PRC Approves JMEC Rate Increase Settlement
JMEC rates remain third lowest of the 11 New Mexico Tri-State G&T cooperatives
ESPAÑOLA, N.M., December 7, 2022 – The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission in its regularly scheduled open meeting Wednesday, December 7, 2022, voted to approve the settlement agreement reached by all parties in the rate increase application filed by Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative, Inc., (JMEC). The settlement agreement was approved by a vote of 5 to 0 by the PRC commissioners.
“JMEC’s request for a rate increase has always been about system safety and reliability,” said Michael Hastings, JMEC’s CEO and general manager. “It has been clear to our members and employees that we had to do something now to invest in the system so that we could start reducing the frequency of outages experienced throughout our service territory.”
The PRC document reported agreement by all parties that the stipulation, “… is in the public interest and will result in fair, just and reasonable rates… (and) balances the interests of JMEC’s members in paying reasonable and stable rates with the interests of JMEC in recovering the operational expenses necessary to provide safe, reliable, consistent service.”
The approved rates result in an overall system increase of 9.33 percent. The residential facility charge will rise in two phases – increasing to $18 when it first goes into effect and, 13 months from the date of the PRC’s order, it will rise to $22. Hastings noted that at the time of the residential facility charge increase to $22, there will be a corresponding decrease in the kWh charge, so that the overall increase will remain at 9.33 percent. This is lower than what JMEC proposed in its amended rate increase application filed June 10, 2022, which was an overall system increase of 11.65 percent with a residential facility charge of $27.
The average (770 kWh) residential member will pay $109.32 per month when Phase 1 of the rate increase goes into effect – anticipated to be on Friday, December 9, 2022 – and will slightly lower to $107.68 when Phase 2 goes into effect. The slight decrease for the average residential user in Phase 2 is due to the reduction in the kWh charge that will occur at the same time. With the 9.33 percent increase, JMEC’s rates will remain the third lowest among all 11 New Mexico electric cooperatives served by Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc.
“Though it is less than we asked for, we are grateful to have received approval for this rate increase,” said Hastings. “The cooperative board of trustees and management will continue to be extremely careful in how we allocate member revenues, knowing we will need to go a little slower as we spread the cost of major projects like rebuilding transmission lines, repairing or replacing substations and the like over the next five years instead of three.”
Hastings added that all JMEC members will be mailed a letter that outlines exactly what the kWh charge is for their class (residential and small commercial classes among others) so each will know what their rate will be when the increase goes into effect. In addition, JMEC will post its work plan and other documents to the cooperative’s website to enhance transparency.
“JMEC has kept its rates among the lowest of our peers for the last 20 years and that continues with this approved rate increase,” he said.
New Mexico PRC Orders New Cost of Service Study
Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative, Inc. to Submit New Study in June
ESPAÑOLA, N.M., March 9, 2022 – The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) issued an order February 23, 2022, requiring Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative, Inc., to file an amended application with an updated cost of service study, using the most recent possible 12-month period.
The original order gave JMEC only two weeks to comply. On March 3, the PRC granted JMEC’s request for an extension. JMEC’s amended application and updated cost of service study is due June 10, 2022.
JMEC will produce an update and post it to this page when the PRC next takes material action.