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Southwest Gas Files General Rate Case

LAS VEGAS, April 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Southwest Gas Corporation (NYSE: SWX) will file today a General Rate Case (GRC) with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN). The request asks that the new rates become effective Nov. 1, 2009.

"It has been five years since Southwest Gas last submitted a GRC to the PUCN to increase its base rates to recover increased costs of operating its system," stated Roger Montgomery, the Company's vice president of Pricing.

In northern Nevada the Company requests to increase its authorized operating revenues by $1.7 million or 1.4 percent. This would impact an average monthly residential bill of $84.66 for 61 therms by $1.30 to $85.96. In southern Nevada, the request is for an increase of $28.8 million or 5.9 percent and would impact an average monthly bill of $53.97 for 44 therms by $3.78 to $57.75. The Company is also seeking to implement a decoupled rate structure based on recently established PUCN rules that will allow it to more aggressively pursue customer conservation opportunities.

Montgomery also said that Southwest Gas anticipates that recently lower commodity prices of natural gas will also result in the Company submitting future requests to lower the gas cost component of its rates. "At current commodity price levels, those anticipated future requests are likely to offset some of the increase requested in today's filing, particularly in southern Nevada," he stated.

In a recent related filing, Southwest submitted its Conservation and Energy Efficiency Plan (CEE) to the PUCN on March 16. The CEE filing proposes eight new programs to be implemented in conjunction with new rates from Southwest's GRC application. The goal of the CEE is to provide customers with additional energy-efficiency opportunities that will result in savings of energy and water, and in reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.

Southwest Gas provides natural gas service to approximately 658,000 customers throughout Nevada.

This press release may contain statements which constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (Reform Act). All such forward-looking statements are intended to be subject to the safe harbor protection provided by the Reform Act. A number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those stated in the forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, the impact of weather variations on customer usage, customer growth rates, the effects of regulation, the timing and amount of rate relief, changes in rate design, changes in natural gas prices, and the impacts of energy efficiency initiatives.

SOURCE  Southwest Gas Corporation

    -0-                           04/03/2009
    /CONTACT:  Media, Cynthia Messina, +1-702-876-7132, or Shareholders, Ken
Kenny, +1-702-876-7237, both for Southwest Gas Corporation/
    /Web Site:  http://www.swgas.com /
    (SWX)

CO:  Southwest Gas Corporation; Public Utilities Commission of Nevada

ST:  Nevada
IN:  OIL GAS UTI
SU:

PR
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7664 04/03/2009 17:23 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com