PRC and Utilities
Decoupling Case 18-0043-UT (PNM Disincentive Mitigation):
The case currently before the NMPRC is designed to finally resolve the question (for PNM) of how to implement the portion of the 2005 NM Efficient Use of Energy Act that requires the NMPRC to identify and remove utilities’ financial disincentives to implement energy efficiency programs. PNM has proposed a “Lost Revenue Adjustment Mechanism” (LRAM) to partially solve the problem, but this mechanism does nothing to solve the larger issue of how utilities make more money when they sell more kilowatt-hours to their customers, and lose money if sales volume declines. If the point of energy efficiency is to sell fewer kWh, then this becomes obviously contrary to the utility’s financial interest, the same dynamic that also increases the utility’s aversion to customer-owned solar.
Other organizations, including REIA-NM are proposing a revenue decoupling mechanism that is a much better solution from both an environmental and consumer perspective. PNM prefers a decoupling mechanism over the LRAM (but could not itself propose decoupling in this case for legal reasons). Revenue decoupling makes the utility agnostic to the volume of residential sales on a per customer basis. A utility can neither lose profits from declining sales nor increase earnings if usage increases.
A Hearing Examiner will make a recommendation to the Commission based on an evidentiary hearing. Commissioners make the final decision with a vote this fall. Although the Commission has already voted against decoupling in the past, the increased rate of renewable energy adoption makes the issue more important than ever and vital to a healthy utility moving forward.
Opposed parties claim it might be anti-consumer. However, decoupling sets the price per kWh and adjusts the costs annually. A customer’s bill will still track kWh use, however, periodic adjustment assures the utility collects no more and no less than the revenues determined to be appropriate in its last rate case. Adjustments typically fall in the rage of 1-2% and can be both positive and negative. For example, the last few years would have provided New Mexican consumers with an adjusted bill credit.
Decoupling Case 18-0043 (PNM Disincentive Mitigation):
Initial Order filed by the NMPRC March 21, 2018
The Decoupling Mechanism was not specifically adopted or endorsed in the last rate case. It will be heard in a standalone case to address lost cost contribution to fixed costs. If prepared correctly, this mechanism could bring the end to any threat of future net metering battles. The filing dates will be announced in 2-3 weeks.
PNM Files Load-Following and Renewable Integration Cost Report
Detailed report with data showing electrical loads and the behavior of various generation resources in PNM’s portfolio. In color for graphics: PNM_Load-Following & RE Integration Report
2013 Renewable Energy Procurement Plan Case
PNM Advice Notice Nos. 458 & 459: AdviceNotice-458-459
PRC Recommended Decision: Recommended Decision – 2013 PNM RE Procurement
PNM Initial Filing: PNM Renewable Energy Portfolio Procurement Plan – 2013
Initial Briefs are filed. Please find Copies Below:
CCAE: CCAE Brief
PRC Staff: 11-00265-UT Staff’s Brief
Testimony from intervenors has been filed , please find copies below
Santa Fe County: 10-3-11 Direct Testimony of Craig O’Hare 11-0265-UT