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​​​The 2014 2015 PNM Rate Case

Updated 10/14/16

(Yes, in September of 2016 the NMPRC was still dealing with the 2014 PNM Rate Case - now known as the 2015 PNM Rate Case.  That's how things work.)

 

2014 2015 PNM Rate Case Highlights

  • PNM always requests a big rate increase. The PRC always gives them less than they ask for.

  • PNM wants to increase & "re-allocate" their electricity rate charges so you pay even more!

  • PNM's original proposal included a "DG Interconnection Fee".   This would have killed residential & small business rooftop solar in PNM's territory.

  • PNM's original 2014 proposal included several other attempts to "discourage" (kill) roof-top solar.

  • The formal rate case proposal was submitted to the NMPRC in Mid-December 2014.

  • PRC Commissioners are elected, so they pay attention to their own constituents.

  • In early May, the Case Hearing Examiner recommended that PNM's Rate Case request be rejected because of lack of sufficient cost justification information. 

  • On May 14, the PRC Commissioners voted 5-0 to reject PNM's "incomplete" Rate Case submittal.

  • PNM had to revise its rate request documentation and resubmit a new Rate Case request to the PRC.

  • A "revised" Rate Case proposal was resubmitted to the PRC at the end of August 2015.  Surprizingly, the revised proposal concentrated on increasing rates, and dropped the DG Interconnect Fee as well as other anti-rooftop solar plans.

  • After 7 1/2 months during which the PRC staff, the NM Attorney General's staff and the various litigants reviewed the revised 2015 Rate Case documents and submitted their formal responses, the first of many PRC 2015 Rate Case Hearings was scheduled to begin at the Commission's PERA Building office in Santa Fe on March 15, 2016.

  • The very contentious 2015 Rate Case Hearings were concluded in May, only to be reopened to deal with issues involving proposed Palo Verde Nuclear Plant costs.  Those hearings concluded with the revelation that PNM was double-charging for a portion of its Palo Verde related expenses. The PRC financial staff had signed off on those charges.  The related PRC staff recommendations were withdrawn, and also "stricken from the record".

  • On Aug 4, the Hearing Examiner released her official recommendations which included stinging criticism's of PNM's proposal and a major reduction in recommended cost reimbursement to PNM.

  • Additional rate case hearings and arguments continued until late September.

  • ​On September 28, the PRC Commissioners voted 3 to 2 to approve a 2015 PNM Rate Case Order. Highlights of this Order include:

    • ​The fixed customer charge will increase from $5 to $7 (PNM had requested $13 !!)

    • The average customer KWH rate will increase by 7.6%

    • The average customer bill will increase by 9% (including the new customer charge).

    • The Hearing Examiner recommended that none of PNM's new Palo Verde related costs be approved because of a lack of financial justification. The Commissioners approved a significant portion of PNM's Palo Verde related costs, but less than half of the amount that PNM had requested.

    • An additional "balanced draft" pollution control system for the 2 remaining San Juan GS units was a major point of controversy.  The Hearing Examiner recommended that none of the $52 million in capital costs be approved. PNM claimed that this system was mandated by the state Environmental Department. The Commissioners unanimously agreed that not only was balanced draft not mandated, but that PNM had intentionally mislead the PRC about this issue.  In an unusual rebuke, the 5 PRC Commissioners said:  "This highlights the desperate nature of PNM's arguments and undermines the integrity of this commission. PNM may be subject to sanction if it continues this type of practice in the future."  Wow!

    • No new solar or RE capacity was proposed or approved as part of this rate case.​

    • Overall, PNM was granted just over half of the $$ amount that it had requested. 

  • ​In January 2017, PNM will submit a brand new Rate Case, seeking to increase electricity rates yet again to cover the costs involved in the San Juan Generating Station Settlement. Those costs WERE NOT included in the 2015 PNM Rate Case.​​​

  • You can access "official" case documents, and contact your PRC Commissioner via the PRC website at:  http://www.nmprc.state.nm.us/index.html 

2014 2015 PNM Rate Case Documents & Articles