Advanced Metering Infrastructure
Technology has evolved over the years
PNM is proposing to invest in Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) because everyone will benefit from the company operating more efficiently. AMI will also allow us to offer more programs and services for our customers, including the ability to monitor and adjust energy use in near real-time.
These enhancements include:
- The ability for customers to pick their own payment date.
- Immediate service connection and disconnection.
- The ability for customers to monitor their electricity usage and take control over their energy consumption and monthly bills.
- Alerting PNM when your power goes out — making power restoration faster.
PNM filed a request with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (NMPRC) for AMI Feb. 26, 2016. Public hearings are scheduled for Aug. 22-25, 2016. We expect a decision by the end of the year, but PNM will not move forward with the AMI proposal without NMPRC approval.
If approved, the AMI project would cost customers an additional $5 per year, in the short-run through 2024, but customers will save money in the long run. After 2024, the savings will be more than the project costs. PNM’s research shows that over the life of the project (20 years), customers will see a savings of about $21 million in rates. The cost savings would come primarily from a reduction in related positions, increased operational efficiencies, fewer vehicles and fuel costs and other administrative savings.
If the NMPRC approves the proposal, PNM would begin a full rollout of advanced meters beginning in 2018, with installation continuing through mid-2019. PNM estimates approximately 531,000 new meters would be installed during this time.
PNM has asked the NMPRC to allow customers who do not want an AMI meter to opt-out of the program. Because these customers would have a non-standard account and meter, an opt-out fee is necessary in order to continue manually reading these old meters and responding to account changes, such as connection and disconnection requests. The proposed opt-out fees are based on the actual costs to continue servicing those accounts with non-AMI meters as we do today.
The proposed opt-out fees are as follows:
- One-time opt-out fee:
- Before AMI installation: $35.
- After AMI installation: $60 – this includes uninstalling the AMI meter and re-installing the digital meter.
- Opt-out monthly fee:
- $46.96, which covers the cost to manually read the meter and other associated costs.
No layoffs are imminent, but we do anticipate there will be some job losses once the AMI project nears completion. We estimate approximately 125 positions will be affected due to the AMI project. Some positions will be eliminated when employees leave or retire, some affected employees may apply for and fill vacant positions, and others may be retrained to perform AMI-specific tasks. We expect jobs will be reduced over a period of one to two years as AMI is deployed. Reductions would not likely begin until sometime in 2018.