Skip to main content

City Receives International Award for Institutional Energy Management

Energy and cost saving initiatives recognized by the Association of Energy Engineers
August 15, 2023

The City of Albuquerque is receiving an international award for Institutional Energy Management from the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE). The prestigious award is granted to organizations that have achieved national and international prominence in promoting the practices and principles of energy engineering and energy management. The City has achieved significant energy and cost savings over the last five years in support of the Keller Administration’s sustainability goal: halve carbon emissions by 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2040.

The City’s Energy and Sustainability Management Division (ESMD) is responsible for managing electric, gas, and water consumption as well as renewable energy production for the entire City footprint. This includes tracking nearly 700 City buildings, over 4,818 metered utility accounts, 38 solar sites, nine battery installations, and 56 building management systems. Savings associated with ESMD’s current initiatives, including major solar installations, total about $7.52 million per year.

Managing this vast quantity of utility usage and spending presented a challenge, so in August 2022, ESMD deployed the Balanced Resource Acquisition Information Network (BRAIN) software tool, a first-of-its-kind software tool that brings monthly utility usage and billing data, monthly solar production data, and real-time building systems data into one place. Automated analytics track and identify overconsumption, underperformance, and outliers and provide real-time notifications to City staff. The BRAIN tracks and displays cumulative savings across all utilities including electricity, gas, water, and solar.

“We’re encouraged by the progress we’ve made to become an international leader in sustainability,” said City of Albuquerque Energy and Sustainability Manager, Saif Ismail. “By tracking our energy use we are better able to save taxpayer dollars, and find opportunities to create a more sustainable and energy efficient future for Albuquerque.”

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

  • Ranked top four large city in the U.S. for most installed solar per capita by Environment America’s Shining Cities report,
  • Developed the 2021 Albuquerque Climate Action Plan,
  • Won a $2.7 million federal grant to bring the first electric buses to Albuquerque,
  • Signed the Paris Agreement committing to climate action,
  • Installed solar projects at 38 city-owned buildings,
  • Expanded the City’s electric vehicle charging station network,
  • Launched the Mayor’s Energy Challenge,
  • 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 and Prosperity Works,
  • Invested $600,000 in VW settlement funding to expand electric vehicle infrastructure,
  • Partnered with PNM to launch the Solar Direct project to achieve 80% renewable energy usage by 2024,
  • Purchased the first electric vehicles (EVs) for the City fleet, and committed the City to replacing gas-powered vehicles with electric vehicles wherever possible, and
  • Achieved LEED for Cities Silver certification.