Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal
Public Service Company of New Mexico expects its electric sales to small businesses to plummet by 15% this spring and remain depressed throughout the year thanks to the coronavirus lockdown.
Utility losses will be offset somewhat through increased residential electric consumption as families shelter in their homes, but the company is struggling to deal with the pandemic’s financial impact, and it’s looking at a new rate-making mechanism that could help.
In normal times, PNM would factor such consumption ups and downs into other costs incurred from investments in the grid. Typically they then would ask the Public Regulation Commission to approve a rate hike to recover utility expenses, something PNM intended to do this spring. But with no clear picture of when things will return to normal, calculating the utility’s real costs and the rates needed to cover them is extremely difficult.