The Conservation Beat
8:00 am
Tue April 10, 2012

Petioners Say PNM Could Be Greener

UPDATE (2:33 PM) Activists have delivered their petition to PNM headquarters.  About two dozen people gathered at a rally earlier today calling on PNM to invest more in renewable energy.  The company is slated to submit its renewable energy plan to state regulators later this month.  Petitioners say they hope PNM will go beyond the minimum requirements.

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A coalition of environmental groups will visit the headquarters of New Mexico's largest electric utility later today with a petition calling for more investment in renewable energy.  They say the petition contains more than 3,000 signatures, and is in response to a recent report showing how Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) has been spending its money in the last four years.

PNM is the only one of the state’s three investor owned utilities not yet meeting a mandate to produce 10%  of it’s electricity from renewable sources.

PNM says state regulators have approved its renewable energy plan for this year, and the company working on strategies to hit that target while staying within cost limits designed to protect customers.

But organizations like the Sierra Club and Southwest Organizing Project say the utility could be doing more.  In the report released at the end of February, the groups accuse PNM of raising average residential rates by about $250 in the last four years, and putting that money toward profits instead of investment in renewables.

PNM says only a small fraction of its rate increases go to profits, and counters that it spent nearly $100 million to develop 22 megawatts of solar power last year.