NMPRC Order Filed and Open for Discussion

By: Bill Whaley
22 January, 2016

In an effort to encourage transparency, Taos Friction posts the latest order from the NMPRC regarding the KCEC rate case.  Too often business is done by Kit Carson Electric Cooperative behind closed doors. But thanks to activists, member-protesters, perhaps the community will get a look during the hearing at what KCEC is doing with the millions of dollars it has borrowed.

In particular Taos Friction dedicates today’s post to Jerome Lucero, a one-man phone bank and activist who works tirelessly to shed light on the technical intricacies of electrical engineering and has revealed much about Coop charades in Mora-San Miguel and Taos. In fact, Jerome “spoke truth to power” at a famous PRC meeting in 2006 regarding Tri-State G&T piracy in New Mexico and was fired for blowing the whistle on the giant unregulated monopoly. Unfortunately, KCEC CEO Luis Reyes learned too many lessons from Tri-State’s legendary Harold “Hub” Thompson. Reyes has, indeed, emasculated KCEC’s Board of Trustees (as he tried to do the Sign Man). Apparently Luis learned a thing or two about “movida making” on Wednesday. The members won a brief respite from the predatory energizer bunny.

 

Here’s the Order:

BEFORE THE NEW MEXICO PUBLIC REGULATION COMMISSION

IN THE MATTER OF THE FILING OF PROPOSED NEW RATES BY KIT CARSON ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC.

)
)
) Case No. 15-00375-UT
)

KIT CARSON COOPERATIVE, INC.,

Applicant.

ELECTRIC )
)
)
)
)

ORDER

THIS MATTER comes before the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (Commission) upon the Protests (Protests) filed dming December, 2015, by members of Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Inc. (KCEC), who opposed the proposed rates in KCEC’s Advice Notice No. 60, filed on December 3, 2015. Upon consideration of Advice Notice No. 60, the record in this case and being fully advised,

THE COMMISSION FINDS AND CONCLUDES:

1. Pursuant to the New Mexico Constitution, the New Mexico Public Utility Act and other applicable law, the Commission has jurisdiction over the parties and subject matter of this proceeding.
2. In its Advice Notice, KCEC stated that the proposed general rate increase is

$3,488,512.00, an increase above test year revenues of 9.02%.

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Case No. 15-00375-UT

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3. A residential customer who consumes 500 kWh per month would experience a rate increase from $70.82 to $84.24, an increase of 18.96%. ( See Statement of Comparison between New Rates and Present Rates).

4. NMSA 1978, Section 62-8-7(G) provides, in relevant paii, that whenever a rural electric cooperative files proposed new rates with the Commission:

the cooperative shall give written notice of the proposed rates to its affected patrons at least thirty days prior to the filing with the commission, and the commission shall suspend the rates and conduct a hearing concerning the reasonableness of any proposed rates filed by a rural electric cooperative pursuant to Subsections C and D of this section upon the filing with the commi ssion of a protest setting forth grounds for review of the proposed rates signed by the lesser of one percent of or twenty-five members of a customer class of the rural electric cooperative and if the commission detennines there is just cause for reviewing the proposed rates on one or more of the grounds of the protest. The protest shall be filed no later than twenty days after the filing with the commission of the schedule proposing the new rates. The hearing and review shall be limited to the issues set forth in the protest and for which the commission may find just cause for the review, which issues shall be contained in the notice of hearing.

5. Customer protests were required to be filed within twenty (20) days of the date the Advice Notice was filed. See R u I e 17.9.540 .1O(A) NMAC. Accordingly, customer protests needed to be filed with the Commission by December 23, 2015. On December 22, 2015, KCEC filed a Petition “for Leave to File Response to Member Protests and Response to Protests Against Proposed Rate Adjustment.”

6. On December 23, 2015, the Commission suspended the proposed rates pending KCEC filing objections to the Protests and Commission Staff (Staff) filing its determinations as to the number of valid, timely Protests and its determination as to whether KCEC’ s filing of Advice Notice No. 60 constituted a complete application pursuant to NMSA 1978, Section 62-8- 7(B)(sic).

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7. The Commission’s criteria for valid protests are listed in Rule 17.9.540.l l (A) NMAC:
17.9.540.11 FORM AND FILING OF PROTEST:

A. Contents of Protest: Protests to the Commission must be in writing and shall be signed by the member or members submitting the protest or by their attorney. All protests shall contain the following:

(1) the name, mailing address, and phone number of each member protesting the proposed rate or rates, and the name, mailing address, and phone number of each member’s attorney, if any;

(2) the name of the coop proposing the rate or rates and identification of the proposed rate or rates being protested;

(3) a clear and concise statement of the effect of the proposed rate or rates on the protestant;

(4) a clear and concise statement of the specific grounds upon which the protestant believes the proposed rate or rates are unjust, unreasonable, or otherwise unlawful;

(5) a brief description of the member’s efforts to resolve his objections directly with the coop; and

(6) a clear and concise statement of the relief the protestant seeks from the Commission.

(7) All protests shall show the caption of the proceeding and the docket number and shall be titled “Protest.” Whenever possible, protests shall be typed and double-spaced, shall be on paper 8 1/2 inches wide and 11 inches long, and fastened only on the left side.

8. On December 29, 2015, Staff filed its Determination , which stated that at least 63 valid Protests of the proposed residential rates had been timely filed and were in substantial compliance with Rule 17.9.540.11 NMAC (“Form and Filing of Protest”). The Determination also stated that Advice Notice No. 60 was a complete application, but recommended that KCEC complement the Advice Notice “with the filing of data, exhibits, illustrations, prepared testimony, or w1itten argument which is pertinent to the schedule proposing new rates.”

9. On December 29, 2015, KCEC filed a “Supplemental Response to Protests Against Proposed Rate Adjustment,” (Supp. Response) which stated at ,r15 that of the 112 Protests received by KCEC, “only seven (7) comply with Rule 540.11, and provide just cause to

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Case No. 15-00375-UT

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suspend Advice Notice No. 60 by raising issues that the Commission would ordinarily consider in reviewing rates.”

10. The Commission finds that 22 protests were objected to by KCEC because they were filed prior to the December 3 filing of Advice Notice No. 60. (Supp. Response Exh. D) KCEC objected to 14 of these for other reasons in addition to allegedly being filed too early. However, KCEC objected to the other 8 of those 22 solely on this basis. Id. Rule 17.9.540.11(G) NMAC states: “G. Date of Filing: If a protest is submitted to the Commission before the coop has filed its proposed rate or rates, the protest shall be deemed filed as of the date of the coop’s filing.” Therefore, despite KCEC’s allegations, these 8 were valid, timely Protests.

11. Prior to determining whether just cause exists to review the proposed rates, Rule 17.9.540.12(A) NMAC requires that the Protests must be in “substantial compliance” with the Commission’s procedural rules, particularly Rule 17.9.540.11 NMAC. The Commission concludes that at least 25 Protests from Members of the residential class substantially complied with the Rules. KCEC seems to apply a strict compliance standard to the Protests, which is inappropriate. See Danzer v. Prof ! Insurors, Inc., 1984-NMSC-046, ,r3, 101 N.M. 178, 180, 679 P.2d 1276, 1278:

At the outset, we address Danzer’s argument, in which he cites
Gish v. Hart, 75 N.M. 765, 411 P.2d 349 (1966), and Michael v.
Bauman, 76 N.M. 225, 413 P.2d 888 (1966), that Insurors’ Brief in Chief violates NMSA 1978, Civ.App.R. 9(d) (Cum.Supp.1983). Rule 9(d) requires a party contending that a finding of fact is not supported by substantial evidence to include proper references to the substance of all of the evidence bearing on the proposition. Insurors did not cite every relevant portion of the transcript on the questions raised , but it did refer to a substantial po1iion of material evidence. Insurors’ substantial compliance is easily distinguished

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from the total disregard of the rule in Gish and Michael. We construe the rules of appellate procedure liberally so that causes on appeal may be determined on their merits. Maynard v. Western Bank, 99 N.M. 135, 654 P.2d 1035 (1982). Insurers’ deficiencies in citing to the evidence in the record are not immoderate. (Emphasis added.)

See also Salazar v. D.W.B.H., Inc., 2008-NMSC-054, ,r2, 144 N.M. 828, 835, 192 P.3d

1205, 1212: “Therefore, in reviewing compliance with the regulations, we are to take ‘all relevant circumstances into account,’ and if ‘the purpose of the … requirement in the regulation is met, regardless of whether or not the technical requirements of the regulations are met,’ then a paiiy can be found to be in ‘substantial compliance.’ 12.2.6.13 NMAC.” The timely, valid Protests are in substantial compliance with Rule 17.9.540.11 NMAC because they, inter alia,: 1) identified the Protesters and their grounds for protest so that KCEC could, and with some Protesters, did, communicate “with the protestants to detennine if there is a negotiated basis for withdrawal of the protest,” per Rule 17.9.540.1 l (H) NMAC; 2) provided the Commission with notice as to the Protesters’ objections to the proposed rates and the reasons for those objections; and 3) alerted the Commission to the relief sought.

12. Upon its review of the Protests, KCEC’s objections to the Protests, and Staff s Detennination, the Commission fi nds that the questions raised by the valid and timely Protests constitute just cause for the Commission to investigate KCEC’s rates, including its residential rates, pursuant to NMSA 1978, Section 62-8-7(G), particularly on, but not limited to, the following bases: KCEC’s proposed elimination of the inverted block structure for residential rates as well as the proposed increase to the fixed customer charge by a greater relative percentage than the energy charge. See Supp. Response Exh.B, Affidavit of William Steven Seelye, ,r9.

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13. The Commission further finds that the Commission’s suspension of KCEC’s Advice No. 60, by Order Suspending Proposed Rates, issued December 23, 2015, should be continued and a hearing set to determine whether KCEC’s rates are just and reasonable.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED:

A. The Commission’s suspens10n of KCEC’s Advice No. 60, by Order Suspending P ro po sed Rates, issued December 23, 2015, should be continued for a period of nine (9) months after the date Kit Carson files a rate case as set forth below.

B. KCEC will file a complete rate application within one (1) month of the date of this Order which will include cost of service studies and supp01ting testimon y. KCEC may present alternative rate designs, including an inverted block methodology, for the residential , or any other, class of customers.

C. Pursuant to its authority under NMSA 1978, Section 8-8-14 and the Utility Division Procedures set forth in Rule 17.1.2 NMAC, the Commission will appoint and designate a Hearing Examiner to preside over this case, to hold a hearing to examine and resolve the issues set forth in this Order, to take all action necessary and convenient thereto within the limits of the Hearing Examiner’s authority, to take any other action in this case that is consistent with Commission procedure, and to submit a Recommended Decision containing proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law regarding this cause to the Commission.

D. Any person who desires to become a party to this case must file a motion for

leave to intervene, pursuant to Rule 1.2.2.23 NMAC within one month of the date of this Order.

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E. Protestor Link Summers’ Motion Requesting Leave to File Response to KCEC’s Motion to Disqualify Protests and Response to Protests of Advice Notice No. 60 and to Deny and Dismiss KCEC’s Motion, filed on January 5, 2016, is granted.

F. KCEC’s Motion for Leave to File a Reply to Link Summers’ and Jerome Lucero’s Responses, filed on January 12, 2016, is granted.

G. This Order is effective immediately.

H. Copies of this Order shall be e-mailed to all persons on the attached Certificate of Service if their e-mail addresses are known, and otherwise shall be sent via regular mail.

Order
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ISSUED under the Seal of the Commission at Santa Fe, New Mexico, this 20th day of January, 2016.

NEW MEXICO PUBLIC REGULATION COMMISSION

KAREONTOYA, VICE CHAIR

EXCUSED

LYNDA LOVEJOY, COMMISSIONER

Order
Case No. 15-00375-UT

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BEFORE THE NEW MEXICO PUBLIC REGULATION COMMISSION

IN THE MATTER OF THE FILING OF PROPOSED NEW RATES BY KIT CARSON ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC.

KIT CARSON ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE,
INC.,

Applicant.

Case No. 15-00375-UT

 

[Below, the PRC names the few, the brave, the courageous Activist Member/Protesters “who love to hate Kit Carson!”]

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

I HEREBY CERTIFY that a true and correct copy of the foregoing Order issued on January 20, 2016, was sent as indicated below, to the following individuals:

Via Email:

Link Summers linksummers@hotmail.com;
Berni Fresquez bemresefres@gmail.com ;
Concha Torres cetorres@taosnet.com ;
Lillian Trujillo taoschickie@gmail.com;
Carl Rosenberg Carlre@plaza.org;
Fabi Romero Fabrom@taosnet.com ;
A. Eugene Sanchez genesanchez@centurylink.ne t;
Loralee Logan loralee logan@gmail.com ;
Harvey M. Kimball hkimbal l40@gmail.com ;
Kristi J. Ludwig Kristi-ludwig@gmail.com ;
Jack C. Hopkins Kkimmel 152@icloud.com;
Thom Anderson blkshark@comcast.net ;
Ruth Waterhouse wtrhouse@mac.com ;
Gilbert M. Bateman gil@taosnet.com;
Lanny V. Grade grademary@gmai l.com;
Carolyn (Lyn) Crowl lync@kitcarson.net;
Mary Domito taosmary@gmai l.com;
Margie L. Cisneros mcisneros@ taoshospital.org;
Robert Gontram bobgontram@yahoo.com ;
John Plummer and Elysus Cornut johplummer@yahoo.com ;
William R. Slay wmslay@gmail.com;
Christina M. Dalle Grave nowayx@gmail .com;
William E. (Bill) Whaley bwhaley@newmex.com ;
Madelyn A. Willis madelynwillis@q .com;
Mary M. Barnes mm barnes2@rnsn.com ;

Sheryl Summers Sheryl summers@hotmail.com ;
Mary B. Garcia garciamarybeth@gmail.com ;
Lowell and Loretta Miles Tollefson Ltollefson8 l @gmai l.com ;
John . Mantis johnhmanti s@gmail.com ;
Barbara Ireland Barbara.dot.i reland@gmail .com ;
Melissa H. Howden Melissa.howden@yahoo.com ;
C. Michael Sayre Cms606nm@g.com;
Frank Tabor frankorritatabor@msn.com ;
Carilene Newby feather@taosnet.com ;
Jimmie and Nancy Simmons nancysimmons@yahoo.com ;
Kathleen and Terry D. Vanderbrook tdvanderbrook@windstream.net ;
Jerome Lucero jflucero9- l 2@q.com ;
Sue Lawrence taos6 l @hotmail.com ;
James C. Wiley and Mary Lou Chemik mlchemik@newmex.com ;
James D McBrayer j immcbrayer@hotmail.com;
Peggy V. Beck pvb@taosnet.com ;
Peggy Nelson pjnelson@taosnet.com ;
Samuel M. Herrera mundosam@questoffice.net;
William Sarokin WilliamSarokin@gmail.com ;
W. D. Hale duffhale@gmail.com ;
Christina Beato cbeato@salud.unm.edu ;
Lewis and Carolyn Anderson tinmangola@gmail.com ;
Judy F Grano jfrancesc22@gmail.com ;
Susan Green foxysuegreen@gmail.com ;
Spencer Floyd sfloyd@taosnet.com ;
Annie Mattingley anniemat@newmex.com ;
Caren Lorber carenlorber@gmail.com ;
Lavonia C. Hobbs and Erica Hobbs cactusthorn645@yahoo.com ;
Celestina Quintana Celeyvet@yahoo.com ;
Gilbert Archuleta KI ones@taosnet.com ;
John G. Cardwell Garry8790@yahoo.com ;
Arsenio Cordova arseniocordova@hotmail.com ;
Debra A. Jeantete debrajeantete@yahoo.com ;
Cecilia A. Trujillo cectru@gmail.com ;
Kelly Mackintosh gjpoul akos@gmai l.com;
Elizabeth Mixson emixson@hotmai l.com;
Christopher Mixson taoschris@gmail.com ;
Warren E. Spehar wspeharl @hotmail.com;
Ingeborg Frank ifrank.2@kitcarson .net;
Mary Claire “Zeno” Dickson zeno@newmex.com ;
David K.Wemer dkw267@gmail.com ;
Andrew Arguello atech716 l@gmail.com ;
Cynthia Arvidson cmarvidson l @msn.com;
Chad Belvill Cbelvill@me.com;
Ceilidh Creech ceilidhcreech@gmai l.com;
Carolyn (Lyn) Crowl lync@kitcarson.com ;

Nan Fischer nan.fischer5@gmail.com ;
Charmaine Gahr Cwgahr8@aol.com;
Donald E. & Judith R. Lambert lambertdonalde@gmail.com;
Melissa Larson mlarson@newmex.com ;
Brian J. Lewis baimboy@gnrnil.com ;
Peggy Nelson pjnelson@taosnet.com ;
Carilene Newby feather@taosnet.com ;
Julie Osmanski j aos81769@gmail.com ;
John Plummer and Elyse Cotant j ohplurnmer@yahoo.com;
Daniel A. Prtichard dpritch.mn@gmail.com ;
Celestina Quintana celeyvet@yahoo.com;
Sandra Richardson zandi@taos.net.corn ;
Ridge Riders Fire-N-Ice LLC ridge1idersl@gmail.com;
Fabi Romero fabrom@taosnet.com;
Carl Rosenberg carlr@laplaza.org;
A. Eugene Sanchez genesanchez@centurylink.net;
William Sarokin williamsarokin@gmail.com;
C. Michael Sayre cms606nm@q.com;
Jimmie & Nancy Simmons nancysimmons@yahoo.com ;
William R. Slay wmslay@gmaiI.com
Warren E. Spehar wspeharl @hotmail.com;
Peggy Staley pegstaley@gmail.com ;
Link Summers linksummers@hotmail.com;
Sheryl Summers Sheryl summers@hotmail.com;
Frank Tabor frankonitabor@msn.com;
Lowell & Loretta Miles Tollefson Ltollefson8 l @gmail.com;
Concha T01Tes cetorres@taosnet.com ;
Cecilia Trujillo cectru@gmaiI.com;
Lillian Trujillo taoschickie@gmail.com;
Kathleen and Terry D. Vanderbrook tdvanderbrook@windstream.net ;
Ruth Waterhouse wtrhouse@mac.com ;
William E. Whaley bwhaley@newmex.com ;
James C. Wiley and Mary Lou Chemik mlchemik@newmex.com ;
Madelyn A. Willis rnadelynwillis@q.com ;

VIA FIRST-CLASS MAIL:

Link Summers
Post Office Box 1600 Taos, New Mexico 87601

Bernie Frequez House 49
Acequia del Medio Road Taos, New Mexico 87527

Rosenda Gonzales Wimmer 7126 Highway 51
Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico 87557

Alfonso Vigil 7123 Highway 517
Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico 87557

Concha Torres
Post Office Box 1228
El Prado, New Mexico 87529

Gilbert T. Vigil HC 78, Box 10510
Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico 87557

Marcos Tafoya
7124 B Highway 518
Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico 87557

Darryl Decker
HC 78, Box 10605
Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico 87557

Lillian Trujillo
412 Josie Inez Lane
Taos, New Mexico 87571

Carl Rosenberg Box 184
San Cristobal, New Mexico 87564

Rose P. Des Georges
539 Upper Ranchitos Road Taos, New Mexico 87571

Faustina M. Vigil 7124 Highway 518
Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico 87557

Fabi Romero
Post office Box8 6 84 Camino del Medio
San Cristobal, New Mexico 87564

Kristen Woolf
409 Martinez Lane
Taos, New Mexico 87571

A. Eugene Sanchez
125 De Teves Lane Main Taos, New Mexico 87571

Loralee Logan
Post Office Box 2675 Taos, New Mexico 87571

Harvey M Kimball 704 Zuni Street
Taos, New Mexico 87571

Kristi J. Ludwig 513 Zia Street
Taos, New Mexico 87571

Jack C. Hopkins
402 Camino Del Medio Post Office Box 1227 Taos, New Mexico 87571

Nancy K. Thompson 215 Mariposa Place, #3
Taos, New Mexico 87571

Thom Anderson
5 Hilltop (104) Road, Studio E Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico 87557

Ruth Waterhouse 233 Los Rios Road
Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico 87513

Gilbert M. Bateman 498 Palomita Ct.
Taos, New Mexico 87571

Robert L. Clancy Post Office Box 886
Questa, New Mexico 87556

Gerald F. Crilly Post Office Box 253
Tres Piedras, New Mexico 87577

Thomas R. Brittain
101 Mountain Top Road Questa, New Mexico 87556

Clara Garcia
343 La Luz Drive
Taos, New Mexico 87571

Elen Archuleta HC 74 Box22332
El Prado, New Mexico 87571

Jane A. Archuleta 422 Dolan Street
Taos, New Mexico 87571

Andrew Arquello
45 Camino Ovejeros
El Prado, New Mexico 87529

Joetta Arguello
107 Archuleta Lane
Taos, New Mexico 87571

Richard Ito
05 Valle Lindo Road
Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico 87557

Robert Graham
Post Office Box 116
Taos, New Mexico 87571

Antonio E. Martinez Zia Circle Drive
Taos, New Mexico 87571

Tom Kesnan
104 Maestas Road
Ranchos de Taos, new Mexico 87557

Cannen Martinez Post Office Box 442
Taos, New Mexico 87571

Mary Martinez
Post Office Box 1234
Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico 87557

Harry G. Martinez 1016 Calle La Serna
Taos, New Mexico 87571

Medalia Martinez Post Office Box 95
Arroyo Seco, New Mexico 87574

Vicente A Martinez
349 Upper Ranchitos (4472 NDCBU) Taos, New Mexico 87571

Victor Trujillo
22 San Isidro Road
Ranchos de Taos, new Mexico 87557

Rita Urioste
Post Office Box 2585
Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico 87557

Phil Tafoya
Post Office Box 461
Arroyo Seco, New Mexico 87514

Johnny Tafoya
835 Kit Carson Road Taos, New Mexico 87571

Michael Jeantat 32 Antonio Lane
El Prado, New Mexico 87529

Glen Fortlage
Post Office Box Q
Angel Fire, New Mexico 87710

Marilyn Hoff
Post Office Box 295
El Prado, New Mexico 87529

DATED this 2151 day of January, 2016.

NEW MEXICO PUBLIC REGULATION COMMISSION

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