PRC Staff: More than 22,000 Retro-billed at KCEC

By: Bill Whaley
16 March, 2017

Update: apparently KCEC has “retroactively” over-billed about 22,000 KCEC member-customers, including non-residential and residential meters. Both the August 2016 non-residential and December 2016 residential accounts are being analyzed by staff in cooperation with the Taos Coop. Previously KCEC admitted to a number of about 6500 residential discrepancies, called “inadvertent” by CEO Reyes. But Intervenes DesGeorges and Whaley have long disputed those “inadvertent” findings. Both Reyes and the Trustees should be suspended and/or fired like the five lineman caught drinking on the job, whom we hear were fired. The Chicanery at the Coop must stop. For once the old saying means something: “Cheaters never win.”

Below Friction posts the PRC Staff response. During the hearings the PRC Staff was a bulwark against KCEC’s manipulation of the numbers, the muddled financial reports. Hats off. Truly the Trustees should be ashamed of misleading members and hiring con artists to manage the Coop. We would also like to remind members that neither Town, County, nor El Prado elected officials protested against the rate increase or retroactive billing, nor has The Taos News printed a single story about the 2016-17 scandal of the year. Your community leaders remind me of the republicans pushing a “fake” health care bill, which is really aimed at giving tax breaks to the rich: “sin verguenza.”

BEFORE THE NEW MEXICO PUBLIC REGULATION COMMISSION

IN THE MATTER OF THE FORMAL COMPLAINT OF BILL E. WHALEY AGAINST KIT CARSON ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC.

)
)
) Case No. 17-00017-UT
)

STAFF RESPONSE TO BENCH REQUEST

On March 10, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (“Commission”) issued a Bench Request concerning Case Number 17-00017-UT “In the Matter of the Formal Complaint of Bill E. Whaley against Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Inc.”, requesting a Status Report (“Response”) from both Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (“KCEC”) and Utilities Division Staff of the Commission (“Staff ‘). The Response from KCEC was due on March 14, 2017 and the Response from Staff was due on March 14, 2017’.
The Response from Staff was to “include a statement of whether or not, in Staff s opinion, KCEC had made substantially all the necessaty refunds to KCEC customers for KCEC’s aforementioned inadvertent billing errors in its implementation of the September 7th Order Terminating Suspension and the December 7th Final Order and shall include a recommendation as to what fu1ther steps, if any, need to be taken by KCEC to correct substantially all of the aforementioned inadvertent billing errors.”

In reference to billing errors regarding the September 7th Order Terminating Suspension,no refunds regarding these non-residential accounts have been made. KCEC maintains that the calculations for these large power accounts are more complex and it is therefore more time consuming to asce1tain than the residential customers. More specifically, these calculations not only involve kWh usage but also kW demand. KCEC has identified 4,571 non-residential accounts that will be reviewed and potentially due a refund. A total refund amount for these customers has not been identified. KCEC is targeting the May billing period for these refunds, which will not include any interest amounts.

 

Regarding the December 7th Final Order, KCEC has four relevant residential rate classes:

• Rate 1 -Residential Service

• Rate 2 – Residential Seasonal Service

• Rate 18 – Time of Use – Residential Seasonal Service I
• Rate 17 ” Time of Use – Residential Service

In reference to Rate I – Residential Service, KCEC refunded $156,373.06 to 16,511 t
customers or an average of about $9.41 per customer. For this rate class, Staff believes KCEC has “made substantially all the necessary refunds to KCEC customers for KCEC’s inadvertent billing errors.

Concerning residential Rates 2, 17 and 18, KCEC has identified 2,774 accounts that will be reviewed for possible billing enors. KCEC estimates the accounts due a refund from these rate classes will be refunded in April 2017 billing period. Customers in Rates 2, 17, 18 have not been refunded any amounts.
Based on the information Staff has received regarding KCEC’s non-residential customers and about its residential rate 2, 17 and 18 customers, KCEC has not made any refunds to customers in these classes, As a result, in Staff s opinion, KCEC has not “substantially made all the necessary refunds to KCEC customers.”

AREAS OF CONCERN

Staff has identified a handful of additional areas of concern with regards to the billing issues raised in this proceeding. These are summarized as follows:

The amount of time it took KCEC to find there was inadvertent billing problem with the non-residential rates implemented pursuant to the September 7th Order Te1minating Suspension. This issue was not identified until KCEC undertook its review of the residential billing issues arises out of the December 7th Final Order.

On a per customer basis, the refund amount in this rate class could be substantial retrieve meter information on December 14 for certain meters in cycle 1, and that these

 

Regarding Exhibit B of KCEC’s Response, Pgs. 3-4, Paragraph 7, KCEC raises its inability customers would therefore not receive a refund. Staff recommends KCEC be directed to provide customers affected by this meter issue a refund based upon an estimated refund amount.
Respectfully Submitted,

 

LIC REGULATION COMMISSION I
Bradfo llA. Borman, Staff Counsel, Legal Division I
Santa Fe, NM 87504-1269 I
P.O. OX 1269
(505) 827-4048 Ii
bradford.bo1man@state.nm.us II

 

BEFORE THE NEW MEXICO PUBLIC REGULATION COMMISSION

IN THE MATTER OF THE FORMAL COMPLAINT ) OF BILL E. WHALEY AGAINST KIT CARSON ) ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC. )
)

)

Case No. 17-00017-UT

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

I HEREBY CERTIFY that a trne and correct copy of the foregoing Staff Response to Bench Order Request issued on March 10, 2017, was served via email on March 15, 2017, to the parties listed below:

Bill E. Whaley Charles V. Garcia
Laura E. Sanchez-Rivet John Reynolds Bradford Borman
Jack Sidler Milo Chavez
Vincent De Cesare Judith Amer

bwhaley:ainewmex.com; cgarcia@cuddymccarthy.com; lsanchez-rivet@cuddymccarthy.com; John.reynolds@state.nm.us; Bradford.Borman@state.nm.us; Jack. Sidler:aistate.nm.us; Milo.Chavez(czlstate.nm.us; Vincent.Decesare:aistate. nm.us; Judith.Amer:ai,state.nm.us;

DATED this 15th day of March, 2017.

NEW MEXICO PUBLIC REGULATION COMMISSION
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BrianaT. Trujillo, Executive SecrJiary

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