Columbus Electric Cooperative, Inc.

Columbus Currents

New Mexico Construction Industries
Division's position on replacing meter poles.

When the Cooperative replaces a meter pole in New Mexico we are bound to comply with state electrical regulations, enforced by the New Mexico Construction Industries Division (CID). Your first question must be, "What does this mean to me?" Well, the meter pole is the interconnection point where the Cooperative's equipment and the consumer's equipment meet. When one of us takes action at this point the other is affected.

The majority of all meter poles on our system are owned and maintained by the Cooperative. You as the consumer attach a meter base, breaker box, etc., and this equipment is owned and maintained by the consumer. When the meter pole reaches the end of its useful life and we replace it, you the consumer must make arrangements for removal of your equipment from the old pole and installation onto the new pole. Sounds simple right? Not.

This summer we met with representatives from CID who informed us that anytime the Cooperative disconnects service wires from a meter pole, that service must receive a new inspection from them before the Cooperative can reconnect service. Our first question to them was, "Will you hold the service to the electrical standards at the time it was first installed or will our consumer's installation be required to meet today's electrical standards?" The answer was clear and direct, the installation must meet today's electrical standards.

We are concerned that most electrical services will not meet today's standards and will require our members to make investments for equipment upgrades.

For years the Cooperative provided the meter pole because our member had no other option. Either the Co-op installed the pole or the member didn't have electric service. Today this is not the case most electricians have the necessary equipment to provide the service. The question for us is, should we offer ownership of the poles to our members so they own the pole, meter base, etc., and you alone make the decision when to invest in equipment upgrades?

 

Tropical Storm Odile downs power poles.

In late September tropical rainstorm Odile unloaded a significant amount of rainfall across our service area. This event turned dry stream beds and roads into small rivers. Our electric system held up very well with a few exceptions. Cave Creek (pictured above) located in the Arizona Chiricahua Mountains received over six inches of rain and is where our system experienced the most damage.

Here we lost ten power poles leaving twenty homes and a few commercial accounts without power for close to 24 hours. Mother Nature once again demonstrated she can tear down anything men build.

During the storm our linemen worked almost nonstop to make sure service was restored to our members as soon as possible. We are proud of the efforts of our linemen. Their dedication to restoring power during these adverse conditions demonstrates their commitment to serving our members.

 

LIHEAP Protection Notice

Protection from winter shut-off begins November 15, 2014. To avoid potential disconnection of services please contact the human services department at 800-283-4465, or the appropriate tribal or pueblo entity for eligibility information for low income heating energy assistance program (LIHEAP). Your service will not be disconnected from November 15, 2014, through March 15, 2015, if you meet the qualifications of LIHEAP and have no past due amounts or you remain current on any settlement or installment agreement for amounts due as of November 15, 2015. Members of New Mexico tribes or pueblos who need help with translation or with other matters may contact the commission's consumer relations division at (888) 427-5772, who will contact the appropriate tribal or pueblo official for assistance. Para información en español llame 1-800-950-2667.

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Electrical Outage Telephone Numbers

575-546-8838 between the hours of 8:00am - 5:00 pm

After Hours and Holidays 1-800-228-0579

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