New Mexico Gas Company has filed an application with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, proposing to recover costs from dramatic gas price increases seen during the winter storm in February.

NMGC’s proposed plan seeks to minimize the monthly impact to customers’ bills by spreading the recovery of these costs through the end of December 2023, a longer period than would normally be sought.

“We understand that even with our best efforts to minimize it, this is not a small impact to our customers,” NMGC President Ryan Shell said. “The costs we faced in February were unprecedented, and the unusual market conditions forced us to pay substantially higher prices for natural gas. Our focus is to minimize the effect of the February 2021 winter event on our customers.”

As a regulated utility, NMGC passes the cost of gas on to its customers without markup, as part of their monthly bills.

The proposal would result in an increase to the average customer bill in the range of $2.37 to $8.84 per month, depending on usage. The average increase would be about $5.70 per month, or about 10 percent.

NMGC has a $1.2 million fund to assist income-qualifying residential customers and small-business owners who have fallen behind on their natural gas bills because of the coronavirus pandemic. To help customers, payment centers are re-opening May 3, and representatives will work with customers to establish payment plans.

Residential customers can also apply for help through New Mexico Gas Company’s HEAT New Mexico program. Qualified residential customers will receive a one-time payment of $150 toward their gas bill.

Small-business owners can apply online at nmgco.com/SmallBusiness/CovidRelief. Those who qualify will be eligible for a one-time credit of up to $250.

For customers seeking to learn more, go to nmgco.com or call 1-888-664-2726.

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