The Utility Customer Advisory Group (UCAG) wants to hear from the public about the gas rate review. UCAG has reviewed the presentation by consultant Stantec Consulting that evaluated current gas rates, examined revenue requirement, and the cost of providing services.
There are three rate design options: a limited phased-in option that would phase-in the rate increase for the most impacted classes (small and large commercial), a full phased-in approach that would phase-in the rate increase across all rate classes, and a full-cost option. UCAG informs the Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) Board of Commissioners (Board) then, in turn, submits its recommendation to City Council.
The Ad Hoc Committee of five volunteers is ready to gather input from the public following a half-hour presentation to attendees to review what Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) needs to continue providing good, reliable utility services to the community. In light of COVID-19 gathering restrictions, presentations and Q&A from the public will come over Zoom on May 5 and May 12, 2021. The PowerPoint presentation available will explain the gas rate review process, current and proposed gas rates, and the options to be submitted to LCU Board.
Just the facts:
• LCU operates as an Enterprise Fund and is not funded by tax dollars.
• LCU must increase overall revenue by $2.4 million annually. The last gas rate increase was in 2011.
• The average residential monthly gas bill today is $26.87, including the access charge. A full-cost increase would see the average residential bill go to $29.33.
• The average small commercial monthly gas bill today is $75.15, including the access charge. A full-cost increase would see the average residential bill go to $107.24.
• UCAG seeks customer input as to how to best implement rate increases across gas customer classes of service, which includes residential, small commercial, large commercial, and industrial.
• UCAG seeks customer input regarding the limited phased-in rate increase options or a full cost of service rate increase option.
The public is also very welcome to attend UCAG meetings held the second Thursday of the month, currently being held via Zoom. For registration information or any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. All documents associated with the rate review process are located at https://www.las-cruces.org/2065/Utility-Customer-Advisory-Group-UCAG and www.las-cruces.org.
LCU Customer Central can be reached at 575-541-2111 from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. LCU provides services to approximately 100,000 Las Cruces residents and businesses.
PHOTO 1: Safe natural gas is ensured by LCU associates in various ways, such as testing to make sure lines are free of oxygen, as shown above in the Talavera neighborhood. The Utility Customer Advisory Group (UCAG) wants to hear from residents about possible different gas rate review options that will go to the LCU Board of Commissioners.