SB 83 Local Choice Energy Act – Updated 1-23-21

SB 83 Local Choice Energy Act
Why Local Choice Energy Is Good for New Mexico

Summary:  SB 83 Local Choice Energy Act, sponsored by Senator Jeff Steinborn, would allow local governments (towns, cities, counties, and sovereign Native American nations, tribes, and pueblos) to aggregate their electricity needs––residents and businesses––and decide how, and by whom, their electricity is generated. The purpose of this legislation is to open the electricity markets in New Mexico to free-competition conditions, which will stimulate producers to generate more low-cost electricity using renewable energy sources. The Local Choice Energy provider may be existing Investor-Owned Utilities (IOUs), cooperatives, independent producers, or local governments themselves. Local Choice Electricity (LCE) works in partnership with IOUs and cooperatives to deliver power through existing transmission lines and distribution points in the system. The Public Regulatory Commission (PRC) would develop rules for implementation, selection of the most cost-effective energy resources, adherence to mandated New Mexico climate and environmental goals, and oversee regulatory issues to ensure compliance and overall public safety.

History:  Local choice energy legislation was first introduced by Senators Jeff Steinborn and Benny Shendo in the 2019 Session (SB 374). It was initially referred to the Senate Conservation Committee, where it died without being heard.

Why This Legislation Is Good for NM

  • LCE legislation represents an incredible opportunity for Native Americans, and local governments, to stimulate economic development by allowing free choice of how and by whom their electricity is generated, to reduce energy costs, to generate income, and improve overall air quality.
  • A competitive free-market system will benefit New Mexico consumers in their efforts to secure low electricity rates.
  • LCE will allow electricity consumers to choose providers based on their collective values, which will boost efforts to generate all electricity from 100% renewable sources.
  • This energy legislation would contribute to reducing global pollutants resulting from burning fossil fuels, and aid efforts to combat global climate change.

Supporting Organizations

  • Sierra Club
  • All-Pueblo Council of Governors
  • New Energy Economy
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