Outrage over the Public Service of New Mexico’s plan to raise rates on New Mexico customers while paying its top executives millions has prompted one local group to form a “Shame Campaign” against PNM.
Prosperity Works, a nonprofit that works to bring energy efficiency and economic stability to New Mexico families, recently launched the campaign after the Albuquerque Journal reported that PNM’s new top executive, CEO Pat Vincent-Collawn received a $1.22 million bonus in addition to her $550k salary, for a total compensation of $1.7 million.
The company’s other top four officers received bonuses ranging from $166,466 to $525,466, and the chairman of PNM’s board was paid $1.2 million, for a total of about $ 5 million in bonuses.
This news comes approximately one month before PNM’s hearing before the Public Regulation Commission regarding its request to raise New Mexico’s rates by $85 million, as well as charge an additional $20 million in fees and riders.
Six local watchdog groups have filed statements in opposition to PNM’s plan to raise rates for electric service in New Mexico, saying the company negotiated the rate hikes in secret and without input from customers and other parties opposed to the rate hike.
Subsequently, executives from PNM, along with members of the Public Regulation Commission and staffers from the office of the New Mexico Attorney General carried out negotiations regarding the rate hike and came up with a figure that appeared much lower.
Now representatives from six citizen’s advocacy groups say the groups negotiated the hike behind closed doors and did not take input from the people who will most be affected – the customers. The groups also say the negotiated agreement contains measures that will make it very easy for PNM to charge customers more again in a few short years.