April 30, 2015
PNM Files Comprehensive Exceptions to Hearing Examiner's Recommendations on Rate Case
Company provides strong rebuttal supporting completeness of filing
SANTA FE, N.M.: PNM today filed detailed exceptions to the recommendations in the April 17, 2015 Initial Recommended Decision by the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission's Hearing Examiner that PNM's 2016 future test year general rate case filing be dismissed. In the exceptions the company substantiates its position that the filing is complete and meets the standards set for future test year cases and asks the Commission to reject the Hearing Examiner's recommendations.
"We believe that the company has provided information and detail beyond what is actually required for these types of cases and our filing today provides comprehensive support for our position," said Ron Darnell, PNM vice president for Public Policy. "In a recent case involving another utility the filing was accepted with similar information as PNM's submission. Requiring the company to re-file the case would cause an unnecessary and potentially costly delay. We believe the Hearing Examiner's recommendations are not consistent with the Commission's rules and precedents."
In its exceptions filed today, PNM states:
- The Hearing Examiner erroneously interpreted the requirements of the Future Test Year rule;
- The Hearing Examiner's recommendation wrongly imposed a heightened standard on PNM's filing as opposed to other filings;
- The Hearing Examiner failed to fully consider PNM's entire filing and improperly focused on just the competing affidavits filed in support of the parties' various positions;
- PNM's filing meets the statutory requirements for a Future Test Year case and should be accepted;
- If there are any deficiencies in PNM's filing, they are not material and it would be improper to reject the entire filing. PNM should be should be allowed to file supplemental testimony and exhibits to correct any deficiencies the Commission may find and the procedural schedule should only be modified as necessary to make the filing; and
- The Recommended Decision's misinterpretation of the future test year statute unduly restricts the future test years that a utility may propose.
The Hearing Examiner's recommendations were focused on technical filing requirements and did not address the merits of PNM's proposals. Parties must file any responses to filed exceptions by May 5, 2015. The Commission's General Counsel will then review all of the exceptions filed and develop a draft Order to be considered by the entire Commission.
Filed in December 2013 with the N.M. Public Regulation Commission, PNM's first rate case since 2010 seeks to recover the cost of investments for electric reliability and a cleaner power supply for New Mexico. In addition, the rate filing proposes regulatory improvements designed to support the continued growth of successful customer energy efficiency and rooftop solar programs.
With headquarters in Albuquerque, PNM is the largest electricity provider in New Mexico, serving more than 500,000 customers in dozens of communities across the state. PNM is a subsidiary of PNM Resources, an energy holding company also headquartered in Albuquerque. For more information, visit PNM.com.