New Mexico regulators reject smart meter roll out plan


The state Public Regulation Commission has announced its unanimous rejection of Public Service Company of New Mexico’s (PNM) proposal for a new remote metering system.

PNM had proposed to install more than 500,000 meters in homes across New Mexico to transmit power usage data over mobile networks.

PNM claimed the smart meter initiative would save customers $20 million over the next two decades and give consumers the ability to monitor their power use in real time via mobile devices.

PRC Chairman Sandy Jones issued a statement saying the regulatory body rejected the smart meters, “citing rate increases, an excessive opt-out fee, and layoffs as deal breakers.”

However, after a series of hearings on the plan, Jones said he felt the programme “was clearly not in the best interest of the public.”

The initiative would also have seen +-125 meter readers and other employees laid off.
Under the PNM proposal, customers would have had the right to decline the smart meter however, would have had to pay a one-time opt out fee of $47.

PNM had said it would complete the project at a cost of $87.2 million and recover the money in part through layoffs and charging customers $5 a year for five years for the service.