Electricity Policy


Last updateThu, 16 Mar 2017 7pm

ISSN 2331-1223  Twitter

NM solar bills: Do they offer consumer protection or bureaucratic obfuscation?


Solar legislation pending in New Mexico is stirring controversy, as the state House and Senate struggle over whether the legislation promotes consumer understanding or creates a bureaucracy designed to slow the spread of solar energy in the Land of Enchantment, one of the sunniest in the nation. Rep. Debbie Rodella and Sen. Clemente Sanchez, both Democrats, have each introduce the bill they call the “Consumer Protection for Distributed Generation Act.” As the New Mexican newspaper reported, the sponsors say the bills help consumers by forcing solar companies to disclose details behind their potential purchases of solar capacity. It requires buyers to consult with tax experts and the local utility for advice. The newspaper reported, “The most prominent backer of the bills is Public Service Co. of New Mexico, the state’s largest utility. Some solar companies support the bills, but others argue that it is an attempt to erect bureaucratic obstacles for customers who want to install solar. Elements of the legislation appear to mimic model legislation advanced by the American Legislative Exchange Council, an oil-and-gas company backed conservative group that drafts “model legislation” for state legislatures.  February 17, 2017

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