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New Electric Woes

New Mexico blogger Joe Monahan and the Albuquerque Journal have written stories about the Public Service Company of New Mexico’s attempt to raise energy rates on New Mexicans. In Monahan’s blog today, Joe added a quote from Marc Christensen, PNM’s director for corporate communications. Marc said…

“Why have rates that discourage high volume usage? In the long run, it will reduce pressure on …rates…”Peak” consumption (in the summer during the hottest part of the day) is growing much faster than average. Generating power to meet peak demand is the most expensive form of electricity. It seems to us to be fairer to ask those customers choosing a lifestyle that involves using high volumes to pay for the cost of that choice…Consumers who use evaporative (as compared to refrigerated) air are not likely to hit the highest rates…We’re not trying to dictate customer choices–we are saying that those who cause costs should pay for the costs…If we choose to drive an SUV (and I do) I pay the costs at the pump. I wouldn’t expect those who drive more fuel-efficient vehicles to pay the costs for me. Why should it be any different when it comes to the cost of electricity?”

(emphasis mine)

So customers involved in that sort of lifestyle should pay the additional costs? Does this include PNM itself? I work at an office complex across the street from PNM. Every night when I leave work, I can see every office in the PNM building lit up. There aren’t people in the offices working, but apparently it’s too much trouble for them to flip a switch off.

And those who cause costs must pay for the costs? Is the Public Service Company of New Mexico (“service”… a nice piece of branding if I’ve ever seen it..) willing to take responsibility for their egregious use of electricity? In addition to leaving all of their office lights on 24-7, I hear that the PNM building is a very nice, climate controlled environment to work in. Lots of electricity used there for that nasty central heat and air that PNM thinks the consumer should be raked over the coals for.

(raked over the coals? Well it would be one way to lower your heating bills this winter)

It’s always easier to dictate your views on people when you don’t have to follow them. There’s a very, “do as I say, not as I do” attitude coming from PNM and Mr. Christensen. PNM is just lucky they have a monopoly on electricity in Albuquerque, can you imagine them taking this kind of an attitude if they had to compete with another company to provide energy to us?

Competition… what an interesting idea. I wonder who we would have to talk to about that?

I’m on vacation this week, but when I get back to work I’m taking my video camera and my digital camera and starting to document how many offices are lit up each night I walk out of work.

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Categories: albuquerque, New Mexico
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