Kit Carson Electric Coop Members Alert!
“Where are my capital credits?”
Below is an excerpt from The Taos News
“Kit Carson rate hike sees early protests (17),” Cody Hooks Updated Dec 5, 2015 (Taos News Online)
Warning from the PRC:
“Protests submitted via email and signed letters are questionable as to their validity in the matter. This would be determined by the commission and Kit Carson,” Padilla said (PRC spokesperson)
“By law, the PRC needs 25 valid protests to go forward with a rate-hike investigation. The last time Kit Carson went out for a rate increase in 2010, the co-op argued that all but a handful of more than 300 protests were invalid, though the PRC eventually went through with an investigation.”
Dear KCEC Members:
KCEC CEO Luis Reyes has already told the “Traveling Trustees” that the PRC will not hold a hearing because the minimum (25) members will not file protests. Below Taos Friction reproduces the 5-page protest form for downloading. Try and follow the form to the letter because CEO Reyes will contest the filings. Please send a copy to the Coop and ten (10) to the PRC.
You can calculate the effect of the rate increase on your bill by looking at the notice of increase, the number of kilowatts and meters for which you are billed. Try to be specific and succinct. Reyes has a history of denying protests for petty or no reasons at all. During the last cycle in 2010 he only qualified about 6 out of 300. The PRC over-ruled him.
I have filed a draft of my protest at the end of this story.
Thank you. Please remember, the Coop does not deal in “good faith.” Protests are due by Dec. 23.
NMPRC Rule 540 1 Effective 01/01/89 (Update 03-08-11) (Page 1)
Instructions for Protesting an Electric Cooperative Rate
Increase NMPRC Rule 17.9.540
New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (NMPRC) Rule 17.9.540 implements a state law, NMSA 62-8-7 G, which allows rural electric cooperatives to propose rate increases to its members. If the lesser of 1% of or 25 members of a customer class protest to the Commission, the Commission will determine if there is just cause to review the rate proposal through a formal rate hearing. If no members protest, the rates will go into effect automatically with no Commission review.
To file a protest you must be a member of the Cooperative. The protest must be received by the Commission within twenty (20) days from the date the rates are filed with the Commission. The date the rates are filed will be stated on the notice to customers that you have received from the cooperative, either through the Enchantment or through a special notice.
To protest, completely fill out the enclosed protest form. You may leave the case number blank and if there is no attorney, you do not need to fill out the attorney information. The protestor is not required to retain an attorney to file a protest. Please note: Failure to properly address all pertinent issues (see page 4) may be grounds for the rejection of the protest.
You must deliver a copy of the protest to the Cooperative. Then in accordance with NMPRC Rule 17.9.540, you must send an original plus ten (10) copies of the rate protest form and certificate of service to:
New Mexico Public Regulation Commission
Attn: Records Division
P.O. Box 1269
1120 Paseo de Peralta
Santa Fe, NM 87504-1269
For more information call the Commission at 505-827-4500 or toll free 1-888-427-5772, or contact the cooperative.
NMPRC Rule 540 2 (Page 2)
IN THE MATTER OF THE FILING )
OF NEW RATES BY
CASE NO. _______
Kit Carson ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC.
P R O T E S T TO PRO POSED RATE INCREASE
Name of Protestor: _______________________________________________________
City: ____________________________________________ State: ______ Zip: ______
Home Phone: __________________________ Work Phone: ______________________
(Attach the name, mailing address, and telephone number of each protestant.)
Attorney’s Name: _________________________________________________________
Attorney’s Address: _______________________________________________________
Attorney’s City: ____________________________________ State: ______ Zip: ______
Attorney’s Phone: ________________
(Attach the name, mailing address, and telephone number of attorney of each protestant.)
I am a member of the _____________________________________________________.
(Name of Cooperative) (Page 3)
I protest the rates being proposed by the above named Cooperative.
I protest the proposed rate(s) affecting the ______________________________________ Class of customers (i.e., residential, commercial, industrial, irrigation, etc.). NMPRC Rule 540 3 Effective 01/01/89 (Update 03-08-11)
YOU MUST ADDRESS EACH OF THE FOLLOWING ISSUES
1. A clear concise statement of the effect of the proposed rate or rates on you.
2. A clear and concise state of the specific grounds upon which you believe the proposed rate or rates are unjust, unreasonable or otherwise unlawful.
3. A brief description of your efforts to resolve your objections directly with the Regulation.
4. A clear and concise statement of the relief you want from the Commission (i.e. what you want the Commission to do regarding the rate proposal). NMPRC Rule 540 4 Effective 01/01/89 (Update 03-08-11)
FORM 1.2 (Page 5)
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
IN THE MATTER OF THE FILING OF )
NEW RATES BY ___________________
(ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC. ) CASE NO. _____
I hereby certify that a true and correct copy of the attached protest issued on _____________________, 20___, was mailed by first class mail, postage prepaid, to the following cooperative:
CITY __________________________ STATE ______ ZIP ________
(Signature of Protestor)
Dated this ________ day of ______________________, 20___.
YOU MUST ADDRESS EACH OF THE FOLLOWING ISSUES
- A clear concise statement of the effect of the proposed rate or rates on you.
The rate request increases my rates by 18 to 20 percent a month. The lower-income tenants in my trailer park will find their rates increasing from 20% on usage to 40% on systems charges, making it more difficult for seniors on fixed income and working families.
- A clear and concise statement of the specific grounds upon which you believe the proposed rate or rates are unjust, unreasonable or otherwise unlawful.
Since members are protesting in the “dark, “ KCEC needs to undergo a “forensic” audit and draw-up a business plan so that members of the Coop can understand how much money has been spent on: Electricity, side ventures like Propane, Internet, Call Center, Command Center, and Broadband. What is the equity of the company and the amount owed to Coop members. I believe the CEO and Trustees have squandered millions of dollars in members and taxpayers’ money.
- A brief description of your efforts to resolve your objections directly with the Regulation.
I have spent about 15 years publishing Coop stories in a local newspaper (1999-2009) and on a public blog since 2009 about the sordid underbelly of KCEC. The Coop refuses to post audits or other useful information online. I have repeatedly asked Trustees to redistrict and eliminate “gerrymandering” that “weights” voting as estimated at 4 to 1 against the Taos Valley District.
- A clear and concise statement of the relief you want from the Commission (i.e. what you want the Commission to do regarding the rate proposal). NMPRC Rule 540 4 Effective 01/01/89 (Update 03-08-11)
The PRC should reduce the rate requested by 50% and post an independent “monitor” in the offices of Kit Carson, paid for by the Coop. The “monitor should supervise an audit and prohibit unecessary Trustee Travel while creating a “quasi-receivership” and draw up a “liquidation plan” for non-electric ventures. The PRC should mandate the reduction of the number of Trustees from 11 to 7 and establish a “nepotism” policy for all divisions. “Finally, when will the Coop pay capital credits to my family,” asks the immortal soul?”