Utility settlement would freeze rates for 6 months

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A Florida company hoping to buy New Mexico Gas Co. says it has reached a settlement that would freeze customer rates through the end of 2017 and also limit job reductions.

Tampa-based Teco Energy Inc.'s announcement Wednesday says the settlement is with the New Mexico Attorney General's Office and a group representing large consumers.

The acquisition of the Albuquerque-based company is subject to state regulators' approval.

According to Teco, the settlement would freeze customer rates for an additional six months and limit job reductions in the first three years to 99 positions.

Teco reached an agreement last year with Continental Energy Systems LLC, the parent company of New Mexico Gas.

New Mexico Gas serves nearly 510,000 customers, most of them residential.

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