New Mexico Residential customers can expect a 35 cent increase in their monthly electricity bills beginning in January, 2011. The charge would be added to Public Service Company of New Mexico's energy efficiency rider that, according to PNM, helps pay for the program's actual costs. The program includes many components, from refrigerator recycling to discounts for the purchase of fluorescent bulbs. The rider would allow PNM to recover the revenue to cover fixed costs that continue, even though energy use is decreased. The add-on also is intended to serve as an incentive for investing in low-cost energy programs in lieu of new plants. The increase will be in addition to the average charge of $1.15 that most residents pay now to support those programs. Currently, the recovery is done as a separate charge. In the future, the fixed costs will be part of rate proceedings, with the incentive based on a half-cent per kilowatt hour saved.
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