Program Helping Small Businesses Save Energy Funded by Albuquerque City Council

City of Albuquerque Energy Challenge to extend into 2021.

January 4, 2021

The Albuquerque City Council has provided funds to extend the City of Albuquerque’s Energy Challenge, a program launched in 2020 to help local businesses lead the fight against climate change by helping them to lower their carbon footprint and their related energy costs. The additional Council funding will help businesses in the program complete their work in the Challenge, which was slowed by the COVID-19 public health crisis.

The Challenge, originally launched with a grant from The Energy Foundation, targets small to medium-size businesses in Albuquerque who commit to reducing their energy consumption by 20 percent over the next five years.  At the beginning of 2020, a variety of small businesses including, a hair salon, a bed and breakfast, an architecture firm, as well as a variety of churches and not-for-profit organizations, attended the kickoff workshop at the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce.  Participants learned how to track their energy usage and received access to resources to dramatically improve the energy efficiency of their buildings.  Many of the Challenge participants have received complete facility evaluations, identifying energy savings strategies, and rebate and incentive opportunities.

“I believe this program provides resources that are critical for our local businesses during these challenging times,” says Albuquerque City Councilor Isaac Benton. “Not only does this engage businesses in helping to address the threat of climate change, but it also helps them reduce operating costs during this critical period.”

The effort focuses on three impact areas: building efficiency, site efficiency, and transportation efficiency. The first 35 small to medium size businesses with 7,000 square feet of space or less will receive one-on-one technical assistance and on-site energy use analysis specific to their business. Assistance includes:

  • Educational materials,
  • Connection to various local incentive programs,
  • Subsidized bus passes for employees,
  • Public recognition for businesses including being recognized in City press releases, a decal to post at businesses, and invitations to events with City leadership,
  • An awards ceremony at the end of the year recognizing participating businesses that have achieved energy savings.

Total funding is $40,000 from the City’s General Fund. Because of COVID-19 related delays, this funding by the City Council is needed to allow the participating businesses to complete their Energy Challenge and realize their full energy and utility bill savings.

Due to continuing COVID 19 restrictions, the program will continue to operate virtually until further notice.  For more information, visit www.cabq.gov/energychallenge or email [email protected] for more information.