Albuquerque Journal wrote:
Public Service Company of New Mexico is asking for a 15.8 percent increase for residential customers –– higher than the 12 percent hike it initially sought — but it’s dropping its controversial effort to levy a new fee on customers with solar rooftop systems.
The utility, in a news release, said the actual net effect on residential customers could be a 7.9 percent increase, due to several pending cost reductions.
PNM filed its revised rate case with state regulators on Thursday. The PRC in December rejected the utility’s earlier request for a 12 percent increase as being “incomplete” and said it wanted PNM to provide more information to justify the hike.
One of the offsets to the 15 percent request is a forthcoming reduction in the so-called fuel charge, an automatic pass-through to take effect in January, PNM spokesman Pahl Shipley said. That charge fluctuates, however, and sometimes adds to customer bills.
Another possible offset comes from the utility’s plans to shut down half of the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station, Shipley said. That plan, aimed at meeting federal haze regulations, awaits approval from the Public Regulation Commission.
Shipley said the utility upped its request by three percentage points because of additional capital expenses and a continued decrease in electric usage since its first proposal.