New Mexico Supreme Court rules in contested rate case

PNM electric lines

SANTA FE (AP) – The New Mexico Supreme Court is backing up state regulators’ decision to allow an electric utility to consider renewable energy costs and employee pension assets when seeking a change in customer rates.

The court ruled Monday in the case of Southwestern Public Service Co.

The state attorney general’s office appealed after regulators approved the utility’s 2012 request to change rates and add a surcharge for certain customers to recoup the costs of adding more renewable energy to its portfolio.

The AG argued that the utility was shifting costs to different classes of customers and including too much of its pension assets in the rate base.

The court found that utilities can recover the costs of financing business operations by including working capital that is funded by investors rather than ratepayers.

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