COUNTY NEWS RELEASE
The first of two public hearings on proposed natural gas rate adjustments by the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) has been moved to the next Board of Public Utilities (BPU) work session on August 3. Originally scheduled for July 20 via Zoom, the hearing was postponed due to an Xfinity internet outage that affected residents and businesses throughout Los Alamos County. If the BPU approves the rate ordinance on August 3, a second hearing will be held on August 30 at the Los Alamos County Council meeting. The rates must be adopted by the County Council before they can be put in place.
The proposed increases are intended to generate revenues needed for current operations and to build cash reserves necessary for future infrastructure needs. Large increases to costs due to inflation and supply chain shortages have negatively impacted current natural gas fund balances. If approved by Council, the first increase will take effect on Oct. 1, 2022, with subsequent increases following on Oct. 1 annually.
The natural gas rate schedule has been unaltered since 2016 when the fixed commodity rate was decreased from $0.29/therm to $0.23/therm. Prior to that, the fixed commodity rate was decreased from $0.55/therm in 2013. A variable component based on actual cost of gas, also known as the pass-through rate, is added to the fixed commodity rate each month. Service charges for natural gas have not been changed since 2009.
The public hearings will be conducted via Zoom at 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 3 and, if approved by BPU, at 6 p.m. on Aug. 30. The following link will be updated with the correct Zoom link prior to each meeting: https://ladpu.com/ratehearing .
More information about the proposed rates, including a detailed FAQ document, can be found online at: https://ladpu.com/rates under the folder “Proposed & Pending Rate Changes.”