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Rob Stillwell, spokesman, NV Energy

BY MARIE ANDRUSEWICZ -- NV Energy's plan to move away from coal and invest more in renewable energy has powerful supporters, including U.S. Sen. Harry Reid and Governor Brian Sandoval. But it has some critics as well, and the latest iteration of the plan is much smaller and less ambitious than originally envisioned.

While the objective is still to wean off of coal energy, the plan has been dialed back from 10 to 20 years to a five year plan, according to an NV Energy spokesperson.

The main concern of critics has been whether increases for the rate payer would be overly burdensome.

 “I think we’re all in favor of the accelerated retirement of the coal generation,” says former Nevada Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa. “And (the current) version of course is better than the original amendment. We’re just trying to get this tweaked if you will, to include some reference to better energy efficiency and also more competitive procurement, just to make certain that the rate payers are indeed protected.”

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According to NV Energy spokesperson Rob Stillwell, rate increases will be minimal - at the end of 20 years, the rates will be 3.84 percent more.

 “But inflation is expected to be two percent a year over the same period of time,” says Stillwell. “So it’s less than inflation.”

Stillwell says that electric companies are mandated by law to keep their profit under 10 percent. “I don’t think we’ve reached that allowable rate of return, not one year.”

“Electricity is one of those things that everyone has to have, so you want to make sure that this is done in a fair manner, that everyone gets represented in the process,” says Del Papa.

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