New Mexico electric utility agrees to settle rate dispute

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – New Mexico’s largest electric provider has reached a settlement with regulators, the state attorney general and others over a rate increase scheduled to take effect next year.

The parties say the settlement was filed Friday with the state Public Regulation Commission, which has the final say.

The agreement calls for a two-step increase in rates over the next two years.

Public Service Co. of New Mexico estimated the average monthly residential customer bill would increase by less than $6 in 2018 and by less than $5 in 2019.

While the utility has proposed eliminating coal-fired power generation from its portfolio by 2031, the environmental group New Energy Economy took issue with the settlement. The group objects to the utility being able to recover the costs of pollution-control equipment installed at the coal-fired Four Corners Power Plant.