New Mexico Opening To Electric Competition
The New Mexico Legislature passed a bill opening the state's
retail electric power market to competing suppliers beginning in
2001. The bill, passed unanimously by the state House of
Representatives a week ago, goes to Gov. Gary Johnson, who was
expected to sign it into law.
Under the terms of the bill, schools, residential consumers and
small business customers will have a choice of power supplier
beginning Jan. 1, 2001. Competition is to be expanded to all other
customers Jan. 1, 2002. Residential customers who do not select a
power supplier will continue to receive service under a
competitively-priced standard offer approved by the state Public
Regulation Commission (PRC).
Transmission and distribution services, together with such
related services as meter-reading and billing, are to remain
subject to PRC regulation.
Over a five-year transition period, utilities will be allowed to
recover at least half their stranded costs. Utilities could recover
up to 100% of those costs with the approval of the PRC. The bill
also allows utilities to recover in full any costs incurred in
implementing the change to a competitive market.
Joe Fisher, Houston
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