New Mexico Solar Energy Association

Email Thread History

  • 10 Feb 2015 11:11 AM
    Message # 3222441

    This discussion started via email.  Here's a summary (latest on top): 

    On 2/6/2015, Jim DesJardins wrote:
    Great.  Is it possible to also address the solar access fee and net metering changes in the PNM rate filing?  
    Thank you.

    On 2/6/2015, Jason Marks wrote:
    March 24 at 6 pm works for me.

    On 2/6/2015  Jim DesJardins wrote:
    I am certainly good with this.

    On 2/6/2015,  Athena wrote:
    Our chapter meeting is March 24, 6-7:30, if that works for Jim Desjardin and Jason Marks. Thinking of holding at ideas and coffee.

    On 2/5/2015, Michael Sauber wrote:
    Hello all,
    Thank you for the responses. I hadn't seen the responses until I checked my spam folder for another email, then noticed these. Not sure if I had missed others before auto deletions.
    I'm copying Jason here and would like to arrange a time in early March to do a Webinar for us.
    Are there good/bad days to do this? Jason, others?
    Please let me know. I will get a group in Silver City to participate.
    Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays work best for me, but I will accommodate any other time if need be. Any time throughout the day is ok with me.

    On 2/28/2015 Athena Christodoulou wrote:
    PNM actually hosted a webinar on the topic late last year. Rob Darnell was in attendance and the atmosphere was somewhat hopeful. We are in the middle of the rate case, but it could be a great Albuquerque chapter meeting topic. We might be able to do a webinar in March, If he's interested. I know of a place with great connectivity we might be able to use at low or no cost.

    On 2/28/2015  Rolf Nitsche wrote:
    As far as I understood these slides, decoupling is the way to split the customer bill in a fixed part (connection fee) and a usage depended variable fee charging for the kWh used.
    This process reduces the risks for a utility by covering the cost for maintaining the infrastructure needed independent of the usage and is used also e.g. for water/sewer billing.
    For households with a low usage it could increase the total bill and for big consumers it might get cheaper, if the cost per kWh gets reduced (what often is not happening). 
    Also the interest in energy savings might get reduced as the this only impacts part of the monthly bill and the end-user can't impact the base fee unless getting off-grid. 
    Still would like to hear the explanation and current updates.

    On 1/28/2015  Michael Sauber wrote:
    Here you are.
    Until we go through it I won't understand a lot of it, but it appears(?) that he has some kind of kickback or something for low income as part of it?

    On 1/28/2015 Gayle Simmons wrote: 
    Hi Mike,
    Could you send this in pdf form.  I don't have the software to open it.  I would be in favor of any presentation that solves this problem with PNM not recognizing the true value of EE/RE.  I have always admired Jason Marks as reformer and would really like to know what he thinks.

    On 1/27/2015, Michael Sauber wrote:
    Hello all,
    I've been in contact with former PRC commissioner Jason Marks who had initially opposed decoupling, then found a way to support it. He sent his brief PowerPoint presentation (Attached) and has agreed to do a presentation to the board or do an online PowerPoint to us (which would allow a few of us down here in Silver City to participate). The attached presentation needs much walking through to understand it all.
    Is there interest in this? We could explore other options with him (that he has possibly already integrated into this plan) like performance based utility modeling, which sets incentives for doing positive things like reducing emissions, increasing efficiency of homes, distributed solar etc.

    On 1/6/2015  Gary Vaughn wrote:
    Good idea, Mike.
    1) The brilliant thing about PNM's Decoupling proposal is that they want to increase rates AND increase the fixed monthly charge.  I guess it's a double scoop sundae.
    2) The other thing that's troubling about most decoupling schemes is that they reduce a customer's motivation to conserve energy.  If, for example, your decoupled bill was 50% fixed charge and 50% consumption charge, and you cut your usage in half due to serious energy conservation, your bill would only go down by 25%.
    3)  When the same utility monopoly is behind the generation part as the grid infrastructure part, then decoupling can turn into a shell game, ie the MBAs just juggle the books.  Without some mechanism for introducing competition into the game, things will always favor the "house".
    4)  PNM says it's toying with decoupling to reduce the disincentive for them to get serious about energy conservation. I don't think they feel the same way about DG - if so, they haven't mentioned it.  DG is competition - and PNM shutters at the thought.

    On 1/6/2015, Michael Sauber wrote:  
    Hello all,
    Sunny day today - no surprise. I'm going home to some hot solar baked sweet potatoes tonight.

    It appears that the one most present obstacles and threats to distributed solar is the loss of profits to the utilities. I've brought up the concept of "decoupling" to PNM at numerous meetings and it appears they will have that as part of the discussions on the new rate case. The up side of decoupling is that our biggest foe/hurdle would be gone. The down side would be potentially too much profit for them (which shouldn't be the case) and a potential cost increase to ratepayers (which could be blamed on the new renewables?). The devil is in the details as they say, and I believe PNM has brought up the issue before but of course with "their" interest in mind.
    I'm quite sure I'm missing a lot of critical elements to the situation and I'd like to get a discussion going so we can be well educated as this comes up.
    Shareholders of PNM should see this as a more stable investment since they would see less risk and fluctuations in the market.
    As I type this, I see Gary has just put out an email about the new case.

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