New Mexicans see gas bills double during winter months

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – To say it’s been a chilly week across New Mexico is an understatement. So you’re probably cranking the heat up at home to stay warm. 

But have you noticed your gas bill doubled or even tripled lately? That’s exactly what some homeowners KOB 4 talked to say.

“My bill, my personal house bill went from about $150 up to about $380 in just basically three months. So that seems like that’s a pretty unreasonable increase,” one person said.

Korte says, while natural gas prices have gone up, they’re not the culprits. 

“We don’t set the price of gas, it’s set by the producers who bring the gas out of the ground. So our employees are always looking to purchase gas on behalf of our customers at the lowest possible price they can get it,” said Korte. 

Korte says there was a rate increase, but that was in the works for more than a year. 

“On Jan. 1, we did implement a rate increase. Now for the average residential customer, it’s around $3 a month, there’s the average rate is about $2.67. And the new rate also includes a 40-cent increase on the access fee that we charge at each residential customer,” Korte said.  

So why are New Mexicans getting bills like this? 

“Our customers pay what we pay, we don’t get a markup on the price of gas. So the price of gas has been going up over the last two and a half years,” said Korte. 

For instance, in January the residential cost was $1.13 per therm. Last January, it was 63 cents per therm. So is there a shortage?

“It’s actually the opposite of a shortage. Gas is booming right now petroleum and gas, and with some, in the last two years, a lot of the new infrastructure has come online, in southeastern New Mexico, and that allows the producers to export natural gas to the terminals where it shipped overseas,” said Korte. 

There are some easy changes you can make to help lower your bill.

“If you drop your thermostat by about two to three to five degrees, you can save as much as 10 or 15% on your gas bill every month,” Korte said. 

There are some cities doing what they can to help your gas bill. In Deming, they’re offering a possible rebate for those gas bills. 

KOB 4 reached out the city about this but have not heard back.