On Nov. 19, BPU will consider a proposed electric rate restructure and increase. The proposed rate includes a new charge for net-metering customers and a Power Cost Adjustment charge for all DPU customers. What is your opinion?
11/19/2014 UPDATE: The Board of Public Utilities approved proposed ordinance 02-252 to restructure and increase electric rates with some modifications. Modifications include the removal of: Sec. 40-122 (9) Net Metering Facilities Charge; and Sec. 40-126 Off-System Riders. Further the in Sec. 40-127 (c) the cap for the Power Cost Adjustment has been adjusted to not exceed $0.50 per kilowatt hour. Any PCA above $0.50 per kilowatt hour will require approval by Council through an ordinance.
The modified proposed ordinance 02-252 will go before the Council Council for adoption on December 16, 2014.
DPU has proposed increasing the electric rate and changing the rate structure based on a Cost of Service and Rate Design Study prepared for the DPU by third-party Leidos Engineering. The Study was done to ascertain how to better align the true cost of service with each customer class. Proposed electric ordinance 02-252 has been prepared by staff and published in the Monitor. The Board of Public Utilities will consider the proposed ordinance at the Board meeting scheduled for November 19th.
This forum will explain:
- THE PROCESS FOR ADOPTION
- RATE SCHEDULE WITH PROPOSED INCREASES AND NEW COMPONENTS
- EXAMPLE BILLS WITH PROPOSED INCREASES AND NEW COMPONENTS
- EXPLANATION OF TWO OF THE NEW COMPONENTS (Power Cost Adjustment and Net Metering Facilities Charge).
1. THE PROCESS FOR ADOPTION
The proposed ordinance will go through the following steps to be considered for adoption.
- Work Session: The Board of Public Utilities will discuss the proposed ordinance during a public work session on Friday, November 14th at 9 AM in Council Chambers, 1000 Central Avenue, Los Alamos, NM. No action will be taken.
- Public Hearing with the Board: The Board will hear the proposed ordinance on Wednesday, November 19th at 5:30 PM in Council Chambers, 1000 Central Avenue, Los Alamos, NM. Public comment is welcome prior to the hearing on this forum and at the Public Hearing. The Board will either approve, disapprove or amend the ordinance at the Public Hearing.
- Introduction to Council: If the Board approves the proposed ordinance, it will be introduced to Council at the November 25th Council Meeting. No action will be taken at that time.
- Public Hearing with the Council: The County Council will consider the ordinance for adoption at a Public Hearing at 7 PM on Tuesday, December 16, 2014 in Council Chambers at 1000 Central Avenue, Los Alamos. Public comment is welcome at the hearing and on this public forum.
2. RATE SCHEDULE WITH PROPOSED INCREASES AND NEW COMPONENTS
DPU is proposing rates according to the schedule below to be effective on January 1, 2015 and July 1, 2015.
3. EXAMPLE BILLS WITH PROPOSED INCREASES AND NEW COMPONENTS
4. EXPLANATION OF TWO OF THE NEW COMPONENTS
Power Cost Adjustment
The Power Cost Adjustment (PCA) will be a new charge on DPU customers' bills. It will reflect increases or decreases in the DPU's cost of purchased power. While the current and the proposed commodity charge embeds an estimated wholesale price of electricity, the actual wholesale price fluctuates. Several factors drive wholesale price fluctuations, especially unexpected increases and decreases in electric demand. When the wholesale price is higher than DPU's estimate the PCA will reflect a charge per kWh on customers' monthly bills. By the same token, if the wholesale price of power is lower than DPU's estimate the PCA will reflect a credit per kWh on customers' monthly bills. It is critical that the DPU recovers all of its wholesale power costs in its retail sales. The DPU will review the actual wholesale cost every six months and adjust the PCA accordingly.
For bills processed after January 1, 2015 all customers will be subject to a PCA of $0.0077 per kWh. The actual cost of power for the past six months will be reviewed on January 1 and July 1 of each year and the PCA will be adjusted for the next six months moving forward. The PCA cannot exceed $0.99 per kWh without further action by the Board of Public Utilities and Council.
2) Changes for net-metering customers with on-site generation (e.g. solar systems)
Net Meter Facilities Charge
DPU supports clean energy generation. Customers with on-site generation, such as solar or photovoltaic systems, receive net meters at no charge. The DPU then buys the surplus power that is returned to the grid by these customers at a wholesale rate.
These net-metering customers remain dependent on the DPU to provide reliable electricity when the sun is not shining. Since residential and small commercial customers do not pay a demand charge, a portion of the fixed cost to provide this service is normally recovered through the consumption-based commodity charge. Net metering customers have low and sometimes negative energy consumption.
The Net Meter Facilities Charge seeks to recover the true cost of service from these customers.
Residential net metering customers will be charged $10 per month per net meter for billings processed after January 1, 2015 and $12 per month per net meter after July 1, 2015.
Non-residential net metering customers will be charged $2.88 per month per connected kW of distributed generation for billings processed after January 1, 2015 and $3.00 per month per connected kW of distributed generation for billings processed after July 1, 2015. (For example - a non-residential net metering customer with a 100 kW system would pay $288 per month after January 1, 2015, and $300 per month after July 1, 2015.)
Outcome: Modified and Approved by BPU. Scheduled to go before Council 12/16/14.
November 19, 2014Read More
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