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The original item was published from 10/8/2021 11:10:00 AM to 10/8/2021 12:00:01 PM.

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Posted on: September 12, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Las Cruces Utilities Does Have an Eye on The Future

Eye on the Future

by G.H. Scott

published in the Las Cruces Sun-News 09.12.2021

The advantage to being a customer of a City-owned utility such as Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) is that you have a voice, either directly to staff or through your LCU Board members. The reverse is also true, LCU has a responsibility to keep its customers informed and correct misinformation in the public arena. 

Recently an opinion column titled “Facing our Energy Future” was printed in the Sun-News, the author presented some interesting points about the City of Las Cruces (City) plans to transition from natural gas. It’s true Las Cruces leaders passed a resolution in October 2020 calling for a “Climate Action Plan” that clearly defines objectives to reduce carbon emissions by the year 2050 and a goal of decarbonizing the natural gas system while ensuring energy affordability in our community. In April of this year, the Las Cruces City Council (City Council) also passed a resolution directing LCU to create an energy transition plan for LCU’s natural gas line of business with a long-term goal of transitioning to renewable energy while again ensuring affordability for all our customers. The City Council has recognized the need for careful planning and responsible fiscal management while pursuing a carbon-neutral future for Las Cruces. This planning does not include denying affordable services within LCU’s natural gas service area, which extends just outside the city limits. 

This is an important distinction because there is concern over LCU’s efforts to provide natural gas service to residents in the City’s gas service area that includes Talavera Subdivision and how that would affect every other LCU customer. There has been some misinformation that LCU will force existing customers to pay for the gas line extensions into the subdivision, basically that is false. LCU states residents in Talavera who want natural gas will pay for the cost of gas main extension, which is just over $4,000 per home. Additionally, LCU has a long range planning project near the Talavera Subdivision to build a high-pressure line for redundancy and reliability that benefits all LCU customers. This high-pressure gas project is significant, as it is part of LCU’s master plan for the gas system ensuring natural gas service has an alternate path to serve all customers with sufficient capacity and pressure.  

LCU is very mindful of the resolutions passed by the City Council, for instance Resolution 21-153 states that for 85 years, the City has owned and operated a natural gas utility that has provided affordable, safe, and reliable natural gas retail services to the residents and businesses of the city. The resolution further states the City has a responsibility to its residents to ensure the natural gas lines, in which they have invested, are maintained to excellent safety standards and to build a resilient system that provides reliable gas service to the community and businesses on demand. LCU will continue to follow the guidance of that resolution and also be a leader as the City moves forward with the goals and objectives to reduce carbon emissions by 2050. 

LCU 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: For emergencies, call Dispatch at 526-0500. 


PHOTO 1: “Carbon Footprint”-Courtesy-Getty Images/iStock photo 


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