New Mexico focuses on energy efficiency


Santa Fe, NM, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — January 29, 2008 – New Mexico’s governor Bill Richardson named energy efficiency as one of the most important initiatives for the state in the year to come, and plans to introduce legislation that will benefit utilities offering energy efficiency programs.

Announcing that “The single most effective means of fighting global warming is not to consume the energy in the first place,” Gov. Richardson issued a mandate calling on utilities to invest in energy efficiency programs that will be cheaper and cleaner than building new power plants. And in order to encourage this, his government has introduced a bill that would allow utilities to recover some of the profits they have to forgo when customers consume less electricity.

The utilities in the state have said that it is not in their financial interest to introduce sweeping energy efficiency programs and encourage conservation, and have asked for incentives to be provided. The new legislation says: “It is necessary and appropriate to provide rate treatment and financial incentives to public utilities to develop all cost effective and achievable energy efficiency and load management resources,” and offers utilities the opportunity “to earn a profit on cost-effective energy efficient and load management resource development.”

Several utilities in the state have already proposed incentive plans, the most popular being variations on ways to calculate a rate surcharge.