Frequently Asked Questions

What is Retail Open Access?
Retail Open Access is the 'unbundling' of the energy portion of electric service, allowing customers to contract with an alternative energy source for their energy portion. Distribution services will be provided by your local Utility even if an alternative energy source is chosen.

Who is eligible for Retail Open Access?
Under AB 661, passed in the Nevada 2001 Legislative session, eligible customers include government entities, commercial and industrial customers with annual average consumption greater than 1 MW in the Utilities' service territory. Government entities can combine electrical loads under common budget and control to achieve the required level of consumption.

Will my electric bill be lower under Retail Open Access?

If you are an Eligible Customer and choose another energy source under the terms of AB 661, the answer will be based on your contract with your energy source. If you are a customer continuing to receive bundled service from your Utility, you will not see any direct impact from Retail Open Access. AB 661 contains provisions protecting both the Utility and you from any added costs.

What are the key initiatives that I need to perform before filing an application for Retail Open Access?
A prospective Eligible Customer must file a Letter of Intent with the required information as outlined in the draft regulations. An application for transmission service should also be made by the Transmission Scheduling Coordinator prior to filing a Letter of Intent for Retail Open Access. The Transmission Service Agreement may require the longest lead time. Once the Letter of Intent is filed a Distribution Service Agreement should be initiated.

Who does the billing?
The Utility will continue to bill the Eligible Customer for their distribution service. The Transmission Provider will bill the Scheduling Coordinator for transmission and any other related services provided by the Utility. Since the Scheduling Coordinator may, or may not be, the energy provider; the Scheduling Coordinator and/or Energy Provider will bill the Eligible Customer for the energy, capacity, ancillary services, and the transmission services.

How many bills will the customer receive?
This depends on the billing arrangements coming out of the terms of the agreement, but the customer will receive at least one from the Utility and they may receive one from either the Scheduling Coordinator and/or Energy Provider.

How will municipal/county franchise fees be handled?
It is anticipated that the Utility will provide local governments with necessary information regarding customers who are receiving services from new providers.

Do the energy providers have to be approved by the PUCN?

Not directly, but the terms of the agreement with the energy service provider are part of the overall application process that the PUCN reviews and approves.