Published in the Las Cruces Bulletin 1.20.23
By Cassie McClure
For Las Cruces Utilities (LCU), feedback from customers is invaluable. It gives direction to the LCU Board of Commissioners. It allows LCU to know if customers know about services included with their connections, like when the monthly grappler arrives or if clear bags are key to yard waste disposal.
“Due to COVID, we haven’t conducted a survey since 2019,” said LCU Senior Office Manager Alma Ruiz. “But based on the 2018 survey that we did, we were asked to identify any goals in our Strategic Business Plan that we could then add to our survey, which we did beginning in 2019, and we have carried those on to 2022 as well.”
The survey was both in English and Spanish and had 12 questions. LCU had a booth at the downtown Farmer’s Market, an online SurveyMonkey option, and sent the survey to customers as an insert to their physical and electronic bills. There were 843 responses, which was only about 2 percent of customers.
“An astounding 97 percent knew what not to throw down their drains, which outscored the 2019 record of 84 percent and beat the goal of 85 percent,” said Ruiz. “But 47 percent of our customers do not know to call 811 before digging in their yard, and that this is a free service where our Utility locators then go out to mark the lines.”
Other questions asked about LCU services and environmental stewardship including showing that over 60 percent of respondents felt confident or very confident that LCU processed wastewater safely recycled back into the environment, the same percentage as in 2019 and past years.
For possible gas leaks, early 70 percent of respondents knew to either call LCU Dispatch at (575) 526-0500 or 911. “It’s fine to call 911 because the smell of sulfur can be worrying; however, our Dispatch is just as responsive to a gas emergency 24/7,” said LCU Deputy Director Natural Gas and Energy Lucio Garcia.
The last question was about UtilityHawk, which allows customers to monitor their gas and water usage. Unfortunately, 65 percent had never heard of it, and 24 percent weren’t interested. “This gives us the opportunity to educate the public more about the new, free tools they have available as part of their accounts,” said Ruiz.
LCU – Your Utility Connection. Customer Central can be reached at 575-541-2111 from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. LCU provides clean, safe, and reliable services to Las Cruces residents and businesses. Learn more at: www.las-cruces.org/180/Utilities .
For emergencies, call Dispatch at 526-0500.
PHOTO 1: Surveys are the way for LCU to know what you know about its services. Keep your eye on your mail for the physical copy to fill out, or, how to go online and fill it out when the next survey is released this year.