Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority sticks with NV Energy

Steve Hill, who was named the new president of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority, after an LVCVA board meeting at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. Erik Verduzco Las Vegas Review-Journal @Erik_Verduzco

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After more than 20 companies have expressed interest in leaving NV Energy, the utility seems to be stemming the tide of departures.

A joint statement from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and NV Energy Wednesday announced the two have reached a five-year energy service agreement.

Steve Hill, LVCVA CEO and president, said in the statement that NV Energy is providing the organization an opportunity to reduce energy costs and increase the use of renewable energy — addressing the authority’s original concerns in considering alternate providers.

“As stewards of room-tax funds, it is our responsibility to continuously explore thoughtful and efficient options,” Hill said in the statement. “The LVCVA and NV Energy identified a sustainable solution that benefits our community, allowing us to allocate more funds towards our mission of promoting tourism.”

The LVCVA plans to withdraw its application with the Public Utilities Commission to leave NV Energy, first filed in February.

Renewable energy is “important to us. It’s important to the community, and it’s important to our customers,” Hill said at the time.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. became one of the first companies to explore leaving NV Energy in 2016. Since then, six companies have officially departed the utility to pursue more renewable options and cheaper rates. Barrick Gold Corp. was the first to leave in 2005.

The announcement regarding LVCVA and NV Energy came just one week after the utility reached a long-term partnership with Sands.

Sands and NV Energy were pitted against each other during the 2018 election in campaigns for and against Question 3, a ballot measure that aimed to create a competitive, open energy market. NV Energy spent $63 million to defeat the ballot question, and Sands donated more than $20 million to a campaign working to get it passed. The measure failed.

Last week, NV Energy also reached an agreement with Golden Entertainment to remain business and community partners, with NV Energy providing fully-bundled electric service. Additionally, two companies in Northern Nevada — Atlantis Casino Resort and the Grand Sierra Resort — announced last month that they’d be withdrawing their applications to depart.

“NV Energy’s commitment to keeping costs low, increasing renewable energy and providing programs that help our customers use energy more efficiently provide significant value for our customers,” Doug Cannon, president and chief executive officer of NV Energy, said in the statement. “We truly believe we are the best energy partner for all of our customers and are pleased that we were able to reach an agreement with the LVCVA that epitomizes that value.

LVCVA spokeswoman Jackie Dennis said an agency representative was not available to provide comment Thursday. NV Energy spokeswoman Jennifer Schuricht declined to provide additional comment.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.

Contact Bailey Schulz at bschulz@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0233. Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter.

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