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NM: Court upholds PRC's energy efficiency decision

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) -- The New Mexico Supreme Court is upholding a decision by state regulators to allow Public Service Company of New Mexico to earn a profit on operating expenses related to the utility's energy conservation programs.

The court issued its ruling Thursday, saying the decision by the Public Regulation Commission was consistent with state law.

The state attorney general's office and a group of industrial customers had argued otherwise. They sought to have the commission's decision overturned.

The court says state law gives regulators the authority to remove any disincentives that might keep utilities from encouraging customers to conserve energy.

The court found that the PRC balanced the interest of the utility's investors with ratepayers' interests in determining reasonable rates instead of adopting the rates initially proposed by PNM.