With all of the controversy over PNM’s proposed rate hike, it is important to have a few facts. For starters, regardless of any other policy proposal at the federal or state levels, New Mexico’s renewable portfolio standard is expected to cost utility rate-payers $619 annually by the time it is phased in, in 2020.
According to the US Energy Information Agency (EIA), New Mexico’s commercial and residential customers already pay relatively high rates for their electricity. No bordering state has higher commercial or residential rates than New Mexico. Not surprisingly, New Mexico also has one of the most ambitious RPS’s among its neighbors (it will be interesting to see how rates in Colorado climb to comply with their 30% requirement).
Lastly, as the chart below (also from EIA) shows, New Mexico has seen some rather steep price increases in the past year alone with residential and commercial rates jumping by nearly 10% in a single year.
It is hard to say whether PNM should get all or part of its requested rate hike, but it is clear that government mandates are having a big impact on electricity prices in our state.