October is National Clean Energy Action Month, with October 4th marking National Energy Efficiency Day. Clean energy (energy sources that have minimal harmful environmental impacts) and energy efficiency (optimizing energy to use less for the same results) work hand in hand to limit the amount of fossil fuels we use to power our homes, schools, businesses, and more.
Energy in Santa Fe
Residential and commercial energy use are two of Santa Fe’s largest drivers of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which pollute our air and contribute to a changing climate. As we make clean energy options more available to residents and business owners and invest in energy efficiency, we move towards our goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040.
Right now, Santa Fe’s energy is primarily sourced from coal (35.3%), nuclear power (27.7%), and gas (13.5%). Electrical power supplied by the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) is purchased from a mix of sources and will be transitioning to 100% carbon-free energy by 2040. In 2022, our city’s energy was made up of 51.3% of carbon-free sources, compared to a national average of about 40%.
Building a Cleaner Energy Future
Even as PNM transitions to 100% carbon-free energy, the City of Santa Fe is making strides to make clean, renewable energy like solar power more accessible and affordable to residents and businesses in our city. Over the last 13 years, the number of residential solar permits in Santa Fe has increased by over 780%, with 4.4 per 1000 residents obtaining solar permits in 2022.
In 2021, the Solarize Santa Fe program launched to help make renewable energy more accessible to residents through negotiated discounts and consumer protections on solar installations and electrification. The Solarize program also included green workforce development – YouthWorks students were able to visit solar installation sites and apply for apprenticeships with local solar installers.
Additionally, the City of Santa Fe is leading by example through Facility Improvement Measures (FIMs) to City facilities that were recommended by an investment grade audit to increase efficiency and resilience. City Public Works recently completed the installation of seventeen new solar sites around the city including city offices, water utility infrastructure, and Buckman Direct Diversion facilities. Clean energy and efficiency upgrades to infrastructure, lighting, and plumbing will save over $750,000 in utility costs (with over $500,000 of those savings coming directly from solar power!). The city will continue to follow measures suggested by the investment grade audit, including further developing energy-efficient programming and weatherizing city buildings.
Call-to-Action: Power Your Home or Business with Clean, Efficient Energy
We can all play a role in creating a cleaner, more sustainable energy future for our city. Check out these home & business clean energy rebate offers to see how you can save money on a clean energy system while you help to save the planet:
- Solarize Santa Fe: https://solarizesantafe.com/
- Residential programs/rebate systems:
- Commercial programs/rebate systems:
- PNM New Construction & Retrofit Rebates
- PNM Small Business Quick Saver program – PNM will assess your business to identify energy-saving opportunities and present an upgrade proposal, with PNM paying on average 65% of project costs
- PNM Building Tune-Up program: -- offers rebates for commercial customers to optimize building performance and improve efficiency
- NM Gas Co. Business Rebates