Local Choice Energy opens up New Mexico's electricity markets to competition and puts local communities in control of who supplies their energy.

 

Local Choice Energy will allow any local community in New Mexico to pool their electricity demand and create a local utility. The utility will secure electricity supplies based on criteria defined by the local community. The new utility works with the investor owned utility in the service area to transmit and distribute that electricity.

CLICK to DOWNLOAD our PDF: one-pager on LCE

and

READ the 2019 legislation as introduced by Senator Jeff Steinbirn (SB374) on the NM Legislative Webpage

  • Current situation and problem

 

PNM and EPE are investor-owned monopoly utilities and the largest number of New Mexico residents have no choice but to obtain our power from them. This is because PNM and EPE are protected monopolies based on obsolete New Mexico law. PNM produces 90% and EPE produces 99% of its energy for us using fossil fuels and nuclear with devastating climate and environmental consequences.

 

  • Solution

 

Local Choice Energy! LCE is a structural change in political and economic power. This would transform the power and control over energy from a monopoly utility with out of State investor interests to a local body. Local government, where residents have greater access and more control, is being given new authority for all kinds of good reasons: to respond to local preferences, to support local economies, to correct past abuses, to conduct business transparently, to reinvest surplus funds back into other community needs, to reflect our values and provide reliable electricity at a reasonable price while protecting the environment, and more. We need to change the law so that it is legal for city, county, and sovereign indigenous nations to buy electricity from independent producers or own and operate electricity producing power plants and sell that electricity to residents. We would still pay PNM to use its electric poles and lines to transmit and deliver renewable energy, but PNM’s energy resources and prices would be in competition with lower cost independent power producers.

 

  • Local Power with Local Choice  Energy:

 

With LCE, the people have a direct and more powerful voice in energy decisions and policies. Municipalities, counties, and sovereign indigenous nations are able to determine their own energy futures based on community values. We could put out a request for bids to supply our community with 100% renewable energy and choose the lowest bidder, or we could decide to produce the renewable energy ourselves, as a municipality or Nation -- to maximize the local economic benefit.

 

  • Local Energy Boosts Local Economies:

 

In eight states with Local Choice, success is measured by the amount of renewables produced and how much money stays in the community through low rates and contributions to local programs and projects. Revenue earned creates local wealth through utility-bill savings for customers, and family-sustaining job creation in renewable industries.


Abundant Renewable Potential: New Mexico has the second highest potential for solar energy in the United States. Renewable energy is now the cheapest form of energy to produce. The clean-energy jobs sector outnumbers fossil-fuel jobs by a a rate of 2.5 to 1.

Local Choice Energy

The Success of Choice in New Mexico:

How Picuris Pueblo freed itself from monopoly utility control

and is beginning to create Local Wealth for its people.

Picuris Pueblo, nested in the "hidden valley" of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, completed construction of a 1 MW solar array in March 2018. One of the 19 Pueblo nations of New Mexico, Picuris is home to 300 tribal members who are already experiencing the many-fold benefits of solar energy development.
Why Solar? Picuris Pueblo set the goal of becoming 100% renewable in 2014.  In developing a 1 MW tribally-owned solar array, the tribe is diversifying the local economy by: lowering household utility bills, providing jobs and social capital, and providing energy security for the surrounding Peñasco Valley

 

The solar array is a culturally-appropriate form of economic development.

 

Revenue from the solar array funds community and youth programs, including a baseball field, skatepark, Boys & Girls Club, and hiking and mountain biking trails. Revenue is also dedicated towards the Tiwa language program, which is vital for the protection of traditional Pueblo culture.

 

Unlike past energy and mineral extraction activities, solar development does not cause harm to public and environmental health. Rather, the solar array decreases Peñasco Valley's carbon footprint and addresses climate change with a bold solution. This project is aligned with Native values to protect local ecology and sacred places held dear to indigenous people and their way of life.

 

Picuris was able to pursue their 100% renewable energy goal through a mutually beneficial partnership with Kit Carson Electric Cooperative. Can all of New Mexico learn from and replicate this renewable energy model of opportunity? No--under today's law it is illegal for most New Mexico communities until we break free of monopoly energy control.

Revenue from the solar array funds community and youth programs, including a baseball field, skatepark, Boys & Girls Club, and hiking and mountain biking trails. Revenue is also dedicated towards the Tiwa language program, which is vital for the protection of traditional Pueblo culture.

 

Unlike past energy and mineral extraction activities, solar development does not cause harm to public and environmental health. Rather, the solar array decreases Peñasco Valley's carbon footprint and addresses climate change with a bold solution. This project is aligned with Native values to protect local ecology and sacred places held dear to indigenous people and their way of life.

 

Picuris was able to pursue their 100% renewable energy goal through a mutually beneficial partnership with Kit Carson Electric Cooperative. Can all of New Mexico learn from and replicate this renewable energy model of opportunity? No--under today's law it is illegal for most New Mexico communities until we break free of monopoly energy control.

 

The 1-MW array provides power for 600 homes of the surrounding Peñasco Valley and is estimated to generate over $3 million in revenue for Picuris over the next 25 years.
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343 E. Alameda St.

Santa Fe, NM 87501

Phone: (505) 989-7262

Tel: 505-989-7262

info@NewEnergyEconomy.org