News and Events

Tri-State Rate Impact Information

August 26, 2014

Tri-State Rate Impact Information

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative has been in mediation with Tri-State Generation & Transmission, our wholesale electricty supplier, in regard to a proposed rate increase and other matters including the 5% limit on renewables generated in our service territory. To get an update on the the negotiations click here.

Annual Meeting Proposed Bylaw Changes

June 9, 2014

 

MEMBER #  «Membersep»

 

 

                            

                            

                              «Name»

                              «Address2»«Address1»

                              «City_and_State» «Zip»   

                             

 

 

KIT CARSON ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC.

Taos, New Mexico

 

NOTICE

 

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Annual Meeting of the Members of Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Inc. will be held at the Taos High School Gymnasium, Taos, New Mexico, on Saturday, June 21, 2014, at 9:30 a.m., for the purpose of acting upon the following:

 

  1. The reports of officers, trustees and committees

 

  1. Acting upon the proposed amendment to the By-Laws submitted by the Board of Trustees, as follows:

 

  1. Article 2, Sections 3, and 4

 

Delete the words “husband or wife” and substitute the word “spouse”

 

  1.  Article 2, Section 5

 

Delete “a husband and wife” and substitute the word “spouses”

 

  1. Article III, Section 2, second to the last paragraph

 

Delete the words “a husband and wife” and substitute the words “two spouses”

 

  1. Article VIII, Waiver of Notice,

 

Delete the words “husband or wife” and substitute the word “spouse”

 

  1. Article II, Section 4, Quorum

 

Delete the words “Three percent (3%)” and substitute the words “two percent (2%)”

 

6.         Article II, Section 1:

 

            Delete the third sentence in the first paragraph of Section 1 and substitute the following:

 

            SECTION 1.  ANNUAL MEETING.  … “No business of the Cooperative shall be conducted at District meetings.  District meetings shall be held solely for the purpose of electing Trustees.  Elections shall take place at the time determined by Board policy in the respective Districts on the dates set forth below as follows:”

 

7.         Article III, Section 3:

 

            Delete Section 3 (a) 6. in its entirety and substitute in lieu thereof the following:

 

            “6.  No numerical quorum of members is required to conduct an election of Trustees in each District.  Trustees shall be elected by a majority of the eligible members who vote in a District election.

 

8.         Article III, Section 3:

 

            Delete paragraph (b) in its entirety and substitute in lieu thereof the following:

           

            “(b).  All nominations for a position on the Board of Trustees shall be made by written Petition signed by fifty (50) or more Members residing in the District in which the election is to be held.  The Petition shall be delivered to the Cooperative headquarters in Taos at least twenty‑five (25) days before the date of the District meeting in order for the Cooperative to verify the validity of the signatures on the Petition and to confirm that the nominee meets the qualifications set forth in Article III, Section 2 of the By-laws.”

 

9.         Article III, Section 3:

 

Delete paragraph (c) in its entirety and substitute in lieu thereof the following:

 

            “The Cooperative shall prepare and post at the principal office of the Cooperative, and at the Cooperative District Office, at least fifteen (15) days before the Meeting of the Members in a particular District, a list of the Nominees to be voted upon to represent the District.  The Secretary shall mail, with the Notice of Meeting, or separately, but at least seven (7) days before the date of the Meeting, a statement of the number of Trustees to be elected, showing the nominations made by Petition.  No Trustee shall be elected to represent any District other than that in which he or she resides, and the number of Trustees to be elected to represent a District is set forth in Article III, Section (3) (a).  The Members may, at any meeting at which a Trustee(s) is to be removed, as hereinbefore provided, elect a successor(s), without compliance with the foregoing provisions regarding nominations.  Notwithstanding anything in this Section, the failure to comply with any of the provisions of this Section shall not affect the validity of any elections of Trustees.”

 

10.       Article III, Section 3:

 

            Add new subsection (e) after subsection (d):

 

“(e).  The Board may establish by policy an early voting procedure for the election of Trustees.”  

 

11.       Article III, Section 3:

 

            Add new subsection (f) as follows:

 

            “(f).  If a Member presents identification or proof of Cooperative Membership as reasonably required by the Cooperative, and if the Member is not suspended on the Record Date and remains unsuspended after the Record Date, the Member may cast one vote on a matter for which a Member is entitled to vote.  To vote on behalf of an Entity (as defined in Article I, Section 1), an individual must present written evidence satisfactory to the Cooperative that the individual is authorized to vote on behalf of an Entity.”

 

12.       Article III, Section 3:

           

            Add new subsection (g) as follows:

 

            “(g).  A Record Date is the date for determining the total membership of the Cooperative and the Members entitled to:  (1) sign a Petition or similar document; (2) receive a notice of a Member meeting or similar document; or (3) vote at a Member meeting.  If a Member is suspended after the Record Date, then the Member may not sign a Petition, receive a notice or vote.  The Board shall fix the Record Date, but the Record Date must not be less than thirty (30) days before the date: (1) a Member signs a Petition or similar document; (2) receives a notice of a Member meeting, or similar document; or (3) votes at a Member meeting.

 

KIT CARSON ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC.

By:  Cristobal Duran, Secretary

Command Center Frequently Asked Questions

April 9, 2014

Taos Regional Command & Communications Center-Frequently Asked Questions

What is it? The Taos Regional Command and Communications Center (TRCCC) is a 9,860 square foot state-of-the-art regional command and communications center. It currently houses the Kit Carson Electric Co-op (KCEC) dispatch and will have the ability to house all emergency services such as E911, Forest Fire command, and all Homeland Security initiatives as required by each participant. It is also designed to handle other potential emergencies such as the February 2011 natural gas outage. This system will also be responsible for monitoring Cyber Security and our smart grid systems. TRCCC will also be the Network Operations Center for KCEC’s Enchanted Light Fiber Optic Project. The redundancy of the network to the TRCCC’s centrally located facility 1146 Gusdorf Road allows for 24/7 uninterrupted signals.

 

When was the TRCCC proposed?

· Meetings began in 2001 shortly after 9/11

· Meetings continued until 2003 when it was determined KCEC was in the best position to fulfill the need for a central dispatch facility.

What about moving E911 dispatch to the Taos County Sheriff’s Department space in the county administration building?

· The renovation would cost about $1.8 million

· It would cost about $400,000 to move the sheriff’s department

· It would mean KCEC members and taxpayers would both be paying for duplicate services

· The TRCCC has already been proven to work

Who endorsed the TRCCC in 2004 and 2005?

· U.S. Congressional Delegation

· Taos County Commission: Resolution signed by Nicklos Jaramillo, Emanuel Pacheco, Don Francisco Trujillo, Virgil Martinez and Gabriel Romero

· Town of Taos: Resolution signed by Mayor Bobby Duran

· Intergovernmental Council of the Enchanted Circle: Resolution signed by Don Francisco Trujillo

Trujillo

· Also: Questa Independent Schools, Village of Questa, Village of Taos Ski Valley, Village of Angel Fire

· Memorandums of Understanding were completed by Taos County and the Town of Taos in October 2006

Who will run it? The facility would be governed by a board created by stakeholders as they utilize it (i.e. Police, Fire, EMS, Town Official, County Bureau of Land Management, District Court, Magistrate Court and Municipal Court, etc.) through Joint Powers Agreements.

What’s the cost and how is it funded? The project cost approximately $3 million. The U.S. Department of Agriculture provided a $550,000 grant and $2.3 million loan to fund the project. The State of New Mexico provided $175,000 in capital outlay.
Is the building safe?

· The USDA-Rural Development completed an assessment in March 2006 and found not issues with the property prior to construction, including floodplain and wetlands.

· The building is monitored and will maintain a complete lockdown 24/7, 365 days a year. Minimum access will be granted to command center employees, E911 dispatch employees and maintenance crews. All employees will undergo a thorough background check, drug screening and physical examination. KCEC will put a high emphasis on the pre-screening before employment and access is granted.

 

 

 

Planned Power Outage-East side of Birch Street

February 24, 2014

 

Planned Power Outage

Kit Carson Cooperative Constractor will be having a Planned Power Outage on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 from 9am to 3pm. The area affected will be the east side of Birch Street. Member affected will receive a flyer.

PRC Says NO to Tri-State Rates

January 29, 2014

 

PRC Says “No” to Tri-State  

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) voted Wednesday January 29, 2014 to continue the suspension of the rate increase proposed by Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Kit Carson Electric Cooperative’s (KCEC) wholesale electric power provider. The means the proposed 7 to 10% increase in rates will not go into effect until Tri-State proves it is justified. A hearing date for this matter has yet to be scheduled. As of the end of November 2013, the protest had saved KCEC members $1.313 million.    

Tri-State had petitioned for a rehearing, contending they should be allowed to charge the proposed rates until the case is heard and a decision made by the PRC. KCEC members showed up in force at the hearing. The crowd was estimated at more than 300, including many elected officials and other community leaders. During the hearing Tri-State’s legal team representative and the representatives for the cooperative’s legal teams were allowed 20 minutes to present their case. Concerned citizens were also allowed to speak. Taos Mayor Darren Cordova, Questa Mayor Ester Garcia, County Manager Steve Archuleta, Espanola Chamber president Kelly Duran, Taos Chamber Chair Brad Malone, as well as KCEC board of trustees members Peter Adang, David Torrez and Bobby Ortega all spoke of the harm higher electric rates would do in New Mexico’s already challenging economy. At the conclusion of the presentations Commissioner Valerie Espinoza said, “I hear you.” Referring to the difficult times faced by her constituents.

The case will now be referred to a hearing examiner, who will set the schedule for when the rate case will be heard by the PRC. The case will then return to the PRC with recommendations. The PRC has the authority to order implementation of the rate increase or deny the increase and set rates according to what they think is fair and equitable. Kit Carson Electric Co-op, along with Springer, Continental Divide and Jemez co-ops, protested the proposed increase. Initially Tri-State officials indicated they would not propose an increase for 2014. KCEC and two other New Mexico electric cooperatives protested the proposed 2013 rate increase beginning that action in October 2012.     

Originally Tri-State proposed increasing rates to its 44 member electric cooperatives in October 2012. This was the ninth proposed increase since 2000. Each time KCEC was alone it opposing the increase and, with no other resistance, the increases went into effect. In 2012 however, two other co-ops, Continental Divide and Springer, joined in KCEC in opposition. The latest protest added Jemez Electric Cooperative to those formally submitting notices of opposition. Since at least three cooperatives are in opposition, the increase was put before the PRC for a decision. With the addition of Jemez nearly half of all New Mexico co-op members are represented in the protest.

The New Mexico Supreme Court heard arguments by Tri-State on Wednesday December 18, 2013 in Santa Fe that they should be allowed to charge the increased rates until the case is decided by the PRC. Tri-State has also filed suit in federal court claiming the PRC does not have jurisdiction over them due to their involvement in interstate commerce. “We are very stubborn when it comes to watching out for our member’s best interest,” said Reyes. “We believe Tri-State is being punitive in the way they structured the proposed rate increase last year and again this year. As yet they have offered no justification. We intend to continue to oppose them at the PRC and in state and federal court.”

Call to Action: Attend PRC Meeting on January 29

January 20, 2014

 

Tri-State Rate Hike: You Have a Voice

Luis Reyes-CEO Kit Carson Electric Cooperative

In my 21 years as CEO of Kit Carson Electric Co-op, the goal of the Board of Trustees, management and staff has been to provide the best reliable and safe electric service at the most reasonable cost.   Currently we are contesting Tri-State G&T’s latest proposed rate increase (9 increases in 12 Years or about 95% over that time frame) at the NMPRC.  Of the amount you pay for electricity, approximately 70% of your electric bill is what KCEC is charged by Tri-State to supply us power. Since their merger with Plains Electric, our former electric supplier, in which Tri-State became our sole supplier of electricity, they have raised our rates eight times. Each of those times Kit Carson Electric Co-op has protested the increase. Under the settlement approving the merger with Plains Electric, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC), the New Mexico Coops and Tri State agreed that if three NM co-ops protested a rate increase and the PRC finds just cause in those protests, the PRC will suspend the rates and have a hearing to set the rates so they are just and reasonable. The NM State Legislature also enacted a state law to make these same requirements state law.  In this the ninth and most recent rate increase proposed by Tri-State for 2014, we have other co-ops joining the protest, Continental Divide, Jemez Mountains and Springer, which along with KCEC represent over half the total co-op membership in New Mexico.   In December of 2013, the PRC pursuant to NM state law, suspended the rate increase for 2014 and ordered a hearing on the merits of the rate increase by Tri State. 

Recently comments made by Tri-State senior representatives at NM coop meeting are very troubling and directly contradict representations made by Tri State to the NM Co-ops and the PRC to get the merger they wanted approved.  The comments made center around the merger agreement made with all parties involved, NMPRC, State of NM, Tri-State members, NM Co-ops and their members.  We need to remember that one of the primary purposes of the merger was to bring immediate rate relief, which it did at the time, but also to allow our members to have stable rates which we have not had. Instead we have been faced with 90%+ increase in last 12 years.  Another written promise was if three or more co-ops protested a proposed rate increase Tri-State would allow the NMPRC to have limited regulatory jurisdiction and set rates.  Now Tri-State says through senior representatives that they never had any intentions of honoring that agreement and will fight to make sure NMPRC does not set rates. This is after they took tens of millions of dollars from NM coops and its members as the price of us joining their organization.  Tri-State has also sued the PRC in federal court arguing the NM statute authorizing rate jurisdiction over Tri-State’s wholesale electric rates, consistent with the merger settlement agreement, is unconstitutional.  This amounts to, at a minimum, bad faith bargaining and raises serious questions regarding the ability of rural NM co-ops members to place any faith in what we hear from Tri-State.  We cannot allow this to happen and we are asking the PRC to look at the validity of the merger and associated wholesale power contracts and determine whether the contracts become voidable.

The Tri-State Board of Directors also recently voted to eliminate any co-op from participating in their energy efficiency programs if they are not paying the increased wholesale electric rate. This means that Tri-State’s12 New Mexico member co-ops are not able to take advantage of rebate programs that are substantially paid for with the rates paid for electricity. This decision by the Tri-State board is clearly punitive and meant to try to divide the New Mexico co-ops. We hope all 44 members of the Tri-State system see through this action.   Tri-State’s Board recently reversed their action with a watered down energy efficiency option for NM coops which will not benefit our members.

The NMPRC voted Wednesday January 8, 2014 to rehear arguments on the suspension of the proposed rate increase by Tri-State as requested by Tri-State. The rehearing will be held on January 29, 2014 at 9:30am in the PERA Building across from the Rotunda in Santa Fe. We are encouraging all co-op members to attend. We also urge you to contact the members of the PRC. Their contact information can be found on our website at www.kitcarson.com.

KCEC officials estimate the 2014 increase would raise member’s electric bills an average of about 7 to 10%. As of the end of November 2013 the protests Kit Carson filed have saved KCEC members approximately $1.3 million or about 7%. If the PRC affirms its prior decision that the protests are invalid, Tri-State’s rate increases would be effective immediately.  I also believe that Tri-State would immediately attempt to recover the lost revenue from 2013 in a new rate feature called the “regulatory charge” which would double your increase.

For the above mentioned reasons, as well as persuading Tri-State to increase our percentage for renewable solar power production in Kit Carson Electric service area, you should attend the PRC Open Meeting on January 29 or contact your PRC representative and ask them to deny Tri-State rehearing request, proceed to have a rate hearing and investigate the merger and contracts, as Tri-State has indicated they will not honor their agreement with the PRC, the State of New Mexico , the NM coops and you the member/owner.

The Board of Kit Carson respectfully request you please consider joining us on January 29, 2014 at 9:30 am to let our elected PRC Commissioners know we care about how much we pay for electricity and the other questionable business practices of Tri-State, which affect the price of electricity and renewable energy production and should be investigated. If you can’t attend please consider contacting your PRC representatives, so they know the people who elected them expect them to watch out for our best interests when it comes to electricity prices and renewable energy and make Tri-State accountable for their promises and actions. 

 

Planned Power Outage-Upper Red River

January 17, 2014

 

PLANNED POWER OUTAGE

 

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative will be having a

PLANNED POWER OUTAGE

Tuesday, January 21, 2014 from 9:30am to 11:30am. The reason for the outage is system upgrades.

 

Affected area: Upper Red River

Date: Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Time: 9:30 am to 11:30 am

 

If you have questions pl;ease call Kit Carson Electric Co-op at (575) 758-2258 or (800) 688-6780.

Thanks!

Reyes Elected to New Mexico Green Chamber Board of Directors

January 17, 2014

 

Kit Carson CEO Elected to NM Green Chamber Board

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative CEO, Luis Reyes, has been elected to the New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. The NM Green Chamber is an advocacy group focused on renewable energy and energy efficiency throughout the state. Board president, Bob White, made the announcement on January 13, 2014.

KCEC was recently named the national Utility of the Year by the Solar Electric Power Association. Under Reyes leadership KCEC has developed well over six megawatts of solar energy within their service territory. Included in that total is New Mexico’s first Community Solar array. This array, located at Taos Charter School, allows KCEC members to own panels on the 90kW array. The electricity produced by the panels is credited to the member’s power bill.

Other solar arrays within KCEC’s service territory include a 1.25mW array in Amalia, built on land owned by the Rio Costilla Cooperative Livestock Association and a 1mW concentrated solar array on a former mine tailing site owned by Chevron Mining Corperation near Questa New Mexico. The combination of these two solar arrays means all homes and businesses from Questa north to the Colorado border are solar powered on a sunny day.

“We have made a great deal of progress creating a New Energy Economy in Taos,” said Reyes. “The election to the New Mexico Green Chamber board allows us to have a stronger voice on the state legislative level. I’m very proud to be a part of the effort to bring renewable energy to more citizens of New Mexico.

 

Call to Action: Tri-State Rate Increase Proposal

January 10, 2014

CALL TO ACTION!

Attend PRC Meeting January 29, 2014

 

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) voted Wednesday January 8, 2014 to rehear arguments on the suspension of the proposed rate increase by Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Kit Carson Electric Cooperative’s (KCEC) wholesale electric power provider. The rehearing will be held on January 29, 2014 at 9:30am in the PERA Building across from the Rotunda in Santa Fe. The public is invited to attend. We also urge you to contact the members of the PRC. Their contact information is below.

Why you should attend this meeting and/or contact the PRC:

  • If the PRC invalidates the protests by KCEC, Springer, Continental Divide and Jemez Electric cooperatives the proposed rate increase would go into effect immediately. This would mean a 7% to 10% increase in electric rates for all New Mexico Cooperative members, including KCEC members. The percentage could be even higher due to the proposed regulatory charge.
  • The Tri-State proposal includes a Regulatory Charge: “Periodically there may be charges to Member Systems approved that are not part of the Class A rate structure.” Based on their track record, we believe Tri-State would use this clause in a punitive and discriminatory way. Due to KCEC’s opposition to the nine proposed rate increases since 2000 Tri-State would be free to add charges to KCEC’s rate that are not assessed to other co-ops. For example, Tri-State may charge KCEC for the attorney fees incurred during the rate protest. We believe this equates to a blank check for Tri-State and higher rates for our members at Kit Carson Electric.
  • It would also mean Tri-State would be able to recoup the revenue they were not able to charge while the protest was ongoing in 2013 which is approximately $1.5 million.
  • In addition, the PRC would be abdicating regulatory authority over Tri-State. Consequently, they would have no authority in regard to the proposed transmission line through the Rio Grande National Monument and the increase in rates that would accompany that construction. This is in spite of the transmission line having no benefit to KCEC members.
  • It would also leave KCEC little recourse in regard to the 5% cap on renewable energy imposed by Tri-State.   

The PRC voted on December 11, 2013 to suspend the rate increase. This means, until the merits of the rate increase are heard and a final decision made, the rates will not go into effect. The decision on January 8, 2014 means they will allow Tri-State to argue for imposing the increased rates immediately. The rate increase requested by Tri-State for 2014 is nearly identical to that proposed for 2013. KCEC officials estimate the 2014 increase would raise member’s electric bills an average of about 7 to 10%. As of the end of November 2013 the protest has saved KCEC members $1.313 million. If the PRC decides the protests are invalid Tri-State would be able to recoup this money. Tri-State has also requested a rate design change that would take away the benefit of off-peak electric usage. As the rates are designed now KCEC members can save money by using less electricity during peak times (6am to 1pm and 4 to 9pm) and less during off-peak times (1 to 4pm and 9pm to 6am). The rate design change will make on-peak from 7am to 11pm, which would make off-peak times difficult to use. 

If the PRC finds the protest valid the proposed increase will be assigned to a hearing examiner for review. The case will then return to the PRC with recommendations. The PRC has the authority to order implementation of the rate increase or deny the increase and set rates according to what they think is fair and equitable. Kit Carson Electric Co-op, along with Springer, Continental Divide and Jemez co-ops, protested the proposed increase. Initially Tri-State officials indicated they would not propose an increase for 2014. KCEC and two other New Mexico electric cooperatives protested the proposed 2013 rate increase beginning that action in October 2012.     

At the same meeting KCEC CEO, Luis Reyes, also made a presentation to the PRC regarding a recent Tri-State Board of Directors decision to eliminate any co-op from participating in their energy efficiency programs if they are not paying the increased wholesale electric rate. This means the 12 New Mexico co-ops are not able to take advantage of rebate programs that are substantially paid for with the rates paid for electricity. According to Reyes, “This decision by the Tri-State board is clearly punitive and meant to try to divide the New Mexico co-ops. We hope all 44 members of the Tri-State system see through this action.” 

Originally Tri-State proposed increasing rates to its 44 member electric cooperatives in October 2012. This was the ninth proposed increase since 2000. Each time KCEC was alone it opposing the increase and, with no other resistance, the increases went into effect. In 2012 however, two other co-ops, Continental Divide and Springer, joined in KCEC in opposition. The latest protest added Jemez Electric Cooperative to those formally submitting notices of opposition. Since at least three cooperatives are in opposition, the increase was put before the PRC for a decision. With the addition of Jemez nearly half of all New Mexico co-op members are represented in the protest.

In January 2013 Tri-State requested interim rate relief from the PRC, which would have meant the rate increase would have gone into effect until the PRC decided the case. Due to strong opposition by CEO Luis Reyes, the KCEC Board of Trustees and KCEC members, the PRC denied the interim rate and did so again when Tri-State resubmitted in May 2013. The New Mexico Supreme Court heard arguments by Tri-State on Wednesday December 18, 2013 in Santa Fe that they should be allowed to charge the increased rates until the case is decided by the PRC. Tri-State has also filed suit in federal court claiming the PRC does not have jurisdiction over them due to their involvement in interstate commerce. “We are very stubborn when it comes to watching out for our member’s best interest,” said Reyes. “We believe Tri-State is being punitive in the way they structured the proposed rate increase last year and again this year. As yet they have offered no justification. We intend to continue to oppose them at the PRC and in state and federal court.”

 

 PRC members and contact information (contact in this order):

Click here for a sample letter to send to PRC members

Valerie Espinoza-District 3

o Valerie.espinoza@state.nm.us

o (505) 827-4533

Patrick H. Lyons

o Patrick.lyons@state.nm.us

o (505) 827-4531

Ben L. Hall

o Ben.hall@state.nm.us

o (505) 827-8020

Theresa Becenti-Aguilar

o T.Becenti@state.nm.us

o (505) 827-8019

Karen L. Montoya

o KarenL.Montoya@state.nm.us

o (505) 827-8015

 

NM Supreme Court Hears Tri-State Rate Case

December 20, 2013

 

NM Supreme Court Hears Tri-State Rate Increase Case

The New Mexico Supreme Court heard oral arguments from lawyers representing Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Inc., and the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission on Wednesday December 18, 2013. Tri-State supplies wholesale electricity to KCEC for use by its members. KCEC and three other co-ops are involved in a rate protest with Tri-State. The PRC has ruled the rate increase be suspended until they have an opportunity to decide its merits. At issue before the Supreme Court is whether Tri-State should be allowed to implement the higher rates until the PRC issues its ruling. As justification, Tri-State’s legal councel contended they were losing money “hand over fist” due to the rate suspension, although financial forecasts predict Tri-State’s margin (profit) at about $76 million for 2013.

KCEC CEO Luis Reyes commented, “As a cooperative, Tri-State has an obligation to provide reliable electric service to its members at a reasonable cost, just as Kit Carson Co-op does. We reviewed their financial reports, which as of the end of October 2013 showed margins over $61 million compared to $33 million for the same period last year, a $28 million increase in profits. In addition Tri-State announced they will return $10 million in capital credits to the members in Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska, excluding New Mexico. We also reviewed their projected margins for 2014. From this information we have found no justification for a rate increase or rate design change.” He added, “The rate design change punishes consumers for saving electricity by using more during off-peak times and conserving during on-peak times. We feel this sends the wrong message to our members at a time when they have made great strides by becoming one of the lowest per capita energy consumers in the country.”    

This is the ninth rate increase proposed by Tri-State since becoming KCEC’s electricity supplier in 2000. KCEC has protested each increase. In the other cases KCEC was the lone protester. Legislation passed in 2000 allows the PRC electric rate oversite if three or more cooperatives protest. The latest battles began in 2012, when Tri-State proposed an increase in rates and change in rate design. Since three co-ops protested they received standing with the PRC. The PRC suspended the rate increase in November of 2012. In July of 2013 Tri-State withdrew its increase proposal. In November of 2013 Tri-State proposed a nearly identical increase for 2014. This time four co-ops, Jemez, Springer, Continental Divide and KCEC, protested. On December 11, 2013 the PRC again suspended the proposed increase. As of the end of November 2013 the protest has saved KCEC members over $1.313 million. Concievably, if the NM Supreme Court rules in Tri-State’s favor, they could attempt to recoop the savings. No date has been set for the NM Supreme Court to render a decision in this matter. “We will need to wait and see how the court rules,” said Reyes. “We feel we have a very valid argument that Tri-State does not need a rate increase based on their 2013 financial performance and is not being financially harmed by the suspension of their proposed rate increase.”

In a related matter, Tri-State announced a decision by their board of trustees eliminating New Mexico cooperatives from participation in their energy efficiency programs. These range from rebates on energy saving products to matching funds for energy efficient home improvement projects for low income households. The 12 New Mexico co-ops are specifically singled out for not submitting to the rate increase. The other 32 co-ops in the Tri-State system located in Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska are able to utilize the rebates and energy efficiency matches. “We believe this is punative on the part of the Tri-State board,” Reyes further commented. “KCEC and the other New Mexico co-ops are paying for all but about seven to ten percent of these programs, which is the amount our members are saving due to our protest of the rate increase. KCEC has agressively pursued energy efficiency by assisting our members, particularly those of low income, in taking advantage of the rebates and matches offered through Tri-State. It is a shame Tri-State has decided to punish us by taking it out on our members and our environment.”

Questions regarding the rate increase and rate design change should be directed to the KCEC Public Information Office at (575) 758-2258 ext. 143 or sfuhlendorf@kitcarson.com.

Solar Array Energized in Eagle Nest

December 14, 2013

Collaboration is Key for New Eagle Nest Elementary Solar Array

Nestled in the picturesque Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the Village of Eagle Nest is now home to a 98.7kW solar array. The array, located at the Eagle Nest Elementary/Middle School, was energized on December 12, 2013. It came about through the collaboration of school officials, members of the Cimarron School Board, solar contractor Mark Johnson of Sol Luna Solar and Kit Carson Electric Cooperative.

The array produces enough power to completely supply the school on a sunny day. Over the course of a year about 70% of the schools energy use will come from the abundant northern New Mexico sunshine. The array is located on the roof of the horse barn used by the school’s agricultural program. According to Kit Carson CEO Luis Reyes, “The commitment on the part of school officials to tap into solar power is admirable. The working relationship we have developed with Eagle Nest School leaders and Mark Johnson of Sol Luna Solar made this a very smooth process.”    

 If you have questions about solar projects in the KCEC service territory, please contact the Kit Carson Electric Cooperative Public Information Office at (575) 758-2258 ext. 143 or e-mail sfuhlendorf@kitcarson.com.

PRC Suspends Tri-State Rate Increase Proposal

December 12, 2013

 

PRC Votes Unanimously to Suspend Proposed Tri-State Rate Increase  

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) voted unanimously today (Wednesday December 11, 2013) to suspend the proposed rate increase by Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Kit Carson Electric Cooperative’s (KCEC) wholesale electric power provider. The rate increase requested by Tri-State for 2014 is nearly identical to that proposed for 2013. KCEC officials estimate the 2014 increase would raise member’s electric bills an average of about 7 to 10%. As of the end of November 2013 the protest has saved KCEC members $1.313 million.

 

Next the proposed increase will be assigned to a hearing examiner for review. The case will then return to the PRC with recommendations. The PRC then has the authority to order implementation of the rate increase or deny the increase and set rates according to that they think is fair and equitable. Kit Carson Electric Co-op, along with Springer, Continental Divide and Jemez co-ops, protested the proposed increase. Initially Tri-State officials indicated they would not propose an increase for 2014. KCEC and two other New Mexico electric cooperatives protested the proposed 2013 rate increase beginning that action in October 2012.     

 

At the same meeting KCEC CEO, Luis Reyes, also made a presentation to the PRC regarding a recent Tri-State Board of Directors decision to eliminate any co-op from participating in their energy efficiency programs if they are not paying the increased wholesale electric rate. This means the 12 New Mexico co-ops are not able to take advantage of rebate programs that are substantially paid for with the rates paid for electricity. According to Reyes, “This decision by the Tri-State board is clearly punitive and meant to try to divide the New Mexico co-ops. We hope all 44 members of the Tri-State system see through this action.”  

 

Originally Tri-State proposed increasing rates to its 44 member electric cooperatives in October 2012. This was the ninth proposed increase since 2000. Each time KCEC was alone it opposing the increase and, with no other resistance, the increases went into effect. In 2012 however, two other co-ops, Continental Divide and Springer, joined in KCEC in opposition. The latest protest added Jemez Electric Cooperative to those formally submitting notices of opposition. Since at least three cooperatives are in opposition, the increase was put before the PRC for a decision. With the addition of Jemez nearly half of all New Mexico co-op members are represented in the protest.

 

In January 2013 Tri-State requested interim rate relief from the PRC, which would have meant the rate increase would have gone into effect until the PRC decided the case. Due to strong opposition by CEO Luis Reyes, the KCEC Board of Trustees and KCEC members, the PRC denied the interim rate and did so again when Tri-State resubmitted in May 2013. The New Mexico Supreme Court will hear arguments by Tri-State on Wednesday December 18, 2013 in Santa Fe that they should be allowed to charge the increased rates until the case is decided by the PRC. Tri-State has also filed suit in federal court claiming the PRC does not have jurisdiction over them due to their involvement in interstate commerce. “We are very stubborn when it comes to watching out for our member’s best interest,” said Reyes. “We believe Tri-State is being punitive in the way they structured the proposed rate increase last year and again this year. As yet they have offered no justification. We intend to continue to oppose them at the PRC and in state and federal court.”

Planned Power Outage-TSV

December 2, 2013

 

PLANNED POWER OUTAGE AT TAOS SKI VALLEY

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative will be having a planned power outage on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 from 10am to noon at Taos Ski Valley. The planned outage is due to line repairs.

If you have question please call KCEC at (575) 758-2258 or (800) 688-6780.

Congressman Lujan to Attend Veteran's Cemetery Meeting

November 22, 2013

 

Veteran’s Cemetery Meeting Monday with Congressman Lujan

A public meeting will be held at the Extension Office in the Ag Building on Monday November 25, 2013 at 4pm to discuss the request for a Veteran’s Cemetery in Taos. The meeting will be attended by New Mexico Congressman Ben Ray Lujan. The public is encouraged to attend and let Congressman Lujan hear your views.

Taos Feeds Taos Schedule

November 21, 2013

TAOS FEEDS TAOS: HELP LOCAL FAMILIES THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

For nearly 30 years Taos Feeds Taos has been helping local families in need have a happier holiday season through the generous support of people throughout our northern New Mexico communities. If you would like to help with non-perishable foods, cash donations or your volunteer time please contact 575-751-7999 or go to www.taosfeedstaos.org. For a schedule of volunteer activities click here.

Winter Moratorium

November 15, 2013

Winter Moratorium

 

As a friendly reminder, this is to inform you that the 2014 Winter Moratorium Protection begins November 15, 2013 through March 15, 2014.  Certain low-income residential utility customers are protected from discontinued or disconnected utility service when they cannot pay their utility bill during the heating season.

 

In order to qualify for the Winter Moratorium Protection 2014, all past due charges must be brought current before November 15, 2013.  If you have past due charges on your utility bill on November 15, 2013, you will lose your protection.  You can be protected again after you pay the past due charges in full.  When past due charges are paid in full, you must also provide us with the letter of protection you receive from The Human Services Department. 

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office at 1-800-688-6780 or 575-758-2258 and a representative will be able to assist you.   

 

Planned Power Outage-November 15

November 12, 2013

 

PLANNED POWER OUTAGE

TAOS: TAILEND OF CORDOBA ROAD, CASITAS DEL RIO & MORA

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative will be having a PLANNED POWER OUTAGE

Friday November 15, 2013 from 8am to noon

The reason for the outage is a system upgrade

Affected area: Taos (tailend of Cordoba Road, Casitas del Rio and Mora

Note: David Santistevan in the KCEC Engineering Department is the contact for this outage

Date: Friday November 15, 2013

Time: 8:00 am to 12:00 pm

If you have questions please contact Kit Carson Electric Co-op at (575) 758-2258 or (800) 688-6780

Thank you for your patience as we improve your service!

Planned Power Outage-La Loma/Valerde

November 11, 2013

 

PLANNED POWER OUTAGE

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative will be having a Planned Power Outage Wednesday, November 13, 2013 from 9am to 1pm. The reason for the outage is a system upgrade.

Area affected: La Loma/Valerde

Date: Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Time: 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

If you have questions please call Kit Carson Electric Co-op at (575) 758-2258 or (800) 688-6780.

Fraudulent Phone Scam

October 30, 2013

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Inc.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

DATE: October 30, 2013
CONTACT: Steve Fuhlendorf, sfuhlendorf@kitcarson.com 575-770-7865

KCEC Again Targeted by Fraudulent Calls

A scam that made its way to KCEC, and has been affecting nearby cooperatives ever since, has again surfaced in the KCEC service area. Scammers trick consumers into going to Smith’s and make a payment by filling out the Green Dot Form or they ask customers for a payment with prepaid money cards, such as MoneyPak cards that can be bought at Smith’s, Wal-Mart, Walgreens and any CVS/pharmacies.

The most recent known fraudulent account in the KCEC service area occurred the night of October 29th, in which the individuals were called more than once by a representative named Mark Lopez. He informed the KCEC member that if immediate payment was not received, their power would be disconnected in half an hour as a crew was in the area. Even persons that do not have an active electric account are being contacted.

The scammer in this instance used a 505 area code, however, according to other cooperatives scammers have used out of state area codes and other Texas area codes, particularly 512. Kit Carson Electric encourages our members to not provide any account information. If you receive a call and it seems suspicious, do not make a payment; call Kit Carson Electric and ask about your account status.

Luis Reyes, Chief Executive Officer said, “If you receive a call from someone claiming to be a KCEC representative, gather as much information as possible from the caller. We are working with local law enforcement agencies and any information you can provide, may help us stop the fraudulent activities that are occurring across New Mexico and other co-ops throughout the U.S.” Please call KCEC, your local law enforcement agency, or Federal Trade Commission, if you are contacted by a fraudulent person or agency. KCEC representatives are available at 575-758-2258 or 800-688-6780 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

KCEC Awarded Utility of the Year 2013

October 22, 2013

Kit Carson Co-op Wins SEPA Utility of the Year Award

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative CEO Luis Reyes accepted the prestigious Utility of the Year Award from the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) at a ceremony at the Solar Power International Conference at Chicago’s McCormick Place on October 22, 2013. The award was presented at the membership luncheon with about 200 SEPA members in attendance. The Solar Power International Conference had approximately 15,000 attendees.   

The award is presented in recognition of the establishment of new solar projects, including the KCEC Community Solar Initiative, and for the integration of solar power beyond what is supplied by Tri-State Generation and Transmission, KCEC’s wholesale power supplier. In 2012 KCEC was instrumental in the activation of the 1.25 MW Amalia I Solar Array, the 1.25 MW Blue Sky Energy Array near the Rio Grande Gorge and the 98 kW Community Solar Array near Taos Charter School. KCEC’s community solar development partner is Clean Energy Collective.

“The Utility of the Year award is a great honor and is a testament to the foresight and hard work of the Board of Trustees, the staff and the management of Kit Carson Co-op,” said Mr. Reyes. “We continue to aggressively pursue adding to our solar portfolio, because our members want more solar and because it is the right thing to do.”

“We are very proud that Kit Carson Co-op has been recognized as a solar industry leader for their efforts to provide solar as a substantial community benefit. We are pleased to be their community solar partner,” said Paul Spencer, President of the Clean Energy Collective.

KCEC was selected from among 11 nationwide nominees. Last year’s winner was Trico Electric Cooperative in Arizona. Other winners have included Austin Energy and Tucson Electric Power. For more information about SEPA go to www.solarelectricpower.org. For more information on Kit Carson Electric Cooperative go to www.kitcarson.com.  

 

 

Planned Power Outage-Picuris Pueblo

October 11, 2013

 

PLANNED POWER OUTAGE

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative will be having a PLANNED POWER OUTAGE Friday, October 11, 2013 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The reason for the outage is due to equipment change out.

Affected area: Picuris Pueblo (Only those who receive a flyer will be affected.)

Date: Friday, October 11, 2013

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS PLEASE CALL KIT CARSON ELECTRIC COOP @ (575) 758-2258, or

1-800-688-6780 THANK YOU.

State Veteran Cemetery Meeting

October 8, 2013

 

State Veteran Cemetery Information Meeting 

The Lt. Governor of the State of New Mexico, the New Mexico Department of Veterans’ and Taos County will host a meeting in the Taos County Commission Chambers in the Taos County Administration Building, 105 Albright Street Suite G, on Wednesday October 16, 2013 at 3pm. The meeting is to present details of the State Veteran Cemetery.  All local veterans, family members, elected officials and members of the public are encouraged to attend.

The meeting and the project are supported by the Disabled American Veterans-Chapter 12, Veterans of Foreign Wars-Post 3259, 7688 & 9516 and Kit Carson Electric Cooperative. For more information call (575) 770-1141.

New Mexico Public Regulation Commission Contact List

October 3, 2013

 

PRC members and contact information (contact in this order):

New Protest of Proposed Tri-State Rate Hike

September 25, 2013

KCEC Board of Trustees Votes to Renew Protest of Tri-State Rate Increase         

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Kit Carson Electric Cooperative’s wholesale electric power provider, has announced they will apply for a rate increase similar to that proposed for 2013. Initially Tri-State officials indicated there would be no increase for 2014. KCEC and two other New Mexico electric cooperatives protested the proposed 2013 rate increase beginning that action in October 2012. As of the end of August 2013 the protest saved KCEC members $1,285,674. With this substantial savings in mind the Board of Trustees of KCEC voted unanimously at their regular meeting on September 24, 2013 to again protest the proposed Tri-State rate increase. 

The lengthy battle with Tri-State by the KCEC Board of Trustees, CEO Luis Reyes and many KCEC members over the proposed 2013 increase in rates to their member cooperative paid off when Tri-State petitioned the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) last July to drop their increase request.

Originally Tri-State proposed increasing rates to its 44 member electric cooperatives in October 2012. This was the ninth proposed increase since 2000. Each time KCEC was alone it opposing the increase and with no other resistance the increases went into effect. In 2012 however two other co-ops, Continental Divide and Springer, joined in KCEC in opposition. Since three cooperatives were in opposition, the increase was put before the PRC for a decision. Tri-State requested interim rate relief from the PRC in January 2013, which would have meant the increase would have gone into effect until the PRC decided the case. Due to strong opposition by KCEC members the PRC denied the interim rate and did so again when Tri-State resubmitted in May 2013. Tri-State has also filed suit in federal court claiming the PRC does not have jurisdiction over them due to their involvement in interstate commerce. “We are very stubborn when it comes to watching out for our member’s best interest,” said KCEC CEO Luis Reyes. “We believe Tri-State is being punitive in the way they have structured their rate increase and as yet have seen no justification. We intend to continue to oppose them at the PRC and in federal court.”

At this time KCEC is awaiting word from several other New Mexico cooperatives on whether they will officially join in the protest. Four have expressed their opposition to the increase, but must have official board approval before joining the protest.  

Important! Planned Power Outages

August 26, 2013

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: PLANNED POWER OUTAGES

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative will be conducting a series of PLANNED POWER OUTAGES in August and September to allow crew to safely perform preventive maintenance on ALL substations within our service territory. The maintenance is done in preparation for the winter months.

Below is a schedule of dates, times and areas affected during the preventive maintenance project for 2013:

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Eagle Nest Substation:

  • Date: Tuesday, August 27, 2013
  • Time: 1:00am to 2:30am
  • Areas affected:
    • Eagle Nest, Ute Park, Idlewild, Elizabeth Town, Moreno Ranch, Libus Ranch, Lakeview Pines and American Creek

Angel Fire Substation:

  • Date: Tuesday, August 27, 2013
  • Time: 3:30am to 5:00am
  • Areas affected:
    • Angel Fire, Taos Pines, Black Lake, Val Verde Subdivision, Elk Meadows and Hidden Lake

Penasco Substation:

  • Date: Tuesday, August 27, 2013
  • Time: 9:00am to 10:30am
  • No areas affected

 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Los Cordovas I Substation:

  • Date: Wednesday, August 28, 2013
  • Time: 6:00am to 8:00am
  • No areas affected:

 

Thursday August 29, 2013

Ojo Caliente Substation:

  • Date: Thursday, August 29, 2013
  • Time: 2:00am to 4:00am
  • Areas affected:
    • Ojo Caliente, El Rito, Vallecitos, Canon Plaza, La Petaca, La Madera, Las Tablas and Servilleta Plaza

No Agua Substation:

  • Date: Thursday, August 29, 2013
  • Time: 5:00am to 6:00am
  • Areas affected:
    • Residents and businesses in Tres Piedras, Los Pinos, the towers on San Antonio Mountain, the Double D Ranch and the Old Barbar Ranch (Those residents who live west of the Gorge Bridge, not including Carson, but those who live off highway 285-approximately 10 miles north of Suzie’s Café, up to Los Pinos will be affected)

Los Cordovas II Substation:

  • Date: Thursday, August 29, 2013
  • Time: 6:00am to 8:00am
  • No areas affected

 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Red River Substation:

  • Date: Wednesday, September 4, 2013
  • Time: 2:00am to 4:00am
  • Areas affected:
    •  Town of Red River, Cottonwood Park, Upper Red River (Tall Pines Resort), Bitter Creek, Red River Ski Area, Red River Sewer Plant and Chevron Mining Guard shack Office

Arroyo Hondo Substation:

  • Date: Wednesday, September 4, 2013
  • Time: 3:00am to 5:00am
  • Areas affected:
    • Arroyo Hondo, Hondo Mesa, Cabresto Canyon, San Cristobal, Lama, Questa (North on Highway 522 up to Questa Parish Center at Abra Road-North), Des Montes, Valdez and Taos Ski Valley

Bobcat Pass Substation:

  • Date: Wednesday, September 4, 2013
  • Time: 5:00am to 6:00am
  • Areas affected:
    • Shadow Mountain and Bobcat Pass

 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Sunshine Substation:

  • Date: Thursday, September 5, 2013
  • Time: 2:00am to 3:30am
  • Areas affected:
    • Questa (Northbound from Wildcat’s Den at Abra Road on Highway 522, North to Sunshine Valley, El Rito (Latir Road), Cerro and Costilla

Amalia Substation:

  • Date: Thursday, September 5, 2013
  • Time: 4:00am to 5:00am
  • Areas affected:
    • Amalia and Ventero

 

Reason: Substation Preventive Maintenance: Preparation for winter

 

IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS, PLEASE CALL KIT CARSON ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE AT (575) 758-2258 OR

(800) 688-6780

THANK YOU!

 

Luis Reyes Finalist for Sustainable Business Leader of the Year

August 15, 2013

Kit Carson Co-op CEO Finalist for Sustainable Business Leader of the Year

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative CEO Luis Reyes is one of three finalists for the prestigious Sustainable Business Leader of the Year award presented by Albuquerque Business First. Reyes will be honored at a luncheon on August 29, 2013 at the Crowne Plaza in Albuquerque.

The Sustainable Business Leader of the Year award is given to the person who is deemed to have had the most impact in to advancement of sustainable resources by both the body of their work and their work in the past year. Reyes was particularly singled out for Kit Carson Electric Co-op’s ranking as number three in the nation in solar watts per consumer and number four in total solar watts for a cooperative utility by the Solar Electric Power Association. Kit Carson Electric is also the first New Mexico utility to have a Community Solar program. Community Solar allows members to purchase panels on an existing solar array and have the electricity produced by the panels credited directly to their electric bill.

“I am honored to be recognized by an Albuquerque organization for our work in northern New Mexico to make solar power available to all our members,” said Reyes. “We are proud to have brought together so many local and national individuals and businesses to bring our area to the top of the national rankings in solar power usage,” he added.

Other finalists for the 2013 award are Michael Daly of Mesa del Sol and Regina Wheeler of Positive Energy Solar. Last year’s winner was William Brown of Sage West Consultants & The Climate Reality Project of Taos.

KCEC Finalist for Utility of the Year

August 15, 2013

KCEC Finalist for 2013 Utility of the Year

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Inc. has been chosen as one of three finalists for the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) 2013 Utility of the Year. The award is in recognition of the leadership shown in the past year related to KCEC’s solar initiatives.

“I am very pleased Kit Carson Co-op is being considered for this honor.” said Reyes. “It is a testament to our coop members and the board of trustees who have embraced solar as a means of achieving long term health and prosperity for our community. By showing leadership in this field we hope to set an example for other co-ops and utility companies.” SEPA has ranked KCEC third in the nation in solar watts per consumer and fourth in total solar watts produced in 2012.

The award is presented in recognition of the establishment of new solar projects, including our Community Solar initiative, and for the integration of solar power beyond what is supplied by Tri-State Generation and Transmission, KCEC’s wholesale power supplier. In 2012 KCEC was instrumental in the activation of the 1.25 MW Amalia I Solar Array, the 1.25 MW Blue Sky Energy Array near the Rio Grande Gorge and the 98 kW Community Solar Array near Taos Charter School. The award will be presented at the SEPA Annual Membership Meeting in Chicago on October 24, 2013.

Enchanted Light Debuts at Old Courthouse

July 22, 2013

Taos Old County Courthouse Host Fiber Optic Debut

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative’s Enchanted Light Fiber Optic High Speed Internet Project had its first test Saturday July 20, 2013 in the Old County Courthouse on the Historic Taos Plaza. The first Beta Connection for the project was completed by Kit Carson Telecom personnel on Thursday July 18. The debut was planned to coincide with the Taos Fiestas de Santiago y Santa Ana, a popular celebration each July on the Taos Plaza. The three day event is a homecoming for those who have lived in Taos, as well as locals and many visitors.

The Old County Courthouse, including the famous Mural Room, which houses frescos produced by world renowned artists during the WPA period in the 1930’s, was open for tours throughout the weekend. In addition visitors were able to sample the high speed internet system, which consistently ran at speeds above 45mbs, making it by far the highest speed internet in the KCEC service territory. The system is capable of producing internet speeds of one gigabit/second. Images were also projected of photos from the 1930’s and 40’s gathered by local writer Bill Whaley for a project displayed at the new County Administration Buildings.

A reception was held on Saturday evening, July 20, in the mural room to kick off the Town of Taos Amigos de Taos program, welcoming back those who have lived or visited northern New Mexico. Taos County Government officials welcomed the event to the historic building. “The weekend was a great collaboration between Taos County, the Town of Taos, UNM-Taos and Kit Carson Co-op,” said Luis Reyes, CEO of KCEC. He continued, “The Taos Entrepreneurial Network has been designated by Taos County to facilitate the revitalization of this historic building. We are looking forward to working with them on the creation of a business resource center to be utilized by the business community, UNM-Taos students and other residents of our local communities.”

Planned Power Outage-Pine Tree Commons

July 9, 2013

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative will be having a PLANNED POWER OUTAGE

When: Thursday, July 11, 2013 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The reason for the outage is due to system maintenance.
Affected area: Pine Tree Commons

Date: Thursday, July 11, 2013

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS PLEASE CALL KIT CARSON ELECTRIC COOP @ (575) 758-2258 or 800-688-6780 THANK YOU.

Great Deals from Kit Carson Propane

July 5, 2013

CHECK OUT THESE GREAT DEALS FROM KIT CARSON PROPANE

Customer Appreciation in Penasco

The Kit Carson Propane office on State Road 75 (behind the State Hwy Department), will celebrate our customers from 9am to 4pm on August 9th. Join us for FREE hot dogs, chips and a soda, plus $1.18 per gallon propane.*

*4.7 gallon minimum is required.

Free Gas Checks

All Kit Carson Propane customers can make sure they go into fall and winter safely with free gas checks until August 31st.

August Propane Specials

Check our website kitcarsonpropane.com or give us a call at 758-7757 for August specials.

Tank Set Special

For only $199 all new customers get a tank, 100 gallons of propane, state permit and the first fill at only $1.79/gallon.

KCEC Annual Meeting-Questions and Answers

June 26, 2013

KCEC Answers Questions from 2013 Annual Meeting

 

The Annual Meeting of the membership of Kit Carson Electric Cooperative was held June 8, 2013 in the Taos High School Gym. The formal portion of the agenda addressed updates on projects and issues being undertaken by KCEC, as well as honoring our youth for their accomplishments and our ancianos for the leadership and guidance. The floor was then turned over to our members to voice concerns and make comments about their co-op. Below is a summary of those remarks, as well as more detailed responses than could be given during the meeting.

 

  • Question: How does KCEC help members experiencing difficult financial times pay their electric bill?
  • Answer: There are two programs that specifically address this situation. The first is Member Helping Members. It is a community service program created to receive voluntary contributions from participating members.  From 2008 through 2010 Kit Carson Electric assisted 172 members. To date the amount of assistance totals about $25,850. Another very helpful program is LIHEAP, which is administered through the New Mexico Human Services Department Office to assist low income members pay their utility bills. Further information on both programs can be found at kitcarson.com in the Customer Service section.
  • Question: How and why did KCEC diversify into the propane business?
  • Answer: In 1999 local propane prices were out of control. The national companies supplying local needs were free to charge whatever they felt the market would bear. Our members wanted relief from these high prices and requested KCEC step in. In 2000 a vote of the members at the KCEC Annual Meeting approved diversification into the propane business. Kit Carson Propane (later Kit Carson Energy) was formed and began selling propane at a reasonable cost. The national companies were forced to follow suit or completely lose their market share. It is estimated the creation of Kit Carson Energy has saved residents of our communities over $13 million. KCE has been steadily repaying the investment made in the start-up by KCEC.
  • Question: Also in regard to diversification, what was the reasoning behind applying for the fiber optic grant?
  • Answer: In 2008, when funds were made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for infrastructure investment, members of our communities, government officials and leaders of various organizations came together to discuss our most pressing needs. It was decided high speed internet would have the best chance of having long range positive economic development results. The participants also decided KCEC would have the best chance of receiving those funds. KCEC was actually unsuccessful on the first two attempts for funding. On the third try the largest grant in the State of New Mexico was awarded to connect every home and business in the KCEC service territory to fiber optic communications infrastructure. When the $64 million project is complete by early 2015, our communities will enjoy internet speeds comparable to those in any big city in the southwest. This will allow local businesses to compete on a global scale. It will also enhance educational opportunities and medical services, as well as make home entertainment more enjoyable. National companies are not willing to invest in rural communities to bring this service. With the federal assistance KCEC received it is becoming a reality for our local communities.
  • Question: Why does KCEC spend money only on the electric services you offer? After all, aren’t you an electric monopoly?
  • Answer: KCEC is actually in a very competitive environment. Only 9% of home heating and water heating is electric in our service territory. The rest is from other sources, including gas and wood. The big difference in most cases is the companies that make up our competition are for profit, investor owned companies. They have huge advertising budgets and take their profits out of our area and our tax base. We are constantly working to promote the clean, affordable energy we distribute in order to keep your rates low and generate more revenues to our tax base.
  • Question: What about Kit Carson Energy and Telecom? Do they have the same business model as KCEC?
  • Answer: While KCEC is in a competitive market, Kit Carson Energy and Telecom have another level of competition, so the business models are different. At KCEC priority the priority is to deliver reliable electric services to our members at an affordable price. To that end we focus on cutting expenses and increasing efficiency in order to avoid rate increases. KCEC has been very successful in that goal, as there has only been one small electric rate increase in the last 20 years. KCE and KCT do not have the regulatory price restrictions KCEC does, so they are able to more effectively respond to the market and set prices accordingly.
  • Question: What protocols are in place in the event of a natural disaster affecting electric service in our area?
  • Answer: KCEC officials will work closely with all entities involved. An example of how this was put in action was during the natural gas outage in 2011. We coordinated with federal, state and local officials, as well as New Mexico Gas Company, to ensure communication was maintained, relief locations were established, a command center was identified and the electric grid was not overextended. If another situation arises in the future we are prepared to utilize our resources to ensure solutions are put in place and we achieve the best possible outcome.   
  • Question: Why aren’t all KCEC meetings open to the public and allow for public comment?
  • Answer: The meetings of the KCEC Board of Trustees are open to the public. The times and dates are posted on kitcarson.com. They are the last Tuesday of each month at 9am in the KCEC Boardroom. KCEC members can address the Board of Trustees at their meetings. The restriction is only that a written request be made to the CEO prior to the meeting. In this way meeting length can be more effectively managed. There are many issues undertaken by the Board of Trustees that must be handled in a timely manner. The Board is elected by the members to represent their interests. They put a great deal of time and effort toward fulfilling their constituent’s requests and priorities. It would take a great deal more time (and expense) to publicize each meeting and formalize each agenda to adhere to open meeting guidelines.
  • Question: How about sending out a questionnaire or survey with the monthly bill?
  • Answer: This is a good idea. We will review how this can be done the most effectively, so the results can best put to use. In order to get recommendations and questions that can best be used to improve KCEC operations, members need to be as informed as possible. A great deal of information is available at our website kitcarson.com. In addition, we send regular e-mails to our members who have supplied us with their e-mail address. In order to update your information, go to our website and click Customer Service, then Update My Information.
  • Question: How does compensation for KCEC’s Board of Trustees compare with other entities?
  • Answer: We did research to determine if the KCEC Trustees are being fairly compensated. We found the KCEC board was in the middle of the pack as compared to other co-ops in New Mexico and were far below compensation for town and county officials. The comparison report is on kitcarson.com under My Cooperative and the tab Board of Trustees. To directly access the report go to http://www.kitcarson.com/content/board-trustees-compensation-comparison.
  • Question: Several members posed questions in regard to achieving a quorum at our annual meetings.
  • Answer: In order to amend the bylaws of Kit Carson Electric Cooperative a quorum of members must be present at a meeting. A quorum is constituted by attendance and voting of 3% of the KCEC members. This year that quorum requirement was 679. At our annual meeting this year 458 members attended, so action on proposed bylaw amendments could not be taken. Among the bylaw amendment proposals proxy or absentee voting for the annual meeting were not recommended, but the Board of Trustees could review such proposals in the future. Most of the amendments proposed in 2010 have to do with voting at Board of Trustees elections. The proposed amendments can be found at kitcarson.com under News and Events. KCEC uses reasonable means to achieve a quorum. Quorums were achieved for 14 straight years, but the past four years we have fallen short. As members of the cooperative there is a responsibility to attend the annual meeting. Attendance should not be a matter of how much money KCEC spends to encourage members to be a part of this process. There are means under consideration to make make attendance more attractive. We welcome our members input in this regard or on any other matters pertaining to KCEC policies.

 

We welcome your questions and comments. Please contact Public Information Officer, Steve Fuhlendorf at 575-758-2258 ext. 143 or sfuhlendorf@kitcarson.com.  

Transmission Line Source of Power Interruption

June 21, 2013

Transmission Line Source of Power Outage        

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Inc. (KCEC) officials announced the source of an extensive power affecting the northern part of their serve territory on Thursday June 20, 2013. According to KCEC CEO Luis Reyes, “The wind blew a de-energized power line into an energized Kit Carson transmission line near Tres Piedras. Much of the electric load had earlier been shifted to this line due to the proximity of the Whites Peak fire to another Tri-State transmission line. This caused the outage to be more widespread than it otherwise would have been.”

The outage, which began about 10:30am, affected the communities north of Arroyo Hondo, including Questa, Cerro, Amalia, Costilla, Tres Piedras and Eagle Nest. Most consumers had power restored by 2pm, with Arroyo Hondo and Red River back on about noon. Reyes said, “What many people don’t realize is the smoke from a forest fire will deposit carbon on electrical equipment, which can cause it to short out. In order to try to keep problems from occurring on a major transmission line we move power to another transmission line. It’s unfortunate we experienced this problem after the load was shifted.”

KCEC has added extra personnel, including tree trimming crews due to the extreme fire danger in forested areas. All KCEC personnel have been asked to be extra vigilant and report trees or branches that could potentially come in contact with electric lines. They are also working in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service and BLM to identify and remove trees that could cause problems in order to avoid forest fires.        

PLANNED POWER OUTAGE

June 19, 2013

 

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative will be having a PLANNED POWER OUTAGE

 

Friday, June 21, 2013 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The reason for the outage is due to system upgrades.
 

Affected area: Taos Pueblo/ Rotten Tree Rd.

Date: Friday, June 21, 2013

Time: 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

 

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS PLEASE CALL KIT CARSON ELECTRIC COOP @ (575) 758-2258, or

1-800-688-6780 THANK YOU.

PLANNED POWER OUTAGE CHANGE!

June 18, 2013

The power outage scheduled for June 18 has been rescheduled for Thursday June 20, 2013 from 9am to 2pm. The outage is due to system maintenance.

 

The outage will affect Upper Taos Canyon.

 

Ray Rael is the contact for this outage.

 

PLANNED POWER OUTAGE

Wednesday June 26, 2013 from 9am to 1pm due to system upgrades.

Areas affected: Arroyo Seco & El Salto

Dennis Gonzales is the contact for this outage.

 

If you have questions, please contact Kit Carson Electric Cooperative at 575-758-2258 or 800-688-6780.

 

Thank You!

PLANNED POWER OUTAGE

June 17, 2013

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative will be having a PLANNED POWER OUTAGE on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 from 9am to 2pm. The outage is due to system maintenance.

 

Area affected: Upper Taos Canyon

 

Outage contact is Ray Rael

 

If you have questions please contact KCEC at (575) 758-2258 or (800) 688-6780.

 

Thank You!

KCEC Hosts Annual Membership Meeting

June 8, 2013

KCEC Hosts Annual Meeting

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative hosted their Annual Membership Meeting at the Taos High School Gym on Saturday June 8, 2013. The meeting was attended by over 400 members of the co-op, whose service territory encompasses all of Taos County and parts of Colfax and Rio Arriba Counties.

KCEC Board of Trustees President Bobby Ortega acted as master of ceremonies for the event, which included a summary of accomplishments, projects and financial standing by KCEC CEO Luis Reyes. In addition, the youth of our communities were honored for achievements through scholarships awarded by the Kit Carson Foundation and other entities, the Government in Action Youth Tour for high school juniors and the safety coloring contest for 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade students.

Reyes commented, “While we didn’t reach our goal of a quorum of 679 members, we had a very productive meeting. Our members were able to voice concerns and make constructive suggestions. We honored our ancianos for their participation and we acknowledged our youth for their accomplishments. We appreciate the 400 plus members who showed their commitment to their member owned cooperative by joining us on a beautiful Saturday morning to participate in the annual meeting.”

In addition to information and acknowledgments, prizes were also awarded to attendees donated by generous vendors and locals businesses. The grand prize of $1,000 cash was presented to Teresita Valerio. 

KCEC Board of Trustees Save Co-op $5 million

June 7, 2013

KCEC Refinancing Package Saves Members $5 million

The Kit Carson Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees secured a refinancing package for the current co-op obligations that will save KCEC members approximately $5 million over the life of the loans. The CoBank loans to KCEC total approximately $25.8 million.

The Board of Trustees for Kit Carson Electric Co-op are elected by the membership in five districts encompassing the KCEC service territory. They focus their time and energy on ways to bring safe affordable energy to their constituents. The loan refinance was an extensive process requiring persistent communication and evaluation, in order to achieve the best possible terms.

KCEC Shines in SEPA Solar Rankings

June 6, 2013

KCEC Shines in SEPA Solar Rankings

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative jumped to number 4 in annual solar megawatts (MW) from number 12 and from number 10 to 3 in annual solar watts-per-customer in the 2012 Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) rankings released recently.

In 2012 three new solar arrays were added to the KCEC portfolio.

  • The Amalia I Array was a collaborative effort between KCEC, with the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA); the Rio Costilla Cooperative Livestock Association (RCCLA), the land owners; Washington Gas Energy Systems, array owner; Standard Solar, the system installer with project management by Taos solar contractor PPC Solar. Amalia I is a single-axis solar tracking array producing 1.25 MW of AC power at full capacity. It has 5,280 panels covering the size of 15.5 football fields. Amalia I was energized in June 2012.
  • The Blue Sky Array, near the Rio Grande Gorge, is also a single-axis solar tracking array producing 1.25 MW AC. It was built by PPC Solar and owned by Kenyon. The project consists of 5,280 panels on a 23 acre site. It was energized in August 2012. KCEC has a PPA for the electricity produced by the array.
  • The third array completed in 2012 is a parking canopy design, located behind the Taos Charter School. It was also energized in August 2012 with construction by Sol Luna Solar and a PPA with KCEC. The 420 panel, 98.7 kilowatt (kW), array is the first community solar array in New Mexico. The KCEC Community Solar Program, being administered by the Clean Energy Collective, gives KCEC members the opportunity to invest in solar panels installed on the array. The electricity produced by those panels is then credited to their electric bill.

“We are proud and gratified to be highly ranked by SEPA,” said KCEC CEO Luis Reyes. “We will continue to aggressively pursue solar production. Our area is ideal for solar production in terms of climate, as well as the desire of our members for clean, affordable energy.”   

Tree Trimming & Maintenance Summary

June 6, 2013

Kit Carson Co-op Tree Trimming and Maintenance Summary

June 6, 2013

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative maintains approximately 2,500 miles of high voltage power lines within its service territory. Many of these lines cross through forests and other areas susceptible wildfire. With the extreme draught conditions being experienced in New Mexico, these areas are particularly vulnerable. KCEC has gone to great lengths to ensure the vital resource they provide does not cause a wildfire. Below is a summary and schedule of work that is underway and anticipated in the near future:

  • Line feeding Taos Ski Valley
    • Crews working 6/5/13 – Will continue until project complete
  • Black Lake Resort area
    • Crews working 6/5/13 – Will continue until project complete
  • Green Mountain line
    • Crews working 6/5/13 – Will continue until project complete
  • Tres Ritos line
    • Crews working 6/4/13 – Will continue until project complete
  • Between Garrapata Hill and Questa-Fish Hatchery area
    • Crews working 6/5/13 – Will continue until project complete
  • Upper Red River
    • Crews patrolling and marking area
  • Taos Canyon (main line and taps)
    • Crews patrolling and marking area
  • Tres Piedras (between Mile Marker 372 and 374)
    • Crews will be scheduled
  • Hwy 111 (Vallecitos area)
    • Crews will be scheduled
  • Canon Plaza
    • Crews will be scheduled
  • Ute Park
    • Crew patrolling and marking area

KCEC will continue to update the work being done to keep our communities safe.

KCEC Bill Credit: Attend Annual Meeting Saturday

June 5, 2013

KCEC Announces Bill Credits for Annual Meeting Attendees

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative officials announced today attendees at the KCEC Annual Meeting on Saturday, June 8, 2013, will receive a certificate for a $10 credit to their electric bill. The meeting will be held in the Taos High School Gymnasium. Registration begins at 8am, with the membership meeting beginning promptly at 9:30am. It is anticipated the meeting will conclude at approximately 11:30am.

The bill credit is an incentive for KCEC members to attend the meeting and vote on proposed amendments to the co-op bylaws. A quorum of members is required for approval of proposed amendments. A quorum is constituted by a vote of 3% of the members, which equates to 673 members. The proposed amendments pertain to KCEC Board of Trustees election requirements. They can be viewed on the KCEC website at kitcarson.com under the News and Events section of the Home Page.

In addition to the bill credits, drawings will be held during the meeting and prizes distributed to members in attendance. The prizes are donated by vendors and local businesses. A $1,000 cash prize will also be awarded, plus six $250 cash prizes to district winners.

Fire Season: KCEC Fights Back

June 5, 2013

KCEC Fights Fire with Aggressive Maintenance and Prevention

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative maintains approximately 2,500 miles of high voltage power lines within its service territory. Many of these lines cross through forests and other areas susceptible wildfire. With the extreme draught conditions being experienced in New Mexico, these areas are particularly vulnerable. KCEC has gone to great lengths to ensure the vital resource they provide does not cause a wildfire.

“Maintenance is number one at Kit Carson Co-op,” according to KCEC CEO Luis Reyes. “We have full-time personnel aggressively trimming trees and clearing brush, so combustible material does not come in contact with the electric lines. We also have all our personnel in the field looking for potential problems from our meter department to our linemen. All our people are trained to look for and report potential trouble spots.”  Reyes also noted, “We have stepped up our trimming crews as the draught has worsened, particularly last summer and this summer. We have recently seen devastating forest fires in neighboring co-op’s service areas. We have the same terrain and conditions, so we think it is more than luck that we have not had the same consequences here.”

KCEC has tree trimming crews on staff, as well as contracting for extra assistance when conditions dictate the additional expense. These crews work with the forest service and BLM to identify areas in need of attention withinKCEC right-of-ways, as well as identify potential hazards outside those boundaries and take necessary steps to avoid mishaps when permission is granted.   

 

Emergency Planned Outage-Tres Ritos/Sipapu Area

June 3, 2013

Emergency Planned Outage

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative will be having an Emergency Planned Power Outage on Tuesday, June 4 and Thursday June 6, 2013 from 9am, to 2pm for equipment replacement. The area affected are Tres Ritos and Sipapu. Contact is Dennis Gonzales. If you have questions please call Kit Carson Electric Co-op at (575) 758-2258 or (800) 688-6780.

KCEC Annual Meeting Notice

May 24, 2013

 

KIT CARSON ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC.

Taos, New Mexico

NOTICE

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Annual Meeting of the Members of Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Inc. will be held at the Taos High School Gymnasium, Taos, New Mexico, on Saturday, June 8, 2013, at 9:30 a.m., for the purpose of acting upon the following:

  1. The reports of officers, trustees and committees
  1. Acting upon the proposed amendment to the By-Laws submitted by the Board of Trustees, as follows:

1.         Article II, Section 1:

            Delete the third sentence in the first paragraph of Section 1 and substitute the following:

            SECTION 1.  ANNUAL MEETING.  … “No business of the Cooperative shall be conducted at District meetings.  District meetings shall be held solely for the purpose of electing Trustees.  Elections shall take place at the time determined by Board policy in the respective Districts on the dates set forth below as follows:”

2.         Article III, Section 3:

            Delete Section 3 (a) 6. in its entirety and substitute in lieu thereof the following:

            “6.  No numerical quorum of members is required to conduct an election of Trustees in each District.  Trustees shall be elected by a majority of the eligible members who vote in a District election.

3.         Article III, Section 3:

            Delete paragraph (b) in its entirety and substitute in lieu thereof the following:

                  “(b).  All nominations for a position on the Board of Trustees shall be made by written Petition signed by fifty (50) or more Members residing in the District in which the election is to be held.  The Petition shall be delivered to the Cooperative headquarters in Taos at least twenty‑five (25) days before the date of the District meeting in order for the Cooperative to verify the validity of the signatures on the Petition and to confirm that the nominee meets the qualifications set forth in Article III, Section 2 of the By-laws.”

4.         Article III, Section 3:

Delete paragraph (c) in its entirety and substitute in lieu thereof the following:

            “The Cooperative shall prepare and post at the principal office of the Cooperative, and at the Cooperative District Office, at least fifteen (15) days before the Meeting of the Members in a particular District, a list of the Nominees to be voted upon to represent the District.  The Secretary shall mail, with the Notice of Meeting, or separately, but at least seven (7) days before the date of the Meeting, a statement of the number of Trustees to be elected, showing the nominations made by Petition.  No Trustee shall be elected to represent any District other than that in which he or she resides, and the number of Trustees to be elected to represent a District is set forth in Article III, Section (3) (a).  The Members may, at any meeting at which a Trustee(s) is to be removed, as hereinbefore provided, elect a successor(s), without compliance with the foregoing provisions regarding nominations.  Notwithstanding anything in this Section, the failure to comply with any of the provisions of this Section shall not affect the validity of any elections of Trustees.”

5.         Article III, Section 3:

            Add new subsection (e) after subsection (d):

“(e).  The Board may establish by policy an early voting procedure for the election of Trustees.”  

6.         Article III, Section 3:

            Add new subsection (f) as follows:

            “(f).  If a Member presents identification or proof of Cooperative Membership as reasonably required by the Cooperative, and if the Member is not suspended on the Record Date and remains unsuspended after the Record Date, the Member may cast one vote on a matter for which a Member is entitled to vote.  To vote on behalf of an Entity (as defined in Article I, Section 1), an individual must present written evidence satisfactory to the Cooperative that the individual is authorized to vote on behalf of an Entity.”

7.         Article III, Section 3:

                  Add new subsection (g) as follows:

            “(g).  A Record Date is the date for determining the total membership of the Cooperative and the Members entitled to:  (1) sign a Petition or similar document; (2) receive a notice of a Member meeting or similar document; or (3) vote at a Member meeting.  If a Member is suspended after the Record Date, then the Member may not sign a Petition, receive a notice or vote.  The Board shall fix the Record Date, but the Record Date must not be less than thirty (30) days before the date: (1) a Member signs a Petition or similar document; (2) receives a notice of a Member meeting, or similar document; or (3) votes at a Member meeting.

 

KIT CARSON ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC.

By:  Cristobal Duran, Secretary

KCEC District I Board of Trustees Election Results

May 14, 2013

KCEC District I Board of Trustees Election Results

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Inc. held elections in District I for two seats on the board of trustees on Tuesday May 14, 2013 at the KCEC Headquarters on Cruz Alta Road in Taos, NM. The polls closed at 6pm MDT. The results have been tabulated and of 1,334 votes cast the totals are:

  • David Torres-Incumbent              707-Retained seat
  • Manuel Medina-Incumbent           684-Retained seat
  • Andres Vargas                                   619
  • Rick Chavez                                        272

In the District II election held Thursday, May 9, 2013, Virgil Martinez and Bobby Ortega retained their seats on the KCEC Board of Trustees.

KCEC District II Election Results

May 9, 2013

KCEC District II Board of Trustees Election Results

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Inc. held elections for District II board of trustees for two seats on Thursday, May 9, 2013 at the Village of Questa Offices in Questa, NM. The polls closed at 6pm MDT. The results have been tabulated and of 581 votes cast the totals are:

  • Virgil Martinez-Incumbent           394-Retained seat
  • Bobby Ortega-Incumbent             339-Retained seat
  • Martin Martinez                            295

Voting for KCEC District I Board of Trustees will be held on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at KCEC headquarters, 118 East Cruz Alta Road in Taos. A brief board meeting at 9am will precede the opening of voting. Polls will remain open until 6pm.

KCEC Annual Meeting June 8th

May 9, 2013

KCEC Annual Meeting June 8th

It’s time once again to find out what’s new with your electric cooperative….and win prizes too! The Kit Carson Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees are pleased to invite you, our members, to our 2013 Annual Meeting. Please join us Saturday June 8, 2013 at the Taos High School Gymnasium as we celebrate the cooperative way.

CEO Luis Reyes will update members on the latest projects taking place in our service territory, including the Enchanted Light Fiber Optic Communications Project, electric service upgrades and the KCEC protest of the proposed Tri-State rate increase.

We will also be giving away many valuable prizes, but you must be present to win, so please join us. 

PRC Rules Against Tri-State

May 8, 2013

 

PRC Rules Against Tri-State

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) voted May 8, 2013, to deny a request by Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association to implement an interim rate increase until the matter of a permanent increase could be heard before the commission. KCEC CEO Luis Reyes said after the hearing, “This is a big win for Kit Carson and all New Mexico Cooperatives. The commissioners agreed with us that Tri-State had provided no new evidence to support raising our rates on an interim basis. This decision means it is unlikely KCEC members will see a rate increase in 2013.”

On April 10, 2013, Tri-State, the supplier of electricity to Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Inc. (KCEC) headquartered in Taos, New Mexico, requested the PRC reconsider its decision to deny the interim rate increase to its member cooperatives. KCEC, along with Springer and Continental Divide cooperatives, protested the rate increase in November 2012 and again in January 2013 in accordance with legislation passed in 2000 allowing the PRC to have regulation power over Tri-State if three cooperatives protested a rate increase. The proposed rate increase is for an average of 4.9% to each of Tri-State 44 member cooperatives and 9% for the residential consumers within the territories of the three protesting cooperatives. It is estimated the suspension of the increase has saved KCEC members over $330,000 and $3.9 million state-wide as of the end of February 2013.

Chevron Donates iPads with Capital Credits

May 7, 2013

 

Chevron Mining Announces iPad Donation to Questa Schools

Chevron Mining, operator of the Questa Molybdenum mine in north central New Mexico, announced the donation of Apple iPads to 280 students and 14 teachers at Alta Vista and Costilla Elementary Schools in the communities of Questa and Costilla, New Mexico. The donation comes from funds received from a Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Inc. (KCEC) Capital Credits disbursement totaling $123,000.

The Board of Trustees of KCEC voted unanimously at their February 26, 2013 meeting to retire $388,691.18 in Capital Credits for 1980 and 1981. Capital Credits are returned to cooperative members based on their electric usage during specific periods of time. Chevron Mining is the largest electric consumer in the KCEC service territory, so they receive the largest return of Capital Credits funds whenever disbursement is made.

“The donation is an investment in the youth of our rural communities of Questa and Costilla. It came about as a collaboration between KCEC, the Village of Questa, Questa Schools, Questa Library and Chevron Mining Corporation. The timing is excellent since we are currently installing a fiber optic high speed communications network,” according KCEC CEO Luis Reyes. He added, “Kit Carson received a $64 million grant/loan package to connect every home and business in our service territory to fiber optic technology. This donation will assist the students and instructors to take full advantage of this resource.”    

Click here for photo from check presentation

Click here for photo from check presentation

 

See Media Releases for captions

 

PRC Meeting 5/8/13 on Tri-State Rate Increase Suspension

May 6, 2013

 

Continuation of Tri-State Rate Suspension to be Heard by PRC Wednesday May 8

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) ruled on March 13, 2013 to deny a request by Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association to implement an interim rate increase until the matter of a permanent increase could be heard before the commission. On April 10, 2013, Tri-State, the supplier of electricity to Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Inc. (KCEC) headquartered in Taos, New Mexico, requested the PRC reconsider its decision to deny the interim rate increase to its member cooperatives. The PRC announced the hearing to reconsider the decision will be held on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 9am in the PERA Building in Santa Fe.

KCEC, along with Springer and Continental Divide cooperatives, protested the rate increase in November 2012 and again in January 2013 in accordance with legislation passed in 2000 allowing the PRC to have regulation power over Tri-State if three cooperatives protested a rate increase. The proposed rate increase is for an average of 4.9% to each of Tri-State 44 member cooperatives and 9% for the residential consumers within the territories of the three protesting cooperatives. It is estimated the suspension of the increase has saved KCEC members over $330,000 and $3.9 million state-wide as of the end of February 2013. 

KCEC Elections for Districts I & II

May 3, 2013

Kit Carson Board of Trustees Elections

The Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Inc. Board of Trustees is made up of eleven members representing five districts. The terms of service for trustees are four years. This year Districts One and Two will hold elections for two positions each. The election for District One will take place Tuesday May 14, 2013 at the KCEC headquarters located at 118 East Cruz Alta Road in Taos. The District Two election will be held at the Village of Questa Offices, 2500 Old State Road 3, on Thursday May 9, 2013. Election times in both races are from 9am to 6pm.

A Committee on Nominations, appointed by the KCEC Board of Trustees, nominates candidates for the open positions. Nominations can also be made by petition from and eligible member residing in Districts One or Two, however no petitions were received. In District One four candidates are running for the two seats. The candidates are incumbents David Torres from Arroyo Seco and Manual Medina from Taos and challengers Rick Chavez from Llano Quemado and Andres Vargas from Taos. In District Two the three candidates for the two positions are incumbents Virgil Martinez from Cerro and Bobby R. Ortega from Questa and challenger Martin Martinez Sr. from Questa.

Each election day begins with a business meeting at 9am, followed by the election, which continues until 6pm. The elections are pursuant to the provisions of Article II and III of the ByLaws of Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Inc. Membership in KCEC is required in order to qualify to vote. Representatives of corporations or unincorporated entities must present written authorization of authority to cast a vote.

The Checks are in the Mail!

May 1, 2013

 

The Checks are in the Mail!

May 1, 2013

Beginning today Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Inc. personnel began returning $388,691.18 to our members in the form of Capital Credits. The KCEC Board of Trustees voted unanimously to retire the Capital Credits for 1980 and 1981 at their meeting on February 26, 2013.

In order to receive Capital Credits members must have received electric service from KCEC during the years 1980 and/or 1981. The Capital Credits will be returned in the form of a check for amounts over $20 or a credit to the KCEC bill for amounts less than $20.

In the past many members have chosen to donate their Capital Credits refunds to the Kit Carson Educational Foundation. If you wish to make such a donation, please notify our Customer Service Department at (575) 751-9064 as soon as possible to make those arrangements. The Kit Carson Educational Foundation awards scholarships to deserving local high school seniors for continuing education opportunities.

One of many benefits of being a member of Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Inc. (KCEC), a 501c12 non-profit organization, is your entitlement to a share of our margins (profits) when they occur. These shares are called Capital Credits and are distributed in proportion to electric usage. Distribution does not happen every year. However KCEC is required to send Capital Credits statements regularly to comply with IRS mandates and our Bylaws, Article 7, Section 2. Also in accordance with these mandates the funds can be deducted from an outstanding bill or returned in check form.

The Capital Credits are paid out periodically depending on the financial status of KCEC. Each year the KCEC Board of Trustees reviews the financial condition of the co-op and determines if Capital Credits can be distributed without jeopardizing the cooperative operations. Our primary goal is provide each of our members affordable, reliable electric service. If, after accomplishing that goal, we are able to return Capital Credits we do so. Please keep in mind KCEC has had one small rate increase in the last 25 years. This is part of our commitment to make service as inexpensive as possible. The last allocation of KCEC Capital Credits was in 2004 for the year 1979. Capital Credits do not disappear. They are kept on the books until disbursement, so if you move please contact our Customer Service Department at (575) 751-9064 or (800) 944-8159 to let us know your current address. The funds will be distributed to you when they become available for allocation even if you have moved out of our service area. None of this happens with investor owned utilities, as their profits go only to shareholders not to those who use electricity. 

For more information please see our website www.kitcarson.com under News & Information and click Frequently Asked Questions.

Tri-State Seeks Input on New Transmission Line

April 25, 2013

Tri-State Seeks Input on New Transmission Line              

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association is studying a new 230kV transmission alternative to increase electric system reliability in the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. They held their first informational meeting at the Taos BLM office on April 24, 2013. The meeting was attended by about 30 concerned citizens from north central New Mexico, including representatives from the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument Coalition, Rivers and Birds, Trout Unlimited, the Sierra Club, local recreation business owners, the BLM, Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Inc. and elected officials from the Taos County, the Town of Taos, Questa and Taos Ski Valley.

Tri-State is the electricity supplier for KCEC, whose service territory includes all of Taos County, plus part of Colfax and Rio Arriba Counties. Tri-State will be engaging the public and stakeholders in a process to identify and evaluate various corridors to connect the existing San Luis Valley Substation near Alamosa, Co. with an existing 345kV transmission line in the area west of Taos. Tri-State’s purpose for the project is to enhance their ability to provide reliable service to their members, with the added benefit of providing a potential pathway for renewable energy development in the region.

For more information please go to www.valleycorridorproject.com.  

PRC/Tri-State & Capital Credits Updates

April 24, 2013

 

IMPORTANT! Contact the PRC

Tri-State Generation and Transmission (Tri-State) requested the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) implement their requested rate increase on an interim basis on April 10, 2013. The PRC has agreed to hear the request, although they previously ruled to not allow the rates to go into effect until a ruling on the merits of the increase has been heard. Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Inc. (KCEC) along with Springer and Continental Divide cooperatives filed the original protests in November and again in January to the rate increases asserting they are unjust, unreasonable and punitive. It is estimated the protests and the ruling by the PRC not to raise rates on an interim basis have saved KCEC members approximately $330,000 as of the end of February and about $3.9 million to co-ops statewide.

We are requesting our members let the PRC know they remain opposed to the rate increase and contend the increase should not be considered until Tri-State gives just cause for the new rates. We have included names and contact information for the commissioners at the bottom of this e-mail. Please take a few moments to express your feelings to the commissioners. They pay very close attention to the input they receive from constituents. We have also attached a sample letter to the commissioners for your use.  

From our analysis the $800,000 increase for KCEC members will result in a 9% increase for residential consumers. KCEC will continue the protest process as has been done with each increase Tri-State has proposed since KCEC contracted with them to supply electricity in 2000. At the time of contracting with Tri-State they promised rate stability, yet this is the ninth increase in 12 years. It is also speculated Tri-State will impose rate increases each year until 2022. Overall, this will result in a 225% increase in wholesale electric rates from 2000 to 2022.

Tri-State has also filed for relief in federal court, claiming oversight by the PRC is unconstitutional due to their involvement in interstate commerce. However, they agreed to legislation in 2000 submitting to regulation by the PRC to intervene if three cooperatives protested a rate increase. This is the first time KCEC has been joined by other cooperatives in protesting the rate increases, thus giving it standing with the PRC. 

PRC members and contact information (contact in this order):

 

KCEC Returns Capital Credits Beginning Friday

The Kit Carson Cooperative, Inc. Board of Trustees voted unanimously to retire the Capital Credits for 1980 and 1981 at their meeting on February 26, 2013. This means $388,691.18 will be returned to the KCEC membership beginning Friday April 26, 2013.

The member must have received electric service from KCEC during the years 1980 and/or 1981. The Capital Credits will be returned in the form of a check for amounts over $20 or a credit to the KCEC bill for amounts less than $20.

In the past many members have chosen to donate their Capital Credits refunds to the Kit Carson Educational Foundation. If you wish to make such a donation, please notify our Customer Service Department at (575) 751-9064 as soon as possible to make those arrangements. The Kit Carson Educational Foundation awards scholarships to deserving local high school seniors for continuing education opportunities.

One of many benefits of being a member of Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Inc. (KCEC), a 501c12 non-profit organization, is your entitlement to a share of our margins (profits) when they occur. These shares are called Capital Credits and are distributed in proportion to electric usage. Distribution does not happen every year. However KCEC is required to send Capital Credits statements regularly to comply with IRS mandates and our Bylaws, Article 7, Section 2. Also in accordance with these mandates the funds can be deducted from an outstanding bill or returned in check form.

The Capital Credits are paid out periodically depending on the financial status of KCEC. Each year the KCEC Board of Trustees reviews the financial condition of the co-op and determines if Capital Credits can be distributed without jeopardizing the cooperative operations. Our primary goal is provide each of our members affordable, reliable electric service. If, after accomplishing that goal, we are able to return Capital Credits we do so. Please keep in mind KCEC has had one small rate increase in the last 25 years. This is part of our commitment to make service as inexpensive as possible. The last allocation of KCEC Capital Credits was in 2004 for the year 1979. Capital Credits do not disappear. They are kept on the books until disbursement, so if you move please contact our Customer Service Department at (575) 751-9064 or (800) 944-8159 to let us know your current address. The funds will be distributed to you when they become available for allocation even if you have moved out of our service area. None of this happens with investor owned utilities, as their profits go only to shareholders not to those who use electricity. 

For more information please see our website www.kitcarson.com under News & Information and click Frequently Asked Questions.

Lineman Appreciation Day

April 18, 2013

 

Lineman Appreciation Day-April 18, 2013

 

The 113th Congress of the United States has proclaimed April 18, 2013 as Lineman Appreciation Day. The Board of Trustees, management and staff know the hard work and dedication that is displayed daily by the Kit Carson Electric Cooperative linemen. This designation gives us the opportunity to say Thank You, Linemen for a job well done!

Lineman Appreciation Day Certificate

Government In Action Youth Tour Winners

April 16, 2013

 

 

 

 

GOVERNMENT-IN-ACTION YOUTH TOUR WINNERS

 

Each year Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (KCEC) in conjunction New Mexico Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NMRECA) hosts the statewide Government-In-Action Youth Tour Contest. This contest was open to all full time junior students within the KCEC service territory. Each applicant submitted a 750 word essay on the following topic

“If we suddenly lost Electricity as a resource, what would that mean to your current way of life?”

The contest winners receive an all-expense paid trip to our nation’s capital Washington D.C., to learn about government issues pertaining to rural America and to understand the importance of local electric cooperatives. Students will travel on June 15-21, 2013 they will also visit with their legislative leaders and tour sites of historical significance. Kit Carson Electric Cooperative has reviewed the submitted essays and is happy to inform you of the selected winners;

Congratulations to:

 

Kayla Torres- Taos High School

Stefanie Salazar- Questa High School

Ryan Valdez- Mesa Vista High School

Joshua Esquibel- Penasco High School

Ryan Rael- Questa High School

 

Great job on writing your essays, keep up the good work and continue to be leaders. Kit Carson Electric Cooperative is a proud and excited to offer this “once in a lifetime experience” to our winners. Winners will also be recognized at our KCEC Annual Meeting June, 8th at Taos High School Gymnasium. 

KCEC Election Information

April 15, 2013

 

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN BECOMING A CO-OP TRUSTEE?

 

The District Two meeting of Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Inc. for the election of two Trustees will be held on Thursday, May 9, 2013.  District Two embraces the area lying north of Garrapata Canyon, and East by the Rio Grande River (covers Questa, Cerro, Costilla, Amalia, La Lama, El Rito North, Red River). The Board of Trustees has appointed the following District Two Nominating Committee:

Gilbert Segura, Chairman             586-0623

Malaquias Rael Jr.                         586-1114 / 779-0623

Billy Vigil                                        586-0642

 

Please contact one of the above-mentioned persons and provide a letter of interest by April 19, 2013, if you are interested in being nominated.  Letters received after April 19, 2013 will not be accepted.  NO EXCEPTIONS.

Interviews will be scheduled April 14th and April 22nd

The District One meeting of Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Inc. for the election of two Trustees will be held on Tuesday, May 14, 2013.  District One covers the area including the Town of Taos, and all communities and members included within an area lying within a fifteen mile radius, from the center of the Plaza of Taos on the South and East, to Garrapata Canyon on the North West Rim of the Rio Grande River on the West (San Cristobal, Arroyo Hondo, Arroyo Seco, Valdez, Des Montes, Taos Ski Valley, Blueberry Hill, Las Colonias, Cordillera, El Prado, Taos, Canon, Taos Canyon, Valle Escondido, Talpa, Ranchos de Taos, Los Cordovas, Pot Creek, Taos Pueblo, Twining, Llano Quemado, and Pilar).  The Board of Trustees has appointed the following District One Nominating Committee:

Lewis Baker, Chairman                 303-525-2110

Michael Arguello                            741-6001

Francis Cordova                            770-1141

Mary Emery                                     770-8382

Juan Valdez                                     758-8223 / 741-6444 mobile

 

Please contact one of the above-mentioned persons and provide a letter of interest by April 18, 2013, if you are interested in being nominated.  Letters received after April 18, 2013 will not be accepted.  NO EXCEPTIONS.

Interviews will be scheduled April 19th and April 22nd

 

Copies of the Cooperative’s ByLaws and Cooperative Policies with regard to the election of Trustees are available at the office of the Cooperative.

KCEC Annual Meeting & Board Elections

April 8, 2013

Dates Set for KCEC Annual Meeting and Board of Trustees Elections

 

The Board of Trustees of Kit Carson Electric Cooperative set the dates for the Annual Membership Meeting and District One and Two elections at the regular board meeting on March 26, 2013.

The Annual Membership Meeting will be held June 8, 2013 in the Taos High School Gytmnasium. The election for the District One seat will be held May 14 in the Kit Carson Board Room. The District Two election will be May 9 in Questa. More information will be released soon.

Good News From KCEC

March 14, 2013

 

Good News from KCEC

PRC Keeps Proposed Tri-State Rate Increase On Hold

March 13, 2013

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) ruled today, March 13, 2013, in favor of Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (KCEC) and two other New Mexico cooperatives in their protest of a proposed rate increase and rate design change by Tri-State Generation and Transmission.  KCEC receives the electrical power it distributes to its members from Tri-State, so this action means rates for KCEC members will remain the same for the immediate future.

The Board of Trustees, management and staff of KCEC want to thank all those who took time to attend the PRC meeting today. We had a great show of support from our members. We also appreciate all those who called, e-mailed and wrote to the PRC. We know it is not always easy to find time in the day to make those contacts, but because of your support the commissioners knew how important this issue is to our members. We urge you to also take the time to thank the commissioners for ruling in our favor and keeping our rates stabilized in these challenges economic times. Their contact information is below.

Here is a little background on the rate case for those who have not been keeping up: Tri-State requested interim rate relief from the PRC, which would have increased rates to KCEC members by 9%. KCEC along with Springer and Continental Divide cooperatives filed protests in November and again in January to the rate increases asserting they are unjust, unreasonable and punitive. The PRC agreed with these protests and ruled Tri-State must prove the rate increase is justified before it will be approved.

KCEC also asserts a breach of the original agreement with Tri-State. In 2000 when Tri-State merged with Plains Electric, KCEC’s previous electricity supplier, it was agreed Tri-State would be regulated by the PRC if three member cooperatives protested a proposed rate increase. In this case, in addition to KCEC, Springer and Continental cooperatives have joined the protest. Tri-State filed a Complaint for Declaratory or Injunctive Relief with the U.S. District Court of New Mexico on January 25, 2013 claiming because they are involved in interstate commerce it is unconstitutional for them to be regulated by a state agency.

In addition, Tri-State has limited its member cooperatives to 5% electrical power produced by renewable sources. KCEC is at that limit now. Many of our members are committed to offsetting as much of our electric use with solar power as possible. KCEC shares that commitment. We are number two in the nation in solar power production per member and number four in total solar power production. Our desire is to keep growing our solar portfolio. With the present limit we are unable to do so. We are encouraging Tri-State to either drop its limitation or increase the percentage. 

For more information on the case go to www.kitcarson.com under the News and Events heading.   

 

PRC members and contact information (contact in this order):

Tri-State 5% Limit on Solar Production

March 1, 2013

Tri-State Solar Limitation

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Inc. (KCEC) buys electricity for distribution to its members from Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association (Tri-State) based in Denver, Co. Tri-State has limited member cooperatives to 5% electrical power produced by renewable resources. KCEC is at that limit now. Many of our members are committed to converting as much of our electrical usage to solar power as possible. KCEC shares that commitment. We are number two in the nation in solar power production per member and number four in total solar power production. Our desire is to keep growing our solar portfolio. With the present limit we are unable to do so.

We are encouraging Tri-State to either drop its limitation or increase the percentage. Most of the 44 cooperatives purchasing power from Tri-State do not utilize any renewable resources. Another alternative would be for Tri-State to allow those cooperatives who have shown an interest in renewables to take advantage of the unused percentages from the cooperatives not using solar, wind or geothermal power.

The board of trustees, management and staff of KCEC are willing to forgo some of the revenue that would be produced by buying all our electricity from Tri-State in order to create a more sustainable community. The only way that can happen is for Tri-State to drop or amend the 5% contractual limitation on power produced by renewable resources. 

Call to Action! Tri-State Rate Increase

February 28, 2013

 

Tri-State Rate Increase Information

Tri-State Generation and Transmission has requested a rate increase for its member cooperatives. Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Inc. (KCEC) receives the electrical power it distributes to its members from Tri-State, so this action will directly affect the rates for all members. Below is an update of recent events in KCEC’s protest of the rate increase, as well as background of how the case came about.

  • Update:
    • Tri-State Generation and Transmission (Tri-State) requested interim rate relief from the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC), which would increase rates to Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Inc. (KCEC) members by 8 to 9%. KCEC is asking members to contact the PRC to voice their opposition via phone or e-mail (PRC contact information below) as soon as possible. The PRC should be urged not to allow Tri-State to raise their rates on an interim or permanent basis until they justify the need for an increase. To view a sample letter click here.
    • Tri-State Generation and Transmission (Tri-State) filed a response to the protest made to their proposed rate increase with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) on February 11, 2013. Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Inc. (KCEC) along with Springer and Continental Divide cooperatives filed protests in November and again in January to the rate increases asserting they are unjust, unreasonable and punitive.
    • From our analysis the $800,000 increase for KCEC members will result in a 9% increase for residential consumers. KCEC will continue the protest process as has been done with each increase Tri-State has proposed since KCEC contracted with them to supply electricity in 2000. At the time of contracting with Tri-State they promised rate stability, yet this is the ninth increase in 12 years.
    • It is also speculated Tri-State will impose rate increases each year until 2022. Overall, this will result in a 225% increase in wholesale electric rates from 2000 to 2022.
    • The KCEC Board of Trustees approved continuing the protest at their January 29, 2013 meeting.
    • KCEC has sent formal advice of protest to the U.S.D.A.’s Rural Utility Service (RUS).
    • KCEC asserts a breach of the original agreement with Tri-State. At the time Tri-State merged with Plains Electric, KCEC’s previous electricity supplier, it was agreed Tri-State would be regulated by the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) if three member cooperatives protested a proposed rate increase. In this case in addition to KCEC, Springer and Continental cooperatives have joined the protest.
    • Tri-State filed a Complaint for Declaratory or Injunctive Relief with the U.S. District Court of New Mexico on January 25, 2013.
    • Tri-State proposes increasing the rate for the three protesting cooperatives from 4.9% to 9%, while keeping the rate at 4.9% for the other member cooperatives in New Mexico that did not protest the increase. KCEC asserts this plan is discriminatory and punitive, as it retaliates toward only the three protesting cooperatives.  
  • Background:
    • Tri-State Generation & Transmission has proposed a rate increase for its 44 member cooperatives (12 in New Mexico) is to make up a projected $30 million shortfall in revenues yet:
      • Tri-State has $10 million in Capital Credits, which is the margin (profit) the company declares. This is the difference between the purchase price of electricity and the amount for which it is sold to the member cooperatives. Salaries, system improvements and other overhead are subtracted from this total and the remaining amount is considered the margin (profit). Capital Credits can be returned to the member cooperatives or used to keep the corporation on firm financial footing.
      • Tri-State has budgeted for a $48 million power plant. The construction of this plant is currently tied up in litigation, as the Sierra Club has filed suit to stop construction.
      • Tri-State has budgeted for $1.8 million in legal fees to fight this rate case in court.
      • Tri-State has budgeted for $10 million in advertising. There is no return on investment for Tri-State in there regional and national advertising, as their revenue comes from cooperatives that are contractually obligated to purchase electricity from them.
      • Tri-State has budgeted for 48 new employees. Payroll budgeted at $161 million will increase to $176 million, a $15 million increase.
      • The four examples above represent $84.8 million in revenues that are either available or have been prematurely budgeted, yet Tri-State is projected a shortfall of less than half that amount.
    • The proposed rate increase is being unfairly distributed and is therefore punitive and discriminatory:
      • The three cooperatives protesting the increase has been told rates they purchase power from Tri-State will increase from 4.9 to 9%. The member cooperatives that are not protesting the increase will stay at 4.9%.
      • 37i (interim) in effect March 13.
      • All communities within the KCEC service territory have experienced declining GRT and lodger’s tax since 2008. To add to the financial burden, particularly of the business community, during these difficult times is unfair given the Tri-State profit margins suggest no financial need.  
  • In addition, Tri-State has limited its member cooperatives to 5% electrical power produced by renewable sources. KCEC is at that limit now. Many of our members are committed to offsetting as much of our electric use with solar power as possible. KCEC shares that commitment. We are number two in the nation in solar power production per member and number four in total solar power production. Our desire is to keep growing our solar portfolio. With the present limit we are unable to do so. We are encouraging Tri-State to either drop its limitation or increase the percentage.   

PRC members and contact information (contact in this order):

Tri-State Files with U.S. Disttict Court

January 31, 2013

Tri-State filed a Complaint for Declaratory or Injunctive Relief with the U.S. District Court of New Mexico

Tri-State Generation and Transmission has requested a rate increase for its member cooperatives. Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Inc. (KCEC) receives the electrical power it distributes to its members from Tri-State, so this action will directly affect the rates for all members. This will be the ninth rate increase for Tri-State since their merger with Plains Electric in 2000. KCEC has protested each increase, but this is the first time we have had two other cooperatives join us in the protest. According to legislation passed at the time of the merger, Tri-State agreed to be regulated by the PRC if three member cooperatives protested an increase.

Tri-State has filed a Complaint of Declaratory or Injunctive Relief with the U.S. District Court of New Mexico asserting the PRC should not have regulatory authority of them as they are involved in inter-state commerce. To read the complaint click here

Taos Regional Command and Communications Center Update

January 30, 2013

 

Town of Taos Council Reviews Command Center Move

At their meeting on January 22, 2013 the Town of Taos Mayor and Council heard from communications expert Ludwell (Bud) Lake of 9-1-1 Solutions. He did an evaluation of the costs involved in either upgrading and renovating the current emergency dispatch center located on Civic Plaza Drive or relocating to the Taos Regional Emergency Communications Center (TRECC) on Gusdorf Road.

According to Lake, the remodel of the Civic Plaza Drive location, including asbestos remediation and temporary relocation while the work is performed, will be $1.5 million. The cost of relocation to the TRECC is estimated at $345,372. Aside from the cost there would be other challenges associated with remaining at the present dispatch location, most notably the inability to expand, which will be necessary soon.

In evaluating the two locations, Lake utilized a point system for such categories as available space, communications systems, security, lighting, furniture and equipment. The TRECC came in at 167 out of a possible 220 points, while the Civic Plaza Drive location scored a mere 70 points.   

The mayor, council and town manager Oscar Rodriguez also discussed revising the Joint Powers Agreement between the town, county, Taos Ski Valley, Questa and Taos Pueblo. Rodriquez proposed an independent board with representatives from the entities served by the e911 service. Under the proposal a base fee would be paid by each participant, while an additional fee would be paid based on the call volume from the various areas served by the center. Under the current system, Taos with about 6,000 residents pays about the same as the county with 30,000.

KCEC took the lead on putting together and applying for funding through the USDA’s Rural Utility Service and the State of New Mexico to facilitate the construction of the TRECC, which was completed in August 2011. The KCEC dispatch facilities are currently occupying the center and utilizing state-of-the-art technology to bring reliable electric service to its members, as well as rapid response times when problems do occur. The Town of Taos, Taos County, Villages of Taos Ski Valley and Questa, as well as regional school districts and other entities drafted resolutions in support of the project.  

Click here to view a copy of the study

Taos Regional Command and Communications Center Update

January 9, 2013

The Taos Regional Command and Communications Center (TRCCC) has been the topic of much discussion since its completion in August 2011. KCEC will be providing updates periodically, so our members will know how the facility is currently being utilized and changes that may take place in the future.

First a brief history of how the TRCCC came to be constructed: Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (KCEC) representatives were involved in numerous meetings with the Town of Taos, Taos County, the U.S. Forest Service,  the Bureau of Land Management, as well as other municipalities around the Enchanted Circle after the 9/11 tragedy. It was decided for the health, safety and welfare of our communities a command center should be built to consolidate the emergency service communications for the various entities. Upon further discussion it was decided KCEC was in the best position to receive support through grants and loans to construct such a facility.

Recently the Town of Taos contracted with Bud Lake, an expert in emergency communication facilities and retired Director of Sandoval County 9-1-1 Center, to conduct an assessment of the cost and feasibility of improving local emergency dispatch services either by moving the E911 service from its current location on Civic Plaza Drive to the new TRCCC or keeping at its present location in the Police Department on Civic Plaza Drive. Mr. Lake will present the first of three installments on his study to the Town of Taos Council on January 22, 2013. He will report to the Council how the two sites compare against a minimum standard for emergency communications for a community like Taos. His report will review both locations and give the council recommendations of how to proceed with either updating the present location or moving to the new facility. After reviewing the recommendations the council will make a decision on which direction Mr. Lake should go for his second installment where more concrete costs and project plan will be developed.

As this process continues KCEC will give further updates through our communications networks. Questions or comments can be directed to KCEC Public Information Officer Steve Fuhlendorf at (575) 758-2258 ext. 143 or sfuhlendorf@kitcarson.com.

Carson Nat'l Forest OK'ed for Fiber Project

January 4, 2013

The USDA Forest Service issued the decision today, January 4, 2012, to allow Kit Carson Electric Cooperative to construct the Enchanted Light Fiber Optic High Speed Internet Project along existing easements on Carson National Forest land. The decision authorizes the construction along approximately 166 miles of existing aerial lines and 13 miles of existing buried lines. It also includes an option to to reroute existing aerial lines through Hondo Canyon along NM-150 (Taos Ski Valley Road) to buried lines. To review the complete decision click the link below.  

David Torres Appointed to KCEC Board of Trustees

December 28, 2012

KCEC Board Appoints David Torres to Fill Trustee Vacancy          

The Board of Trustees of Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Inc. (KCEC) appointed David A. Torres to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of Trustee Francis Cordova. The appointment was made at the board of trustees meeting held on December 27, 2012. He will begin his trustee duties on January 2, 2013 and serve the remainder of Mr. Cordova’s term, which was due to expire at the KCEC Annual Meeting in June 2013.

Mr. Torres brings knowledge of cooperative operations having served on the board of Kit Carson Energy, Inc. since 2009. He is currently an International Relief Consultant with Samaritan’s Purse, leading assessment and relief teams to natural and man-made disasters in numerous counties. He retired as a Colonel from the United States Air Force in 2006, having served as Senior U.S. Military Advisor to NATO Commander Headquarters in Sarajevo. He has also previously worked for the State of New Mexico as Transportation Programs Division Director for the Department of Transportation and as Taos County Public Works Director.  He is married with two children. 

PRC Rules in KCEC's Favor

December 26, 2012

 

PRC Suspends Tri-State Electric Rate Increase and Rate Redesign            

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Inc. (KCEC), along with two other New Mexico electric cooperatives, protested a proposed rate increase and rate redesign by Tri-State Generation and Transmission. The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) ruled in favor of KCEC at a hearing on December 20, 2012. The changes were due to take place on January 1, 2013. KCEC has fought rate increases by Tri-State for 12 years. This is the first time other cooperatives have joined in the battle. New Mexico state law requires three cooperatives to protest a rate increase before they can hear the case.

The suspension of the increase, the ninth increase by Tri-State since 2000, means KCEC and other New Mexico electric cooperative consumers will not be subject to a 5% increase in rates. According to KCEC CEO Luis Reyes, “The suspension of the rate increase amounts to an annual savings of one million dollars. The rate redesign would have unfairly burdened the business community during already difficult economic times. We are very pleased the commissioners chose to intervene on behalf of our members.”

The PRC will assign a hearing examiner and set a hearing schedule. Tri-State has indicated they will seek to stop the suspension through court action.   

 

KCEC Board Member Francis Cordova Retires

November 30, 2012

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Inc. (KCEC) board of trustee’s member Francis A. Cordova has submitted his resignation to board chair Bobby Ortega effective December 31, 2012. Mr. Cordova was elected to the board in May 2005 and reelected in 2009. He has worked diligently with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission and the state legislature to ensure members receive affordable electric service. He has also been active on the member’s behalf with the Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) program.

Mr. Cordova is a native of Taos and has remained active in various causes throughout his life. He received many promotions and commendations during his tour of duty with the Army National Guard from 1967 to 2004. The drill hall at the Taos National Guard Armory is named in his honor. He has been especially active with Taos Feeds Taos for the past 25 years.

He will continue to enjoy time with his wife, Ernestina, his four children and grandchildren, as well as continuing his volunteer work.

A call for applications from District One, from which Mr. Cordova served the KCEC membership, has been published to fill the remainder of his term. Deadline for applications and resumes is December 13, 2012. Mr. Cordova’s term on the board was due to end as of the June 2013 KCEC Annual Meeting. Further information can be obtained by calling Carmella Suazo at (575) 758-2258 ext. 132 or e-mailing csuazo@kitcarson.com.

KCEC Community Solar-Business Buyers Advantages

November 12, 2012

 

KCEC Community Solar-Easy & Smart for Business

As a business owner you are always in search of ways to improve your bottom line. KCEC Community Solar can help. Find out how in the attached Pdf file.

KCEC Winter Moratorium

November 6, 2012

 

WINTER MORATORIUM

 

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (KCEC) announces the LIHEAP Winter Moratorium Protection will begin on November 15, 2012 and end on March 15, 2013. Your electric service will not be shut-off for non-payment during this time period if:

  • Your KCEC bill is not past due as of November 15, 2012
  • You are LIHEAP eligible
  • You meet the necessary criteria of the New Mexico Human Services Department

To avoid shut-off after March 15, 2013 please contact KCEC at 575-758-2258 or 800-688-6780. A KCEC representative will assist you in making arrangements for payment.

 

Para informacion en Espanol llame 575-758-2258 or 800-688-6780

Members Helping Members

November 6, 2012

 

MEMBERS HELPING MEMBERS

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (KCEC) is accepting applications for the Member Helping Members Program. Members Helping Members is a one-time assistance program. If you have not qualified before, please submit an application (found on our website under the Customer Service tab at Bill Paying Assistance).

The Members Helping Members Program began in 2008 as a means to assist low income members in our service territory with paying their electric bill. This is a community service program which receives voluntary contributions from our participating members. From 2008 to 2012 KCEC’s Members Helping Members Program has helped 998 members for a total of $82,017 in assistance. For more information regarding our MHM Program please contact the Customer Service Department at 5785-758-2258 or 800-688-6780.

 

RUS Restores Funding for High Speed Internet Project

October 25, 2012

 

October 24, 2012

KCEC Fiber Optic Project Funding Restored

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (KCEC) officials announced today, October 24, 2012, funding has been reinstated for the $64 million Enchanted Light Fiber Optic High Speed Internet Project. The Rural Utility Service (RUS), a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, who is responsible for funding the project, had temporarily suspended funding due to a petition to the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC).  The PRC ruled in favor of KCEC at a hearing last week. KCEC immediately requested RUS restore the funding.

“We are very pleased to have the project move forward again”, said KCEC CEO Luis Reyes. He added, “This means about 200 local residents will be able to resume work and continue to provide for their families.” It is anticipated when the project is fully under construction about 300 local residents will be employed installing the infrastructure. The project has a deadline for completion of February 2015.

Kit Carson Electric Participates in Raising Awareness Day

October 18, 2012

Raising Awareness Day

KCEC Launches New Website

September 19, 2012

Welcome to KCEC's new website, designed to be more user-friendly and keep our members better-informed! Please feel free to contact us with any questions, concerns, or feedback.

Planned Power Outages in August

August 2, 2012

 

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative has scheduled a series of PLANNED POWER OUTAGES that will be taking place throughout the month of August 2012 to allow crews to perform Preventive Maintenance on ALL substations within the service territory; in preparation for the winter months.
 
The following is the scheduled date, time and affected  areas for performing maintenance on the corresponding substation.
 
Ojo Caliente Substation
 
Date: Thursday, August 2, 2012
 
Time:  2:00 a.m. – 5:00 a.m.
 
Affected areas:
 
Ojo Caliente, El Rito, Vallecitos, Canon Plaza,  La Petaca, La Madera, Las Tablas, and Servilleta Plaza
 
No Agua Substation
 
Date: Thursday, August 2, 2012
 
Time: 2:00 a.m. – 5:00 a.m
 
Affected areas:
 
Residents and businesses in Tres Piedras, Los Pinos, the towers in San Antonio Mountain, the Double D Ranch and the Old Barbar Ranch ( Those residents  who live West of the Gorge Bridge not including Carson but those who live off of hwy 285- approximately 10 miles North of Suzies Café up to Los Pinos will be affected )
 
Reason: Substation Preventive Maintenance
 
 
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS PLEASE CALL KIT CARSON ELECTRIC COOP @ (575) 758-2258, or 1-800-688-6780. THANK YOU.

Facts About the KCEC Fiber Optic Project

July 30, 2012

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Inc. (KCEC) has begun its $64 million project to install fiber optic cable to every home and business with our service area. The Notices to Proceed have been issued for both the underground and overhead portions of the project. Trenching has already begun for the approximately 900 miles of underground infrastructure that will follow existing underground electric lines. The overhead portion will begin soon. We will have multiple crews working in various places around our service area to complete the project as quickly as possible.

 As with many projects we undertake to benefit the members of KCEC there are a few people with very loud voices, but suspect motives, who do not think it is appropriate for KCEC to undertake this project. Unfortunately, while their voices may be loud their words are less than accurate. I would like to take this opportunity to set the facts straight.

 In 2008 a group of citizens, business people, organization leaders and government officials met on several occasions to discuss if we should apply for federal stimulus funds and, if so, what would be the most beneficial project for which to seek these funds. The consensus was: 1) Yes, we should apply for the funds and 2) high speed internet service would be the best project to positively impact economic development and education within our area. It was also determined that KCEC would be the most appropriate entity to apply for these funds. 

  • KCEC received a $44 million grant to undertake the fiber-to-the-home high speed internet project. Supplying rural areas with stable and fast connectivity is one of President Obama’s top economic development priorities, as he maintains this is the best way to level the playing field for all citizens of our country. Why should citizens of metropolitan areas be exclusively able to compete in the global marketplace? He believes, as most rational rural residents believe, we should all have the opportunities afforded by the latest technology. 
  • KCEC also received a $19.3 million low interest loan to complete the project. In order to meet our debt service obligations we will need to have at least 5,000 members connect to internet service for their homes and/or businesses. This does not mean 5,000 Kit Carson Telecom (KCT) customers. This means 5,000 overall members, whether they connect through KCT or TaosNet, WispCom or any other internet service provider (ISP) in our service area, including Century Link. This is a very realistic goal and should not be difficult to achieve. In other words, there will be no obligation to our electric consumers as a result of this project.
  • It has always been the intention of KCEC to spin off a separate company when the infrastructure installation is complete. This only makes sense. We want all our community businesses to be successful. In order for the other ISP’s in our area to be successful we must all complete on a level playing field. To that end, KCT will be buying bandwidth for the separate company at the same price as all the other ISP’s. The grant and the loan were made to KCEC, so KCEC needs to complete to project before the separate company is spun off. There are certain members of our community whose allegiance seems to be to a national company that would very much like to be in a position to complete this project themselves. However, the track record shows much more willingness to make promises than to actually complete rural infrastructure projects. Also, from an economic development standpoint, we would much rather the dollars spent on any project remain in our community where they can achieve the maximum multiplier effect. It has been proven that money spent locally whether through wages or purchases with locally owned companies, multiply within the community through purchases made by locals with the money they earn.
  • It is important to note the Enchanted Light High Speed Fiber Optic project will employ approximately 300 local workers in the construction phase. The contractors are mandated to hire at least 90% local labor. We all know these jobs are badly needed in our community. If a national company were to do this same work we would see very little if any impact on our local labor needs. In addition, after the project is complete many more local jobs will be generated both directly and indirectly for everything from system maintenance to sales to technical support. It is anticipated the local businesses will also be in a position to expand and new businesses will be started.

In regard to other issues brought forth recently:

  • KCEC is meeting all of their financial requirements. We have no intention of raising rates and do not anticipate the need to do so.
     
  • Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, our power supplier, has indicated they will be implementing a rate increase. KCEC has filed a protest of this increase. As has historically been the case, we were the first to file such a protest. However, this time we have been able to convince other coops to join us in this fight. We will, of course, keep our members posted on the outcome of the protest.
     
  • The amount of kilowatt hours (kWh) sold in May of 2012 actually increased from May of 2011. However usage remained flat from January to May of 2012 over the same period in 2011. A great deal of this is due to the gas outage of February 2011, which spiked the electric usage in our service area, as during this very cold spell our members turned to electric heat when gas was not available.

We would also like to give our heartfelt thanks to first responders who assisted us during an emergency electrical exercise held in June. We were able to give our line apprentices and supervisors actual hands on training simulating an electrical emergency resulting in injuries. The Questa Volunteer Fire Department, Taos County EMS and Care Flight were essential in creating a valuable and realistic exercise.   

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