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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