ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--PNM Resources’ (NYSE: PNM) New Mexico utility, PNM, today filed with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (NMPRC) its request for an increase in electric rates of $123.5 million, or 14.4 percent, which if approved would take effect in the third quarter of 2016. The net customer bill increase would average 5.4 percent when other changes, including savings from a new coal supply contract if the San Juan case is approved by the Commission, are considered. PNM’s original rate case filing in December 2014 was dismissed by the NMPRC on procedural grounds.
“Since our last general rate increase in 2011, PNM has continued to make significant investments in the electric system to maintain the company’s excellent reliability and to protect the environment, benefits our customers are receiving but not yet paying for,” said Pat Vincent-Collawn, PNM Resources’ chairman, president and CEO. “We’re also proposing the first significant change to rate structure in more than two decades so that bills may be calculated more accurately to reflect how our customers actually use energy today.”
The rate request reflects $2.5 billion in rate base, which is a $655 million increase since the 2010 rate case. The additional $655 million of investments are not currently recovered in PNM rates, and account for the majority of the company’s request, including depreciation. Key capital additions to rate base include:
- Four new solar centers online by 2016 (40 MW, $65 million) capable of powering 16,200 average homes;
- La Luz Natural Gas Plant online by 2016 (40 MW, $50 million) to serve customers when demand is highest, to support renewable energy growth and to ensure reliable power under a variety of grid conditions;
- Emission control equipment at San Juan Generating Station to comply with federal haze regulations ($58 million);
- Critical resources for the future: Purchasing Rio Bravo Generating Station (formerly Delta Person) natural gas plant ($32 million) and purchasing leases for Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station Unit 2 ($144 million); and
- Investments to keep our electric system reliable, including a $61 million investment at PNM’s Rio Puerco Switching Station, $8 million to improve substation security and modernizing the company’s distribution system operations center.
Another driver is declining energy usage resulting from the still recovering New Mexico economy and energy efficiency.
In the rate filing, PNM also proposes changes to rate design to better align electric rates with the actual costs to serve customers, while encouraging energy efficiency.
Specific regulatory improvements, if approved, would include:
- A Revenue Balancing Account pilot program for residential and small commercial customers, also known as decoupling. This is designed to support recovery of fixed costs that are critical to reliability of service at the lowest cost to customers; and
- An economic development tariff to support state and local efforts to retain and attract companies that provide locally based jobs.
PNM management will hold a conference call Friday, Aug. 28 at 11 a.m. Eastern to discuss PNM’s general rate case filing. Investors and analysts can participate in the live conference call by pre-registering using the following link to receive a special dial-in number and PIN: http://dpregister.com/10070984. Telephone participants who are unable to pre-register may participate in the live conference call by dialing (866) 807-9684 or (412) 317-5415 15 minutes prior to the event and referencing ''the PNM Resources August 2015 General Rate Case Filing conference call.'' Listeners are encouraged to visit the website at least 30 minutes before the event to register, download and install any necessary audio software. A live webcast of the call will be available at http://www.pnmresources.com/investors/events.cfm.
Documents related to the PNM rate filing can be found at www.pnmresources.com/investors/rates-and-filings.aspx.
PNM Resources (NYSE: PNM) is an energy holding company based in Albuquerque, N.M., with 2014 consolidated operating revenues of $1.4 billion. Through its regulated utilities, PNM and TNMP, PNM Resources has approximately 2,707 megawatts of generation capacity, and provides electricity to more than 753,000 homes and businesses in New Mexico and Texas. For more information, visit the company's website at www.PNMResources.com.
Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995
Statements made in this news release that relate to future events or PNM Resources’ (“PNMR”) or Public Service Company of New Mexico’s (“PNM”) (collectively, the “Company”) expectations, projections, estimates, intentions, goals, targets and strategies are made pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Readers are cautioned that all forward-looking statements are based upon current expectations and estimates. PNMR and PNM assume no obligation to update this information. Because actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements, PNMR and PNM caution readers not to place undue reliance on these statements. PNMR's and PNM's business, financial condition, cash flow and operating results are influenced by many factors, which are often beyond their control, that can cause actual results to differ from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. For a discussion of risk factors and other important factors affecting forward-looking statements, please see the Company’s Form 10-K and Form 10-Q filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which factors are specifically incorporated by reference herein.