Electric Department Director
emergency only after-hours:
mail & deliveries:
T or C NM 87901
It's the Electric Division's mission to provide reliable electrical power service to our residential and business customers. The division's staff operate and maintain the Hot Springs substation, the overhead power distribution network, and the meters at each customer's location. Our staff also maintains the street lights around the City and special lights at the ball fields and tennis courts. We don't generate our own electrical power. Our energy is purchased from hydroelectric and commercial producers, meaning we are only as reliable as our provider's electric department
Information on our rates (including how the Pass-Through Charge is calculated) are available on the Utilities page.
Electrical energy is a useful and powerful necessity. It is also hazardous if certain precautions aren't taken.
Your house or business receives electricity at a reduced voltage (120 to 240 volts) from what is transmitted on the overhead power lines (in the thousands of volts). Contact with either of these voltages is dangerous, as it is not so much the voltage, as it is the amperage that is deadly (amperage is another measurement of electrical potential). Periodically check your household cords for wear. If you see any exposed metal wires, stop using that appliance immediately. Have the appliance repaired or replaced, if repair isn't economical (like a hair dryer or toaster). If a storm or accident knocks down an overhead power line, do not get close to it for any reason. Immediately call our office (894-6673) and/or Central Dispatch 894-7111 (911).
We also ask that you drive cautiously when you see our "bucket" trucks parked along side the road, while we perform maintenance operations around the city. The technicians are working with high voltages, which can be nerve-racking enough without having cars speeding by the work area.
In the early days of Civil Defense and the Cold War, it was advised that each household have stick matches (well before disposable lighters), candles and a battery operated radio on hand. This practice is still good advice today, partly due to the remote international terrorism threat. The sabotage of a power distribution system would create chaos and overtax our emergency services.
Power outages almost always happen for reasons that have nothing to do with Homeland Security. Car accidents knock down power poles, high voltage transformers fail, and electrical lines break.
When a power outage occurs, please practice patience and use common sense. It may be tempting to call our main office or Central Dispatch (894-7111 or 911) before taking any other action. However if the outage is city-wide, we will already be very busy working on restoring service at the earliest possible time.
If you lose power, please take the following steps:
First, check with a close neighbor or friend to see if they have also lost power.
Next, tune your battery-powered AM radio to 1400 khz, the local radio station (KCHS) as they will provide regular updates on any widespread outage.
After taking these steps, if it appears as if only your house that has lost electricity, please do call our office: 894-6673. We will respond as quickly as possible.
Appliance and Information Technology Tips
Power surges happen on all electrical provider systems. They are just a fact of life.
If an appliance you have in your home has a microprocessor chip in it, it should be on a surge protector. The easiest way to tell if it has a microprocessor chip in it is - determine if it has an LCD digital display, and even red or blue LED displays. Devices with microprocessor chips includes TVs, VCRs, DVD players, stereo systems, newer microwaves, clocks, FAX machines, and of course your computer components.
When buying a surge protector, look for the "joules" rating. This is a measurement of very sharp electrical incidents. The higher the joules rating, the better the surge protector. A lower joules rating can be used for microwaves or coffee makers.
Because computer power supplies are the most susceptible to power surges, get the highest possible rating for your budget. Even better, get an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), better known as a battery backup. The faster switching components in an UPS provide the best isolation from surges for your computer components. And since the worst power surges happen at the beginning of a power outage, this will not only protect your computer, but also keep you from losing work because of an outage. Most UPS manufacturers, however, do not recommend using a printer on smaller wattage battery backups. These battery backups are meant to give you time to save your work and perform an orderly shutdown.