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Public Regulation Commission rejects a smart meter installation program by PNM

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From Staff ReportsPublished 10:37 a.m. MT April 18, 2018

Smart meter pilot program requested from PNM by the time of the next energy efficiency filing in 2020

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission unanimously rejected the Public Service Company of New Mexico’s proposal to install Advanced Metering Infrastructure , called smart meters, citing rate increases, an excessive opt-out fee and layoffs as deal breakers.

“After several hearings, I felt the program was clearly not in the best interest of the public,” Commission Chairman Sandy Jones, who represents District 5, said. “I held public meetings in Silver City and Deming and many of my constituents agreed.”

Following three separate hearings held over the course of almost two and a half years, the commissioners concurred that the proposed AMI program did not fairly balance the interests of investors and ratepayers or promote the public interest.

According to a release from the PRC, the commissioners determined the AMI program failed to take advantage of possible energy efficiency measures, identify sufficient operational benefits, or provide meaningful opt-out opportunities. Especially significant was a concern that the lifetime costs to ratepayers would exceed savings in contrast with the benefits shareholders would reap.

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SMART METERS: No Federal Mandate

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Marti Oakley (c)copyright 2011 All Rights Reserved

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This Standard would also allow utilities to recover from ratepayers any capital, operating expenditures, or other costs of the smart grid investment, including a reasonable rate-of-return. “

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THERE IS NO FEDERAL SECURITY MANDATE FOR SMART METERS, according to George W. Arnold the national coordinator for smart-grid interoperability at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. This agency of the U.S.  Department of Commerce is said not to be involved in regulations but is only tasked with promoting standards among industries.

While both the 2005 and 2007 faux energy bills were codified into public laws, NO part of them creates a federal law pertaining to individual consumers or dictating that the public must be forced to comply with provisions of SMART Grid. 

Contrary to the bleating of manufacturers and utility talking heads,  who claim there is no “opt out”, the fact is you, the consumer must be offered the meter, or request a meter and “OPT IN”.  No one can be forced to comply with an unrevealed contract between private corporations, and to which you were never a party and had no knowledge of.

Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 : 

An Energy Tax Package was under development in Congress for several years prior to 2008. In September 2008, the package was finally enacted into law via its inclusion in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. This tax package shifted tax liabilities from corporations who were already posting massive record profits, onto the public. 

Section 1307 State Consideration of Smart Grid 

Energy 2007, Page 6 :  This Section amends PURPA to create two additional PURPA Standards. (Note: Two new PURPA Standards are also created in Section 532.)                                                                                                                                   

These standards are in the form of requirements on parties such as utilities to undertake certain actions. The standards are not directly prescriptive on these parties, however; it is up to state utility regulatory commissions, or the bodies that govern other types of utilities, to decide that the standards should be actually adopted by utilities subject to their jurisdiction.                

The only direct mandate with PURPA standards is for the state or other jurisdictional body TO CONSIDER whether the new Standard should be implemented and to demonstrate that it has undertaken such consideration.  More

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