Investments in Coal causing rate increases

published by the Deming Headlight on July 27. This letter to the editor was created in response to a story from Marita Noon

I think there are a few facts that should be published that Ms. Noon is unaware will help clarify the situation.

The cost of electricity for PNM customers has increased by 25 percent in recent years. None of this increase was associated with renewable energy.

PNM has requested another 20 percent rate increase this year. Only 2 percent of this rate increase is associated with renewable energy.

Thus, PNM will have raised rates by 50 percent (1.25 x 1.20 = 1.50) and only 2 percent was associated with renewable energy. The remainder of the rate increase is associated with maintaining its old system based on coal, natural gas, and nuclear.

Why has the renewable energy cost increase been so low?

Renewable energy is cost effective and the PRC has a rule that limits the increases. Even by 2015, the rate increases associated with renewable energy cannot exceed another one percent rate increase.

So, the PNM rate increases are primarily caused by the old, dirty technologies, not the clean energy.

David Van Winkle, Energy Chair,

Rio Grande Chapter, Sierra Club