New Mexico Energy Efficiency Strategy: Policy Options

Collaborative Report


Howard Geller, Patti Case , Steve Dunn, Tammy Fiebelkorn, Therese Langer, and Shruti Vaidyanathan


On November 14, 2007, Governor Bill Richardson announced the goals of reducing energy use per capita in New Mexico 10 percent by 2012 and 20 percent by 2020, relative to energy use per capita in 2005. The goal applies to all forms of energy use in the state, including electricity, natural gas, gasoline, and other petroleum products. It is intended to make New Mexico one of the nation's most energy-efficient states, thereby lowering energy bills paid by consumers (including low-income households), enhancing energy security and reliability, improving business profitability and competitiveness, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

In order to help the state examine options for achieving the energy efficiency goals, the Energy, Mineral, and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) asked the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) to prepare a state energy efficiency strategy. The primary objectives of the strategy are to explore what could be done to achieve the Governor's goals, examine the feasibility of achieving the goal for different types of energy, and estimate what the economic and environmental impacts of achieving the goals would be.

The New Mexico Energy Efficiency Strategy contains 25 major policies, programs, or initiatives that could be implemented in order to accelerate energy efficiency improvements in the state and achieve the goals where possible. The policies save electricity, natural gas, or gasoline. These energy sources account for 77 percent of primary energy consumption in the state and 65 percent of energy consumption on a secondary (site) basis. We do not consider diesel fuel use in the main part of this study because a significant fraction of the diesel consumed in New Mexico is due to trucks passing through the state. However, we provide an appendix presenting an option for increasing the efficiency of heavy-duty trucks.