COUNTY NEWS RELEASE
The public hearing on proposed changes to the natural gas ordinance will be held as scheduled tonight at 5:30 p.m. in a hybrid fashion. Because of the weather, citizens wishing to attend are encouraged to join remotely on Zoom using the link ladpu.com/RateHearing. For anyone attending in person, the live portion will be held in Council Chambers at the Los Alamos County Municipal Building. While county operations are on a limited schedule due to snow today, the parking lot is expected to be plowed by then.
The public hearing is on the agenda for the regular monthly meeting of the Board of Public Utilities (BPU). Changes to the ordinance were brought forward by Department of Public Utilities (DPU) management in response to the escalating cost of gas in this part of the country. DPU customers cover the cost of gas to the utility through a pass-through rate, however the pass-through mechanism is capped under the current ordinance so DPU has been unable to recover costs while market prices are still high.
Two additional proposed changes include a minimum per-therm rate for the variable portion of the natural gas rate as well as a recovery mechanism which adds $0.44/therm for two years or until the current shortfall is recovered, whichever comes first.
If approved by BPU, the ordinance will go to the Los Alamos County Council for approval. A second public hearing would then be held at the March 28 County Council meeting before the members vote on the changes. If approved at that meeting, the ordinance would go into effect on April 8.
For more information, an FAQ is available at ladpu.com/FAQ-gas.