Letters: Readers weigh in on issues of the day

Farmington Daily Times


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Nancy Shepherd has improved the community

Today, I feel it necessary to acknowledge the work of a longtime advocate and steward of our San Juan County community. Consider: The Community Learning Center, Encore, Kids Kollege, Leadership San Juan, Four Corners Conference for Professional Development, San Juan College Volunteer Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters, etc. – do these programs ring any bells? They should. The aforementioned are all programs very near and dear to the heart’s of Four Corner’s New Mexicans – and have all been manifest by the hard work and legacy of one woman.

Whether you know her as “Nancy” or as “Dr. Shepherd”, the work of Dr. Nancy Shepherd, Ed.D, has undeniably extended to and impacted every corner of our community for the past 3 decades. Nancy Shepherd’s unwavering investment to our community has sparked many individuals to the beliefs at the root of all her work: inclusion, fairness, and reverence. For the past 29 years, it has been Nancy’s reverence and belief in this community and its people that has electrified and made unparalleled her career of service.

From her expansion of our community’s college, through her work with Dr. James Henderson, to her inclusion and acknowledgement of our community’s youth and elders, Nancy has served us. Through programs like the Community Learning Center, Encore, and Kids Kollege; to her work making terms like business and professionalism synonymous with “San Juan College”, Nancy Shepherd has shown that the voices and value of our community will not go unheard!

Nancy, who recently accepted retirement, has never abandoned her commitment to our community and all its vibrancy! Without doubt: Dr. Nancy Shepherd is a community treasure! My wish is that more people in our community find the courage to bravely step in and stand up for what is right and reasonable!

Thank you, Nancy Shepherd. I am confident in knowing that (San Juan College President) Dr. Toni Pendergrass and the leadership of San Juan College all stand with me in saluting the amazing work of Nancy Shepherd! A woman we may all look up to. 

Jackson Koewler


Utility energy efficiency measures

During the month of December 2016 and into January 2017, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission’s staff and elected officials have reviewed and continue to evaluate New Mexico’s utility-sector energy efficiency programs.  The state of New Mexico instituted the Efficient Use of Energy Act, or EUEA, in 2008.

New Mexico’s three investor-owned electric utilities – Public Service Company of New Mexico, Xcel Energy (Southwestern Power Supply), and El Paso Electric – as well as New Mexico Gas Company offer their customers a wide range of energy efficiency programs, all of which are available on the PRC’s web page, www.nmprc.state.nm.us.

There are costs associated with the implementation of energy efficiency programs that are borne by customers.  The EUEA provides that funding for energy efficiency program costs is to equal 3 percent of electric customer bills (and no more than 3 percent of gas utility total revenues) with a cap of $75,000 for any single customer.

The costs of implementing energy efficiency programs are currently being recovered by utilities through an Energy Efficiency Rider, which appears as a line item on customer bills.

The Commission’s rule requires investor-owned utilities subject to the provisions of the EUEA to file annual applications according to a set schedule seeking Commission approval of each investor-owned utility's portfolio of energy efficiency programs to be implemented in the subsequent plan calendar year.

Energy Efficiency, or EE, and Load Management, or LM, programs encourage participating customers to implement various measures that reduce the consumption of energy below what it would be in the absence of such programs.  Programs are targeted to residential, low-income, commercial and industrial customers.  Typical measures include the replacement of inefficient light bulbs with more efficient light bulbs or the disposal of older, less efficient refrigerators.  The goal of EE programs is typically to generate kilowatt hour, or KWh, savings, while the goal of LM programs is typically to reduce peak demand, i.e. kilowatt savings.

The EUEA requires that independently evaluated savings from EE/LM programs equal at least 5 percent of 2005 retail kWh sales in 2014 and 8 percent of 2005 retail kWh sales in 2020.  The EUEA also requires that the utilities submit to the Commission periodic reports that include an independent evaluation of the savings generated by the implementation of Commission-approved and ratepayer-funded EE and LM programs.  For 2014, all utilities except Southwestern Power Supply met their EUEA-required savings.  At this point, all utilities appear to be on track toward meeting their 2020 savings goal.

South West Energy Efficiency Project’s High Efficiency Scenario study conducted in 2011 presents the energy savings potential and impacts from a strong commitment to utility energy efficiency programs over a 10-year period.  According to that study, New Mexico’s electricity conservation potential and impacts include: a 24 percent savings potential in 2020; 970 megawatts of avoided new power capacity; $1.7 billion in net dollar savings (2010-2030); a net increase of 2,330 jobs by 2020; and a 4.6 billion gallon per year water savings by 2020.

Sandy Jones

New Mexico Public Regulatory Commission commissioner

Santa Fe