by Tracy Dingmann
Are you ready to pay 25 percent more for the same electric service?
Less than a year after two consecutive rate increases, the Public Service Company of New Mexico is planning to ask the Public Regulation Commission for permission to approve a whopping 25% rate hike for residential customers.
The electric company says it needs the money, despite reporting profits of nearly $150 million and paying dividends to shareholders in excess of 30% in 2009.
If regulators cave to what PNM wants, they will have raised PNM’s rates by 50% in just three years.
And don’t forget that while PNM’s top execs take home six-figure bonuses, the electric company has slashed its workforce by 15%.
When will it stop?
If the PRC rolls over to PNM’s increase request once again, what incentive will PNM have to exercise fiscal responsibility or good corporate citizenship?
Any time it under-budgets, or is fined for pollution violations, or manages its business poorly, it won’t be PNM’s shareholders or execs that feel the consequences. PNM can simply raise rates and pass its mistakes, bad management, and poor judgment on to PNM’s customers – who are held hostage to PNM’s profiteering.
In these economic hard times, when so many New Mexican households are struggling simply to keep their homes and put food on the table, a 25% electric rate increase is an outrage and an insult. It’s already happened twice in the last three years. Tell the PRC that under no circumstances can it happen again!
You’ll get you chance to speak up tomorrow (Wednesday, January 26) at 2 and 6 p.m. at the African American Performing Arts Center and Exhibit Hall, 310 San Pedro NE at Expo New Mexico in Albuquerque.