Thanks very much, Michael and good morning everyone. I look forward to meeting and working with all of you. And I’m very pleased to say, in my first report to you, that we had strong financial results in the second of 2012. NV Energy earned $0.29 per diluted share in the three months ended June 30, compared to $0.05 per share for the same period a year ago. If you look at slide three, you’ll see the growth in earnings was largely due to growth in gross margins driven by warmer weather and a general rate increase.
The rate decision is the one we’ve discussed previously, which became effective January 1. It benefited second quarter earnings by $0.10 per share compared to the same period last year. We estimate that favorable weather increased second quarter EPS by approximately $0.11 compared to last year, as this year temperatures were higher than normal during the quarter, and last year temperatures were milder than normal. Specifically, the unusually high temperatures this year increased EPS by approximately $0.07 compared to normal, while weather during last year’s second hurt EPS by about $0.04 compared to normal.
Cooling-degree days in southern Nevada in the second of 2012 were 23% higher than normal and 44% higher than last year. We’ve summarized these weather statistics on slides four and five. Retail mega watt hour sales increased nearly 11% reflecting both favorable weather and a 1.2% increase in the number of customer accounts. We’ve now seen nine consecutive quarters of growth in our customer base, albeit slow in comparison to the period prior to 2007.
Turning items below the gross margin line, higher depreciation and lower AFUDC reduced second quarter earnings by $0.02 and $0.01 per share respectively compared to the same period a year ago. Both of those factors were due primarily to the Harry Allen plant which began operating in May of last year.
As you likely know, the costs and returns associated with Harry Allen were a key component of the rate decision I just mentioned. We held operating and maintenance expenses flat in the second despite increased costs from Harry Allen.
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