Help Paying Utilities




New Mexico utility disconnection moratorium.

For the last several years the state of New Mexico has had a law in place to ensure that residents utility service can’t be disconnected or shut off during the winter months. The moratorium regulation in effect says that customers who qualify for the low income home energy assistance program (LIHEAP) can’t have their heating or utility service disconnected between November through March of every year. The exact dates will vary, but it usually runs mid month or so, and the law was created to ensure that customers and their families stay warm during the winter.

Customers need to be current on their utility bills though. For example, in order to receive this disconnection protection and to be eligible for the moratorium, the customers gas or utility bills must be current as of November. If the New Mexico customers bill is not current, their protection will only begin after they have agreed to some form of payment plan with their utility provider. So this does provide some flexibility in that the customer just needs to enter into a commitment to pay their bills. The customer will also be qualified for the moratorium if they pay all past due charges on their monthly utility bills. You also need to be current with any past due bills from the last winter too.

Note that some utility companies in New Mexico may not fully be aware of which customers are eligible for the moratorium program, so it is strongly recommended that if you receive a notice that your utility service is to be disconnected for nonpayment or shut off, you may need to contact your energy provider in New Mexico and notify them that you are qualified for the moratorium. The energy provider may ask for proof of LIHEAP eligibility so that they can verify your status. This is just standard process, so do not think it is unusual or that your utility company is being difficult if they request proof.

The state of New Mexico Human Services Departments reminds customers that they are still responsible for owing money on their natural gas bills sent during the winter moratorium period, so this program does not waive any fees or bills. All expenses will still need to be paid. Customers are always strongly urged to make every effort to continue to pay on their utility bills to avoid incurring large balances.



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