New Mexico gives quick approval to El Paso Electric demand response program
- New Mexico regulators have approved a small demand response pilot program for El Paso Electric, targeting 3,000 signups from customers with a smart thermostat and central air.
- The eSmart Thermostat Program offers a one-time enrollment incentive of $125, and an annual participation incentive of $25. The pilot was approved for a three-year run.
- The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission approved the program without a formal hearing so the utility could have it in place for the summer peaking season. El Paso Electric had requested expedited approval.
Along with four counties in New Mexico, EPE will operate its demand response pilot in West Texas as well. The DR season begins in June and ends Sept. 30.
The program will allow El Paso Electric to "remotely communicate with the smart thermostats to control participating customer’s central refrigerated A/C thermostats in an attempt to reduce electrical load," the commission said in its statement.
El Paso Electric intends to launch a marketing campaign for the program later this month, to find participants before the June 1 start.
Last month, the utility filed new rates with the Public Utility Commission of Texas, requesting to raise rates in order to recoup millions in system upgrades and new generation. The utility says it needs to recover $42.5 million related to the completion of the Montana Power Station and other upgrades.
The utility's Texas proposal also included demand charges for solar customers. It dropped a similar proposal from last year's rate case.
- Daily Energy Insider New Mexico Public Regulation Commission approves demand response program
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