The board of Tri-State Generation and Transmission has voted to exclude the New Mexico electric cooperatives it serves from a program that offers rebates for the purchase of energy efficient appliances and fixtures.
Tri-State serves Kit Carson Electric Cooperative and 11 other co-ops in the state.
Tri-State spokesman Lee Boughey said in an email that the board voted to stop the program for co-ops that “are not paying the full cost of electric service, including the cost of providing energy efficiency service.”
New Mexico regulators have suspended a proposed rate hike from Tri-State pending an investigation into whether the increase is warranted. Because of the suspension, Tri-State argues that New Mexico co-ops are not paying the same rates as co-ops in Wyoming, Colorado and Nebraska.
“Energy efficiency is important to Tri-State and its member cooperatives,” Boughey wrote, adding that the board will consider a energy efficiency program designed for those co-op’s “not paying the full cost of electric service.”
Kit Carson Electric Cooperative CEO Luís Reyes called the exclusion “punitive.” “It doesn’t hurt Kit Carson, the corporation, it hurts the consumer.”