Retail Unbundling - New Mexico

Status: The state has a comprehensive unbundling program available for residential customers.

Overview: New Mexico has allowed unbundled gas service for all consumers since the late 1980s. However, all residential customers still purchase their gas from local distribution companies (LDCs), in large part because marketers have been unable to compete with the LDCs' prices. About 117 small commercial customers currently purchase gas from non-LDC suppliers. A customer choice pilot program by the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) was approved by the New Mexico Public Utility Commission in August 1997. The program, "EnergyWise Options" and "Gas Choice Program," offered PNM's 400,000 customers a choice of gas suppliers with deliveries starting in December 1997. Even after the Public Regulation Commission (formerly the Public Utility Commission) encouraged marketers to advertise, customers still did not switch suppliers. Enron did have several hundred customers sign up for service, but the numbers were so small that Enron discontinued the project by September 1998.

EIA State Data: In 2000, New Mexico had 479,894 residential and 44,169 commercial customers. They consumed 36 and 27 billion cubic feet of natural gas, respectively. The average prices paid for natural gas purchased from LDCs by residential and commercial customers were $6.10 and $4.90 per thousand cubic feet, respectively. The average city gate price in the state was $3.79 per thousand cubic feet.

Eligibility/Participation in Retail Choice Programs:

Status as of December 2001: Number of Customers

Customer Type

Total 2000
Eligible Participating
Total Percent of 2000 Total Total Percent of Eligible Percent of 2000 Total
Residential 479,894 479,894 100 0 0 0
Commercial 44,169 44,169 100 117 0.3 0.3
Total 524,063 524,063 100 117 0.02 0.02

Sources: Total 2000 and Eligible: Energy Information Administration, Natural Gas Annual 2000 (November 2001). Participating: Estimated by the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (December 2001).

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File Last modified: 06/19/2002