Process moves forward to determine proposed New Mexico Gas Company rate increase

By: - October 20, 2023 4:05 am
A natural gas meter with a pipe on a wall

The average residential bill would increase by $6.71 for New Mexico Gas Company customers, under the utility's proposed price change. (Photo by Bill Oxford/Getty Images)

As temperatures start dropping and New Mexicans start turning up their heat, they may have to think about more expensive gas prices at their homes and businesses in the coming years.

New Mexico Gas Company wants to bump rates for gas prices by 11.2%, increasing the average residential bill by $6.71, according to the utility.

The company filed its application to increase service prices in September. Its request is to start the new rates in October 2024.

Before that happens, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission will hold a public hearing to make sure the new rates are fair and reasonable. 

Commissioners ordered this last week on Oct. 11.

On Thursday, commissioners advanced the process and ordered that a hearing examiner be assigned to the rate increase case. Hearing examiner Elizabeth Hurst will hold the public hearing.

A few of the reasons behind the proposed higher rates are inflation, staff retention, employee recruitment and regulatory demands from state and federal agencies, according to the company’s application.

The gas company’s application says the utility also wants to invest about $278 million in infrastructure and technology upgrades. The company also wants $48.97 million more to cover future costs.

No agencies or organizations have formally intervened in this rate case yet, according to the PRC e-docket. Intervening gives parties a chance to voice any concerns they have about the proposed price hike during the public hearing.

The interveners in New Mexico Gas Company’s last price increase request in 2022 included the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General, the Coalition for Clean Affordable Energy, New Energy Economy and Western Resource Advocates.

It’s not clear yet when the upcoming hearing will take place.

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Megan Gleason
Megan Gleason

Megan Gleason is a journalist based in Albuquerque. She recently graduated from the University of New Mexico, where she served as the editor-in-chief of the Daily Lobo. Other work has appeared under the New Mexico Press Association as well as in the Independent, Gallup Sun and Silver City Daily Press.