(Santa Fe, NM) – New Mexico electric utility companies will maintain strong energy efficiency programs for their customers over the next decade as a result of a bill that passed in the legislature on March 13th. This legislation, HB 291, is now headed to the desk of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham who is expected to sign it.
“The legislation will result in lower electric bills for New Mexico’s families and businesses, as well as reduced carbon emissions by power plants,” said Representative Andrea Romero (D-Santa Fe) and the bill’s House co-sponsor. The legislation continues energy savings requirements for New Mexico’s regulated electric utilities during 2021-30. Current requirements end in 2020. The bill won bipartisan support in the legislature with support from businesses, utilities, consumers, and environmental groups.
“Households and businesses in the state have already saved over $400 million as a result of energy efficiency programs implemented by PNM and other utility companies. “The new legislation should double these benefits, with savings approaching a total value of nearly $1 billion by 2030,” said Tammy Fiebelkorn, New Mexico representative for the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP).
“In addition to saving consumers and businesses money, HB 291 will reduce the operation of power plants that consume coal and natural gas. This in turn will cut water consumption and reduce pollutant emissions, thereby helping New Mexico meet its environmental and natural resource goals,” said Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino (D-Albuquerque), co-sponsor of the bill in the Senate.
The legislation also facilitates reform of the utility business model so that utilities are not penalized financially when they help their customers save energy. “Utilities should be able to earn a profit when they invest in programs that help consumers improve energy efficiency and cut energy waste”, said Howard Geller, Executive Director of the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project. “HB 291 will enable this “win-win” outcome, and for this reason utilities such as PNM supported the bill.”
“SWEEP thanks the co-sponsors for their leadership in guiding the bill through the legislative process, along with all of the entities that supported the bill,” Geller added.
Contact: Tammy Fiebelkorn, SWEEP New Mexico Representative | firstname.lastname@example.org | 505-410-3884
About SWEEP: The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) is a public-interest organization promoting greater energy efficiency in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. www.swenergy.org