To the Editor:
As a member and former employee of a Co-op in Northern New Mexico that broke their contract with their power supplier (Tri-State) to go with electric broker Guzman who does not own any electric infrastructure in the state, I cannot stress how much of a bad idea this is. Rates have not decreased as well as the co-op having to pay out over $20 million to break the contract when the co-op always claims that they are always in the “RED” as far as budget is concerned to obtain and purchase proper equipment to assist line crews to do their job more efficient and safely.
Another thing to consider, taking over ownership of transmission lines and substations that an electric co-op most likely does not have the means to maintain or repair if anything were to happen, which can lead to longer outages. They would have to reach out to a line contractor who has the proper equipment to fix the issue or call the electric provider they are trying to get away from, which could be a costly bill, when they could obtain the help they need for free right now.
It does sound like a crazy and risky idea to me. When my co-op presented this to their employees and members, I felt it was a joke. Members of Dakota Energy Co-op — my advice to you would be to do everything in your power to stop this from happening. The members carry the co-op if things were to go south with this deal, which would lead to higher rates. The co-op will throw out the idea for higher wages for their employees like mine did — but it didn’t happen. I cannot think of a positive outcome. “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”
Adam T. Montoya