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Keller Administration Will Audit 50 City Facilities to Reduce Energy, Water Use

Partnership with local company could generate up to 25% lower carbon footprint per facility

The City of Albuquerque is partnering with Yearout Energy, an Albuquerque based Energy Services Company, to perform an energy-focused Investment Grade Audit (IGA) of 50 facilities, with a combined gross area of 2 million square feet. The audit will identify opportunities for the City to reduce energy and water consumption—big steps forward in Mayor Keller’s efforts to build a cleaner, healthier Albuquerque. The Keller administration has already made the City of Albuquerque a top ten national solar city, earned a LEED Silver certification, and has Albuquerque on track to be 100% renewable by 2025.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), commercial buildings and industrial plants consume nearly 50% of the nation’s generated energy and are responsible for almost half of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. It is also estimated that 30% of the energy consumed in these facilities is wasted due to inefficiencies. To address these challenges, Mayor Keller has undertaken many initiatives and projects to improve building performance and reduce the City’s carbon footprint including its participation in the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge.

“We’re not waiting, we’re acting now to combat climate change and make Albuquerque a cleaner, healthier, more sustainable city,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “From electric vehicles and buses to dozens of new solar projects, we’ve put together the framework today for a more sustainable future for our children tomorrow.”

Under the innovative Energy Savings Contract model, the energy and water savings identified during the IGA are guaranteed by Yearout Energy to the City of Albuquerque and leveraged along with other incentives and grants to deliver a self-funding project. This enables the City to upgrade a significant amount of aging infrastructure without large capital expenditures. Facility systems that will be evaluated for efficiency opportunities include: lighting systems, HVAC and building automation systems, building envelope systems, electrical systems, domestic water and irrigation systems, renewable energy and energy storage, and more.

The IGA will run through the remainder of the year. Implementation of the project scope developed during the energy audit is anticipated to begin in early 2022. This highly impactful project is currently anticipated to reduce the energy consumption and carbon footprint of the affected facilities in a range of 10%-25% from current performance, which accounts for 4%-9% of the City’s total energy usage.

This builds on the Keller administration’s substantial work to date on sustainability, including:

  • Won a $2.7 million federal grant to bring the first electric buses to Albuquerque,
  • Signed the Paris Agreement committing to climate action,
  • Installed 38 solar projects at city-owned buildings,
  • Launched the Green Team to expand sustainability across departments,
  • Launched the Mayor’s Energy Challenge to support local businesses reduce energy use,
  • Won Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge with funding for sustainability efforts,
  • Made the transition to more sustainable LED street lights citywide,
  • Provided over 200 homes with free energy audits and upgrades in partnership with PNM, Partnership for Community Action and Prosperity Works,
  • Partnered with PNM to launch the Solar Direct project to get to achieve over 80% renewable energy use by Fall 2021,
  • Purchased the first electric vehicles for the City fleet, and enacted a “Zero Emissions First” fleet vehicle adoption policy,
  • Achieved LEED for Cities Silver certification,
  • Ranked 40th on the 2020 City Clean Energy Scorecard—and 5th most improved—by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), and
  • Invested $300,000 in VW settlement funding to add 18 electric charging stations in Albuquerque by Summer 2021.