A Word About Natural Gas Prices
As you look at your bill over the last year, you will notice an increase in the gas-cost portion. We want to explain why this part of your bill has gone up, and options available to help you reduce the impact of these higher costs.
First, the trend of rising worldwide prices for natural gas continues to rise for the third straight year. This is happening because of increased demand for natural gas in other parts of the United States and around the world. New Mexico Gas Company — like other natural gas utilities — purchases natural gas from producers, so we must pay these higher prices. In fact, we have experienced a 36 percent hike in the cost of gas purchased on behalf of our customers since September 2021. By rule, New Mexico Gas Company passes the cost of gas to customers without markup. We don’t make any profit on the gas we purchase for our customers.
Second, in February 2021 the Southwest region experienced extremely cold weather. At that time, the price of natural gas charged to NMGC and other gas utilities went up dramatically over a short period. Our company paid to purchase this gas and then we were authorized to recover the extraordinary gas costs beginning in July 2021. Until December 2023, a portion of your monthly bill includes recovery of those costs.
These factors involve events outside of our control, but they are causing gas prices charged to us — and passed on to you, our customers — to increase. We do everything we can to purchase gas at the lowest price available, and you pay what we pay, no more and no less.
To minimize the impact of these prices, we have suggestions about how to conserve your use of natural gas. To minimize your energy costs during colder months:
- Turn your thermostat down.
- Use our free Home Energy Analyzer for recommendations that could help you save hundreds of dollars through energy efficiency measures: nmgc.energysavvy.com
- Weatherize your home to save energy and money, and to improve your comfort.
- Clean or replace filters on your furnace.
- Clean warm-air registers, vents, baseboard heaters and radiators. Make sure they’re not blocked by furniture, carpeting or drapes.
- Open drapes and shades on your south-facing windows during the day to allow warm sunlight to enter. Close them at night to reduce the chill from cold windows.
Even with best efforts to minimize impacts, we recognize gas price increases could have an impact for you. We are committed to work with you, and have assistance programs available:
- LIHEAP is a residential assistance program through the New Mexico Human Services Department that offers winter heating assistance for income-qualified customers: www.nmgco.com/en/low_income_assistance
- The Salvation Army administers NMGC’s HEAT New Mexico fund. It is available to help income-qualified residential customers pay their winter heating bills: www.nmgco.com/en/HEAT_For_Help
- The NM Home Fund offers rental, mortgage and utility assistance through the State of New Mexico: nmhomefund.org
- The New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority administers Energy$mart, an energy efficiency program for income-qualified customers to help improve the energy efficiency of their homes and lower utility bills: www.housingnm.org/home-repair-and-energy-efficiency/energymart-weatherization-assistance
To learn more about these programs or to arrange a payment plan, call us at 1-888-664-2726.