SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission says that utilities cannot threaten to disconnect residential customers for nonpayment at this time. According to a press release from the PRC, the commission received information that some rural electric cooperatives are issuing disconnection notices for dates that are prohibited.

The PRC states it has launched an investigation and will follow up with the appropriate action. The Commission issued an order on February 3, 2021, that states that small water and gas companies with less than 100,000 meters and all rural electric cooperatives must continue the disconnection moratorium for an additional 45 days. Following that date, there will be a transition period of another 45 days.

A press release states that small utilities cannot disconnect residential service prior to these 90 days or before May 5, 2021. The order provides for a 100 day continued moratorium which is followed by a 90 day transition period for electric investor-owned utilities and larger gas companies with over 100,000 meters which prohibits residential disconnections prior to August 12, 2021.

On Wednesday, March 17 Commissioner Joseph Maestas proposed a clarifying order to address the emergency situation which was unanimously approved by all Commission members. The order prohibits utilities from disconnecting residential customers for nonpayment prior to the specified dates and instructs PRC Utilities Division Staff to clarify the order with state utility companies.