top of page

Avangrid Out! Our path to energy democracy just got so much brighter!

Today it was announced that Avangrid and its parent company Iberdrola opted to walk away from their proposed merger with PNM just before midnight on December 31st. TOGETHER we slayed a corporate giant bent on exploiting New Mexico. This is a great way to celebrate the new year for all New Mexicans!

In 2022 PNM, Avangrid and Iberdrola appealed the Public Regulation Commission (PRC)’s rejection of the merger to the New Mexico Supreme Court, an effort to circumvent the authority and oversight of the Commission in their failed attempt to establish a “beachhead” for domination of the energy generation potential in New Mexico at the expense of New Mexico electricity customers. Avangrid and Iberdrola’s record of poor service, high rates, safety violations, bad faith contracts and market manipulation in the Northeaster US and multiple countries where they operate were exposed during the original proceeding, and that evidence only continued to grow while the company’s appeal was pending at the Supreme Court. Now that appeal is moot, and New Mexicans can celebrate their narrow escape from a multinational corporate takeover of their most essential infrastructure.

After filing their NM Supreme Court appeal, not content to operate transparently and ethically, Avangrid and Iberdrola engaged in back door ex-parte communications to convince a newly appointed PRC Commission to join them in a failed effort to remand the case, presumably expecting a swift decision in their favor, and threatened legal action against New Energy Economy, the only party that stood up to oppose the buyout, which was supported by just 6% of New Mexicans according to a survey by the Southwest Public Policy Institute.

From the very beginning the PNM/Avangrid merger was not designed to benefit New Mexicans. As the Chief Justice noted during oral arguments at the appeal hearing, the rate credits offered to PNM customers in the proposed merger amounted to a “paltry” total of $1.64 per month for 36 months for the average residential ratepayer. This was not even equal to the total $29M that would have been paid out to PNM executives under the proposed stipulated agreement.

When the PRC rejected Avangrid's proposed merger in 2021 they relied on compelling and extensive evidence of Avangrid and parent company Iberdrola's poor service and failure to comply with laws and regulatory oversight in the other markets where they operate. The Hearing Examiner's recommendation against the deal, and the PRC's subsequent unanimous vote and Order rejecting the merger were clear that it was the company's own record that made the case against Avangrid, proving that the company could not be trusted to operate in the public interest.

That case has only grown stronger in the ensuing years, as this report from New Mexican Foundation for Civic Excellence so clearly illustrates. The company has continued to accrue fines and violations, the most recent being $800,000 levied in November 2023 for safety violations at utilities operated by Avangrid in Connecticut. Maine Governor Janet Mills described Central Maine Power Company’s (CMP) service as “abysmal.” J.D. Power’s nationwide Customer Satisfaction Studies for multiple years in a row ranked CMP last -- 128th among the 128 investor-owned electric utilities surveyed for residential customer satisfaction. Everywhere Avangrid operates in the U.S. there is a movement to kick them out.

While Avangrid admits defeat they say that they will continue their efforts to “explore options in the new hydrogen economy.” Avangrid’s statement is just another example of the hubris of the Avangrid/Iberdrola culture. New Energy Economy will oppose any effort by Avangrid to build fossil fueled hydrogen and peddle in false climate solutions in New Mexico.

The PRC is charged with ensuring that any company that wants to provide a fundamental service like electricity - a service upon which the lives and livelihoods of New Mexicans are completely dependent - must prove its character and capability beyond any doubt. Avangrid failed to pass that basic test. Avangrid and Iberdrola's own record of service failures and arrogance towards regulatory oversight caused the rightful rejection of the merger by the PRC, and their continuing failure to properly serve their customers is proof positive that the PRC made the right call.

Today New Mexicans can celebrate their narrow escape from a multinational corporate takeover of our most essential infrastructure.

Now that the global corporate giants have admitted defeat and retreated, New Mexicans can self determine our energy future. We can focus on holding our utilities accountable and further unraveling the stranglehold they have on our politics, seize this opportunity to strengthen our regulatory system and demand greater accountability from our utilities in terms of fair rates, climate action, and service quality.

Avangrid/Iberdrola tried to take advantage of the fact that New Mexicans ARE dissatisfied with the status quo - but the answer was never to bring in a bigger badder corporation, which is why New Mexicans from all walks of life stood up against the corporate merger. Instead New Mexicans are ready to pursue a vision for energy justice and transition that maximizes benefits to our communities and the environment.

New Mexico can choose to take our energy future into our own hands so that we can move towards renewables at the rapid pace OUR communities want. We deserve the best service. And we hope that we can all work together to find new ways to bring the profits from our electricity use into the hands of our communities instead of exporting them to Spain.

While New Energy Economy led the opposition, playing a critical role, this is a victory for all those who participated, including, importantly, the PRC and all of YOU, who spoke out (in letters to the editor, at public comment, petitions, etc.) and who supported us with funding (and love letters - they matter too!) through the last three years. Our path to energy democracy just got so much brighter!


  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon
  • Twitter
bottom of page