and $13.29 a month in northern Nevada, effective
 Jan. 1, 2001.
     "The Commission's decision was most important as it validates the
 company's efforts to purchase the lowest-cost reliable gas supplies
 available," said Southwest Gas Vice President of Pricing Roger Montgomery.
 "The entire industry, as well as the financial community, has been following
 this case.  We're pleased that the Commission has vindicated the company's gas
 purchasing practices."
     In the decision, PUCN Commissioner Adriana Escobar-Chanos wrote:
 "Southwest could not have known at the time it constructed its gas portfolio
 that gas prices would skyrocket in June, July, August and September of 2000...
 The Commission concludes that Southwest was not imprudent in its gas
 purchasing practices..."
     The Commission also directed Southwest, the Commission Staff and the
 Bureau of Consumer Protection to propose guidelines for the company to follow
 in constructing its gas supply portfolio for coming years.  This was an issue
 Southwest had agreed to during the hearing.  The proposed guidelines are to be
 submitted to the Commission within 120 days.
     Southwest Gas provides natural gas service to more nearly 1.4 million
 homes and businesses in its three-state service area including more than
 500,000 throughout northern and southern Nevada.
 
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SOURCE Southwest Gas
    LAS VEGAS, April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The Public Utilities Commission of
 Nevada (PUCN) today (Friday) upheld the natural gas purchasing practices of
 Southwest Gas (NYSE:   SWX), rejecting a proposal by the Commission Staff that
 would have disallowed $8.1 million in gas costs incurred by Southwest last
 summer.  There is no profit to the company from its gas purchases, which are
 subject to review and approval by the PUCN.
     The decision reaffirms the Commission's decision of last December when it
 approved, subject to audit and possible adjustment, an increase of
 $55.3 million to recover the unprecedented run-up in natural gas prices the
 company experienced from June through September of 2000.  As a result of that
 decision, average residential bills increased about $7.60 a month in southern
 Nevada on an annual basis and $13.29 a month in northern Nevada, effective
 Jan. 1, 2001.
     "The Commission's decision was most important as it validates the
 company's efforts to purchase the lowest-cost reliable gas supplies
 available," said Southwest Gas Vice President of Pricing Roger Montgomery.
 "The entire industry, as well as the financial community, has been following
 this case.  We're pleased that the Commission has vindicated the company's gas
 purchasing practices."
     In the decision, PUCN Commissioner Adriana Escobar-Chanos wrote:
 "Southwest could not have known at the time it constructed its gas portfolio
 that gas prices would skyrocket in June, July, August and September of 2000...
 The Commission concludes that Southwest was not imprudent in its gas
 purchasing practices..."
     The Commission also directed Southwest, the Commission Staff and the
 Bureau of Consumer Protection to propose guidelines for the company to follow
 in constructing its gas supply portfolio for coming years.  This was an issue
 Southwest had agreed to during the hearing.  The proposed guidelines are to be
 submitted to the Commission within 120 days.
     Southwest Gas provides natural gas service to more nearly 1.4 million
 homes and businesses in its three-state service area including more than
 500,000 throughout northern and southern Nevada.
 
                      MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X03709411
 
 SOURCE  Southwest Gas