PNM Proposes Renewable Charge

Albuquerque Journal (Subscription) - A hearing examiner has recommended state regulators approve a Public Service Company of New Mexico request to add a new renewable energy charge to customer bills — and for the first time include a line item about the cost. Until now, renewable energy investments have been recovered through base rates approved by the PRC and invisible to ratepayers, and the proposal to specifically identify the charge for renewables drew the ire of environmental groups. “Line-item treatment of renewable energy on bills creates a target for customer dissatisfaction,” said Steve Michel, chief counsel for Western Resource Advocates. “It singles out renewable energy for extraordinary treatment, and we think that’s being done by design.” Peter Gould, general counsel for Industrial Energy Consumers, said environmentalists want to hide renewable energy expenses from the public. “I think they don’t want ratepayers to see the costs,” Gould said. “It’s the commission’s decision, but we will always come down on the side of price transparency.” PNM had recommended a special charge of 2.1 percent to cover the cost of investment in renewables such as wind and solar since 2011. The rider would have raised about $7.9 million this year and $23.2 million in 2013. Read More News New Mexico



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