Public Regulation Commission stops EPE’s anti-solar plan

New Mexico is a test case for the utility industry’s coordinated nationwide effort to kill residential solar energy, and you just helped win another battle for solar! 

The latest test case in utilities’ nationwide anti-solar scheme is in Southern New Mexico, where El Paso Electric has attempted to become the first utility in the nation to put solar customers into a separate rate category — so they can be charged much higher rates than other customers. 

Many of you attended Public Regulation Commissioner SandyJones’ public hearings about EPE’s rate case in Southern New Mexico, and many more wrote to Commissioner Jones asking him to oppose this unfair proposal. 

And guess what? It worked!

The Public Regulation Commission last week voted 3-2 to eliminate the anti-solar proposal from EPE’s rate case. Commissioners Jones, Valerie Espinoza and Karen Montoya found that EPE’s proposal violated several commission rules and its objective to “encourage the use of small-scale customer-owned renewable or alternative energy resources.”

Commissioner Jones took leadership on this issue, and it’s important that he knows the strength of clean-energy voters and ratepayers. 

EPE will likely attempt to punish solar customers in the future, but not likely in this rate case.

Please send Commissioner Jones a note of thanks so he knows we have his back when he does the right thing, and that we’ll support him if he continues to support renewable energy, a safe climate and fair rates in the future. 

If you live in the Santa Fe or Albuquerque area, please send a note of thanks to Commissioner Espinoza at valerie.espinoza@state.nm.us and to Commissioner Montoya at KarenL.Montoya@state.nm.us.

Earlier this year, PNM proposed a monthly fee of upwards of $20 for new solar users in other parts of New Mexico. PNM’s rate case was rejected by the commission, and after the public outcry PNM faced regarding the fee, it proposed a new case without the solar penalty, saying it didn’t have time for that fight. The Public Regulation Commission is one of the most powerful utility-regulating bodies in the nation, and your engagement and activism make a real difference there. 

Thank you for taking action!

Glenn Landers, Sierra Club Southern New Mexico Group chair

Public Regulation Commission stops EPE’s anti-solar plan

One thought on “Public Regulation Commission stops EPE’s anti-solar plan

  • November 18, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Thank you for your vote to block the outrageous demand by a utility company to basically overcharge-fine people for having solar power at their home. As a 100% off grid solar powered citizen of New Mexico, am proud that you stood up for our culture of sustainabilty and mitigating justice for our democracy and to the climate polluters.
    Sincerely, Abe Martin

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