New Energy Economy and Intervenors Enter Joint Settlement Agreement With New Mexico Gas Company In Rate Case

Organization Press Release – From New Energy Economy

March 1, 2024 – Today New Energy Economy joined the New Mexico Department of Justice, the New Mexico Affordable Reliable Energy Alliance, NM PRC Staff and other intervenors in an uncontested stipulated settlement agreement with New Mexico Gas Company (NMGC) in rate Case. 23-00255-UT. The stipulated settlement will benefit New Mexico gas customers by:

  1. Reducing the proposed rate increase from $49M to $30M, a 39% decrease.
  2. The monthly fixed access fee of $12.40 will remain unchanged. NMGC originally proposed an increase to $15.50. This provision of the stipulation is particularly important to low and fixed income ratepayers who are disproportionately impacted by fees levied regardless of gas consumption.
  3. The Return on Equity, a guaranteed profit charged to ratepayers for capital investments by NMGC, will remain the same as before at 9.375%. NMGC had requested an increase to 10.5%.
  4. NMGC agreed that losses and expenses related to NMGC’s application for a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity for an LNG plant (Case No. 22-00309-UT) will not be charged to ratepayers, a savings of approximately $10M.

Importantly, in response to New Energy Economy’s February 20th Motion to Dismiss based on the misleading public Notice in the case, the stipulated settlement includes an agreement to revise the Notice format in future rate cases to increase transparency for gas customers and intervenors. New Energy Economy agreed to withdraw its Motion to Dismiss as part of the agreement.

Said Mariel Nanasi, Executive Director of New Energy Economy, “More than 540,000 New Mexican households are dependent on New Mexico Gas Company and have no choice in their gas provider. Today we were pleased to join with all intervenors to achieve fair rates and a fair return on capital investments, to protect low-income ratepayers from higher access fees, and to ensure that going forward New Mexico Gas Company will properly disclose the impact that any rate increase application might have on customers.”