Los Alamos County utility customers can now sign up for Budget Billing, according to officials with the Department of Public Utilities (DPU). Budget Billing was suspended in May 2018, so the county could transition to a new utility billing software and then accumulate 12 months of consumption data. The program is now activated again.
Budget Billing is a program that establishes an equal monthly utility payment, creating budgetary control for customers. The only requirements to join are that “the account balance is current, and the customer has lived in the same place for at least twelve months,” stated Lisa Romero, supervisor for the Customer Care Center.
Romero noted that DPU Customers who were enrolled in the program prior to May 2018, and are in good standing, will automatically be re-enrolled, unless they request otherwise. Customers who were not in the Budget Billing program but would like to be, may enroll by contacting the Customer Care Center.
When joining Budget Billing, the monthly payment is determined by totaling the previous year’s bills and dividing that total by 12. “The resulting average amount will be billed to the customer each month for the next 12 months,” Romero said.
At the end of the 12-month period from the date the customer enrolled, DPU will recalculate the Budget Billing average to determine the monthly payments for the next 12 months moving forward.
Budget Billing members only pay for the services and commodities used during the Budget Billing year. Under- or overpayment are added or credited on the first bill in the next Budget Billing year.
To sign up for Budget Billing, customers can contact the Customer Care Center, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 505 662 8333 or CustomerCare@lacnm.us.
The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) operates the county-owned electric, gas, water & wastewater systems under the jurisdiction of the Board of Public Utilities. The Board meets in Council Chambers at 1000 Central Ave., Los Alamos, NM every third Wednesday of the month at 5:30 p.m. The DPU is funded by rates paid for electric, gas, water and wastewater services and auxiliary fees, and has provided the community with these services for more than 50 years.