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 non-profit 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.
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. Ninety percenet of PNM and EPE's energy portfolio consists of fossil fuels and nuclear, with devastating climate and environmental consequences.
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. Instead of exporting energy profits out of state, let's invest those profits in New Mexico!
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 rate of 3 to 1.