Rate increase heads to Council

Published on July 03, 2024

Gas flame

With approval from the Los Alamos Board of Public Utilities (BPU), a potential natural gas rate increase in now headed to the Los Alamos County Council. The introduction of the ordinance is scheduled for the meeting on Tuesday, July 9, and a public hearing will be held at the Council meeting on Tuesday, July 30.

Utility rate changes must be adopted by the County Council before they can be put into place. If approved, this one will become effective on October 1, 2024. While Council approved rate increases for the natural gas system last year that would go into effect in the fall of 2024 and 2025, an additional increase is necessary and was included in the FY2025 adopted budget.

A recent state gas audit and an associated probable notice of violation resulted in the Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities (DPU) creating a dedicated gas work team and purchasing tracking software to better document gas repairs and monitoring.

Additionally, DPU was recently notified by the New Mexico Gas Company (NMGC) and Conoco Phillips—both providers of natural gas to Los Alamos County prior to distribution by DPU—of increases in their transportation/delivery rates.

The DPU gas rate is made up of two parts: 1) the monthly service fee and 2) the pass-through commodity rate which includes a fixed component and a variable cost-of-gas component. DPU is not proposing changes to the variable cost-of-gas component which changes monthly.

A list of frequently asked questions about the proposed rate change can be found at ladpu.com/rates under the Proposed Rate Changes section.

The County Council meetings will be conducted at 6 p.m. in person in Council Chambers at the Los Alamos Municipal Building and remotely via Zoom on July 9 and July 30. Both meetings are open to the public. Zoom links are available on the agendas at the following web link: https://ladpu.com/BPULiveProceedings .