According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, more Americans than ever can’t afford to pay their electric bill this year.

In New Mexico, the average homeowner pays $143 for electricity, according to Energy Sage’s data.

That accounts for the average usage in NM households which is approximately 940 kilowatts per hour.

But that goes up in the summer and winter.

PNM offers protection for consumers during the winter heating season.

“Certain customers’ electricity cannot be turned off from November 15 through March 15, 2023,” according to PNM’s web site.

PNM’s qualifications for people to receive help (PNM)

PNM has qualifications for the heating protection on the website.

It will also host a free assistance event on Nov. 16 from noon to 2 p.m. at the Ted M. Gallegos Center in Albuquerque to help residential customers pay electricity bills.

The event will allow customers to pay past-due electric bills.

Customers may be able to receive assistance from three different assistance programs, maximizing the amount of financial assistance.

PNM requires:

1. Proof of income and identification for everyone living in the home

2. Your LIHEAP (Low Income Energy Assistance Program)approval letter dated either 2021 or 2022

3. If no income, then proof of no income is required. Accepted is proof of food stamps.

4. Your PNM bills