New Mexico Supreme Court overturns regulatory order approving PNM rate increase

New Mexico
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On Thursday, the state Supreme Court overturned a state’s regulators 2016 order that would have allowed a rate increase of $61 for the Public Service Company of New Mexico, PNM.

The court states that the Public Regulation Commission violated the due process of PNM in denying the company’s ability to recover in rates the future costs of decommissioning a nuclear power plant that was used as an electricity source for customers. 

The case has been sent back to the PRC for reconsideration. The Court stated that “virtually all of the Commission’s decisions are reasonable and lawful” except the issue of nuclear-decommissioning costs.

According to the Commission, PNM acted without consequence when the company decided to repurchase part of the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station.  The PRC then limited the amount PNM could be passed to taxpayers.

The Commission is accused of failing to give PNM any notice at the rate hearing before they decided to exclude future decommissioning costs from customer rates.

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