(The Center Square) – New Mexico residents are paying nearly 5% more for electricity than they did a year ago, according to the latest report from Choose Energy.
Residents paid 14.49 cents per kilowatt hour in July 2021 compared to 13.83 cents in July 2020, a 4.8% increase. New Mexicans now have the 14th highest electricity rates in the country.
Residents of all of the state's neighbors pay lower rates, including Arizona (12.64 cents per kwh in July 2021), Texas (11.75 cents) and Colorado (13.44 cents.)
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham in March 2019 signed into law a bill called the Energy Transition Act, which the media dubbed a “mini” Green New Deal. The legislation requires the state’s utilities to be completely carbon-free by 2045 and also mandated that customers receive 20% of their energy from renewables by Jan. 1, 2020.
Grisham also said the state's energy policies are driving down costs.
"In two years, we’ve doubled our new renewable resources over the two years before that," Grisham tweeted in January. "We’re driving down energy costs for you AND reducing emissions."
Larry Behrens, communications director for Power The Future, a nonprofit that advocates for the energy industry, said that's obviously not the case.
“Every New Mexican knows they’re paying more for electricity and gasoline and yet Gov. Lujan Grisham continually says the opposite," Behrens said. "It’s really unclear if she’s being intentionally untruthful or if she simply doesn’t get it."
Behrens also pointed to the state's high unemployment rate – 7.2% in August compared to the national rate of 5.2%.
“While our families are paying more for energy, our state also suffers from some of the worst unemployment in the nation all because of our governor’s alliance to extreme special interests,” Behrens said.