After months of deliberation between the Truth or Consequences City Commission and the city’s Public Utility Advisory Board, commission members rendered a majority decision to advance proposed revisions to the municipality’s Customer Generated Renewable Energy Program (Ordinance No.735) to publication with a minor addition Wednesday, September 14. With this action, the measure will be published and community members provided an opportunity to review the proposed changes. The ordinance will then return to the city commission in October for a scheduled public hearing and final consideration by the board. 

While poised to move to publication of this measure during their August 24 regular meeting, commissioners recognized concerns raised by mayor pro-tem Rolf Hechler, and instead opted to postpone their decision to await a legal review. During discussion of the ordinance at that session, Hechler noted how approximately 80 current utility customers who established private solar arrays in compliance with what proved to be an illegal 90-percent generation limit, would be subject to a significant cut in return payment for excess energy they generate. Although the “illegal” generation limit was eliminated in the proposed revisions, Hechler maintained the changes would be unfair to the customers who originally complied with the erroneous limit, as they would be forced to accept a payback reduction for excess energy they generate. It was noted that customers in this position were receiving approximately 13-cents per kilowatt-hour for excess energy generated, and that the proposed ordinance revisions would reduce their repayment rate to nearer 6-cents per kilowatt hour. 

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