PNM rate increases fuel soaring profits

SJGS © WildEarth Guardians

New Report Finds New Mexico Utility PNM Used Huge Rate Hikes
on Residents to Fuel Soaring Profits During Recession

Little spent toward clean energy or efficiency for New Mexicans

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - February 28, 2012 - The Sierra Club, New Energy Economy, San Juan Citizens Alliance, Diné CARE, and Southwest Organizing Project released a report today finding that New Mexico’s largest utility, the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM), has aggressively pursued major increases in electricity rates, corporate profits, and executive pay during a period of economic hardship for many residents.

Stronger, better-funded energy-efficiency programs needed

Green Building Code in Santa Fe Approved

Published February 19 in Santa Fe New Mexican and on February 25 in the Albuquerque Journal

We have all seen our Public Service Company of New Mexico electricity rates increase over the past few years. From April 2008 to today, PNM rates for the average residential customer has increased by 41 percent or $250 per year.

Where is all of this money going? More of it should be coming right back to you and other customers in the form of PNM information and rebates to lower your costs for energy-efficient light bulbs, appliances, weatherization and insulation. But currently most of it is going to keep PNM's aging coal plants running and hooking up more energy-guzzling housing subdivisions.

Why should you care? Because energy efficiency is the cheapest way to satisfy New Mexico's electricity demand, by a significant margin. PNM's 2010 annual report on energy efficiency states that the average cost to save a kilowatt hour of electrical energy is 1.86 cents. Compare that to the 11 cents per kWh paid by the average residential user.

The Sierra Club and Natural Gas

02/02/2012 From Michael Brune, Executive Director

Have you ever had to turn away millions of dollars? It sounds crazy, but here's why the Sierra Club chose to do exactly that.

In 2010, soon after I became the organization's executive director, I learned that beginning in 2007 the Sierra Club had received more than $26 million from individuals or subsidiaries of Chesapeake Energy, one of the country's largest natural gas companies. At the same time I learned about the donation, we at the Club were also hearing from scientists and from local Club chapters about the risks that natural gas drilling posed to our air, water, climate, and people in their communities. We cannot accept money from an industry we need to change. Very quickly, the board of directors, with my strong encouragement, cut off these donations and rewrote our gift acceptance policy. Let me tell you how it came about.

PNM Financial Reports and Analysis

PNM Analysis (by David Van Winkle):

  • Residential rates have increased by 41% from 2008, with 1% of this due to energy efficiency and none due to renewable energy.
  • PNM Resources, the parent company of PNM Electric, sold a Texas business for $270M in November 2011 and the Board authorized the company to buy back $230M of shares. 80% of PNMR shares are owned by financial institutions.
  • Compensation for the top five executives was $8.3M in 2010, up by 68% since 2008.
  • All of their strategic goals are shareholder improvements. None related to customers, rate payers, employees, or the environment.
  • Earnings before taxes have increased from $6M in 2008 to about $150M in 2012, an increase of 2500%.
  • Base rates have increased by $182M from 2008 to 2012.
  • 79% of the base rate increase has gone to improving profits.

PNM’s 2011 Integrated Resource Plan

PNM filed it's Integrated Resource Plan on July 17, 2011. The Coalition for Clean Affordable Energy (CCAE), the Sierra Club and others filed an objection to the IRP in mid-August.

Attachments include the PNM IRP, several presentations made by PNM during the IRP process from September 2010 to June 2011.

The filing to the NM PRC by the various interveners is also attached.

This is a summary of the low-lights of the plan:

  • Continues business as usual
  • Does not comprehend any environmental laws in main plan.
  • Misses Renewable Energy Act requirement – 13% in 2030 vs law of 20% in 2020.
  • Excludes impact of new building codes in demand forecast.
  • Energy efficiency impact declines after 2020 – equivalent to removing CFLs
  • No serious consideration for transition from coal to clean energy

San Juan Generating Station (SJGS) Information

Intervention in the PNM, and NMED appeal of the EPA ruling on BART at San Juan

Op-ed published in Albuquerque Journal and Santa Fe New Mexican. Original draft created by David Van Winkle. Jeff Cappella edited it to make it appeal to a wider audience.

The official EPA rulings on BART for SJGS

NMED position on BART for SJGS, issued in June 2010 that shows that their position at that time was that SCR was required.

2005 Consent Decree required PNM and the other owners of SJGS to make certain reduction in pollution output

Four Corners Power Plant (FCPP) Information

The 11/18/2020 attachment is the APS presentation to the Arizona Corporation Commission that shows the financial costs of implementing pollution controls at FCPP and APS' plan to close units 1-3.

Sustainable Eldorado Residents Alliance



We are a large group of committed Eldorado area residents forming an ecological partnership with our environment by conserving natural resources and inspiring action to ensure a sustainable and resilient future for our community.

Power plant sued over pollution controls

Originally published in the Santa Fe New Mexican on October 5 by Susan Montoya Bryan | The Associated Press

Coalition wants Four Corners to install state-of-the-art equipment to reduce emissions

ALBUQUERQUE — A coalition of environmental groups on Tuesday sued the owners of one of the nation's largest coal-fired power plants over allegations that the plant has failed to install the best available equipment to control pollution.

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