New Mexicans’ gas bills double during the winter months

ALBUQUERQUE, NM — To say it’s been a chilly week across New Mexico is an understatement. So you probably turn up the heat at home to stay warm.

But have you noticed that your gas bill has doubled or even tripled recently? That’s exactly what some homeowners KOB 4 spoke to are saying.

“My bill, my personal house bill, went from about $150 to about $380 in just three months. So that seems like a pretty unreasonable increase,” said Tim Korte of the New Mexico Gas Company.

Korte says although natural gas prices have risen, they’re not the culprit.

“We don’t set the gas price, it’s set by the producers who extract the gas from the ground. That’s why our employees always try to buy gas on behalf of our customers at the lowest possible price,” says Korte.

Korte says there was a price increase, but that was more than a year in the works.

“On January 1st we introduced a rate increase. It’s now around $3 per month for the average consumer, the average rate is around $2.67. And the new tariff also includes a 40 percent increase in the access fee that we charge every private customer,” said Korte.

Why are New Mexicans getting such bills?

“Our customers pay what we pay, we don’t get a mark-up on the gas price. So the price of gas has risen over the last two and a half years,” said Korte.

For example, the cost of housing in January was $1.13 per therm. Last January it was 63 cents per spa. So is there a shortage?

“Actually, it’s the opposite of lack. Gas is booming right now, petroleum and natural gas and in the last two years a lot of the new infrastructure in southeastern New Mexico has come online and that is allowing producers to export natural gas to the terminals from which it is shipped overseas,” said Korte.

There are some simple changes you can make to lower your bill.

“If you lower your thermostat by about two to three to five degrees, you can save up to 10 or 15% on your gas bill every month,” Korte said.

There are some cities that are doing what they can to improve your gas bills. In Deming they offer a possible discount for these gas bills.

KOB 4 has contacted the city about this, but has not yet received a response.