New Mexico Gas Co. makes case for rate hikes

December 23, 2019 GMT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gas Co. wants to raise rates as a way to recover money spent on capital investments.

The state’s largest natural gas distribution utility announced Monday that it has filed a request with state regulators for a rate hike that would generate more than $13 million.

If approved by the Public Regulation Commission, new rates would go into effect in 2021.

Utility officials say an average household bill of 50 therms is estimated to rise by $1.71, from $40.61 to $42.32.

Utility president Ryan Shell said in a statement that bills will still be the lowest in the region.

Among the investments in the company’s portfolio are the Santa Fe Mainline Project to enhance the reliability of service to communities in north-central New Mexico, a pipeline project in the Permian Basin and acquisition of the Albuquerque building it had been leasing.

Officials also said investments are being made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and install solar at utility-owned facilities throughout the state.

The utility serves roughly 530,000 customers throughout New Mexico.