Cooperative’s Rates Rise After Signing Deal with Guzman Energy
Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (KCEC), based in Taos, New Mexico, was one of the first cooperatives that bought out of their long-term wholesale power contract with their power supplier Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association. But since that buyout, their rates have increased significantly.
In 2016, KCEC was able to buy out of its contract with Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association. The year before the buyout in 2015, according to public filings with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, the KCEC average power cost per member was $0.141 cents per kilowatt hour. And the rates have continued to go up. In 2016, the rate went up to $0.151 cents, 2017 it went up to $0.16 cents and in 2018 it went up to $0.169. By 2019 their per-consumer energy rate according to the federal Energy Information Agency increased to $0.1728– that’s a 22.5% increase in four years. The wholesale cost of power, which included transmission and other services, in 2016 from Tri-State G&T was $0.072 cents per kilowatt hour. The Tri-State average wholesale rate in 2019 according to its annual report went to $0.075 cents per kWh, but according to KCEC’s own filings with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, in 2019 the total wholesale cost of energy went to $0.1064 cents per kilowatt hour – significantly more than Tri-State’s average wholesale rate of $0.075 and a 47.8% increase over Tri-State’s average wholesale power rate in 2016. Tri-State’s wholesale cost of power has gone up just 4.16% from 2016-2019.
Guzman promised KCEC they would save $50-70 million over the next ten years. However, KCEC’s wholesale cost of power has gone up 47.8% in just four years.