Retail Unbundling - New Mexico


Status: All residential customers in the state are allowed to choose natural gas suppliers, but no one is participating.


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. According to the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, no residential customers and about 1,200 small commercial customers purchased gas from non-LDC suppliers in 2004. A customer choice pilot program by the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) was approved by the 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 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 2003, New Mexico had 498,852 residential and 45,492 commercial customers. They consumed 32 and 24 billion cubic feet of natural gas, respectively. The average prices paid for natural gas purchased from local distribution companies by residential and commercial customers were $8.41 and $6.89 per thousand cubic feet, respectively.


Eligibility/Participation in Retail Choice Programs:


Status as of December 2004: Number of Customers



Customer Type

Total 2003

Eligible in 2004

Participating in 2004

Total

Percent of 2003 Total

Total

Percent of Eligible

Percent of 2003 Total

Residential

498,852

498,852

100

0

 0

0

Commercial

45,492

45,492

100

1,170

2.6

2.6

Total

544,344

544,344

100

1,170

0.2

0.2

Sources: Total 2003: Energy Information Administration, Natural Gas Annual 2003 (December 2004). Participation: New Mexico Public Regulation Commission.

  


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File last modified: 01/31/2005