New Mexico customers of El Paso Electric are paying more than their share


El Paso Electric is currently charging their NM customers higher rates than TX customers. The result is that NM customers pay more than 14 million dollars a year more than TX customers would pay for the same amount of power.


The rates are approved by the Public Utilities Commission in Texas and by the Public Regulation Commission in NM. We have not been as effective as El Paso in asking for lower rates and we haven’t received them.


In their most recent filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC Form 1) for the year 2013 El Paso Electric reported their revenue per KWh:.


Residential Service                NM – 12.26 cents      TX - 11.29 cents,

NM paid an extra $6.5 million dollars.

City and County Service        NM – 11.91 cents      TX - 9.87 cents,

NM governments paid an extra $1.5 million dollars


There are around 25 rate categories listed in the FERC Form 1 report and the NM rate is higher in all but one of those categories. It adds up to an extra 14 to 15 million dollars paid by NM ratepayers in 2013. 


El Paso Electric is building new power plants and will want us to pay for them

El Paso Electric is currently building 4 new power plants and will soon be requesting a rate increase to pay for the first two of them. Their plan is to increase their generation capacity not just to meet peak demand but to meet 115 percent of peak demand.


This means that they plan to build about 250 Megawatts of power plant that should never be needed, even at times of peak demand! As a for-profit public utility this makes sense for them. Since they are allowed a certain rate of return on their investments, the more they spend, the more they are allowed to charge us.


But for us, the rate payers, there is a better way. Demand peak reduction. El Paso Electric bases the need for new power plants on the maximum demand peak – the one hour period each year when demand is highest. If we can reduce the peak demand we can reduce the need for new power plants and distribution equipment thereby reducing the costs to build, maintain, operate, and depreciate them. To do that we are asking the NM Public Regulation Commission to approve a pilot rate (Time of Use with Curtailment pilot rate) to be available to a limited number of residential and small business customers, that dramatically reduces the charge per KWh for 98 percent of the year and increases the charge for the 100 plus hours per year when demand is near peak, or when there is a system emergency.  Customers who request to be on this rate could potentially save 50% on their electric bill by cutting their usage during peak hours.


By helping reduce the peak demand and the need for new power plants and distribution equipment we can help reduce, or at least slow the increase in, electric costs for everyone. The pilot rate would demonstrate the need for a permanent time-of-use rate available to all.


How you can help

EL Paso Electric will soon be going before the NM PRC to request rate increases.  This will be our chance to bargain for rates at least as good as those given to TX customers.

Please call, write, or email your City Councilor and County Commissioner and ask him or her to support the proposed Time of Use with Curtailment pilot rate.


Las Cruces City Council

Phone – (575) 541-2066

Mail - PO Box 20000, Las Cruces, NM 88004

District 1 – Miguel Silva  

District 2 – Greg Smith

District 3 – Olga Pedroza

District 4 – Nathan Small

District 5 - Gill Sorg        

District 6 – Ceil Levatino


Dona Ana Board of County Commissioners

Mail - 845 N Motel Blvd, Las Cruces, NM 88007

District 1 – Billy Garrett                              525-5808

District 2 – Dr David Garcia                        525-5804

District 3 – Benjamin Rawson               525-5807

District 4 – Wayne Hancock                   525-5810

District 5 – Leticia Duarte-Benavidez   525-5809


Suggested message:

El Paso Electric currently charges NM customers more for electricity than they charge TX customers. Please ask the city and county interveners before the PRC to support a Time of Use with Curtailment pilot rate to help reduce the need for additional capital expenditures, and future rate increases. Thank You.


Need more information?

Rocky Bacchus – One Hour Air Conditioning and Heating  (575) 650-1075

Allen Downs – (575) 915-6969

This information sheet can be found at