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City Receives $1.7 Million to Continue Helping Families Make Sustainability Upgrades

City program helps frontline communities save on energy costs
May 07, 2024

The City of Albuquerque’s Community Energy Efficiency (CEE) project has been awarded $1.7 million from The New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department to expand its energy efficiency improvement and retrofit work in our frontline communities. Through CEE, income-qualified homeowners in Albuquerque receive free energy audits and retrofit plans to create significant energy savings and increase safety and comfort for homeowners.

Data has shown that low-income residents have disproportionately high utility bills compared to other city residents -- spending as high as 10 percent or more of their household incomes on utility bills. This is often due to the inefficiency of older homes and appliances, and the costs associated with repairs and updates. Based on previous surveys of low-income homeowners, these residents have frequently faced the difficult choice between covering medical costs, food, or their monthly energy bill.

"Our frontline communities are disproportionately impacted by climate change,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “We are investing in programs like this one that help make our home a more climate resilient and equitable place for our families now, and for the future families of Albuquerque.”

The new funds are expected to aid over 60 residents in Albuquerque over the next two years. In partnership with Prosperity Works and Energy Works, community liaisons assist homeowners throughout the process, and the range of home upgrades can include window and door replacements, insulation and heating, and cooling system replacements.

“We are proud to have the opportunity to scale what the Environmental Protection Agency has celebrated as being a national best practice to serve the most in need and hardest to reach with critical energy efficiency measures,” said Ona Porter of Prosperity Works. “Reducing toxic emissions and household costs while improving the health, safety and comfort of our most vulnerable residents is the intention of this important investment.”

This program builds on the City’s existing CEE projects that began in 2021 through partner support and $100,000 City Council appropriation. To date the program has made improvements in 104 homes in the International District, saving residents an average of $300 per year on utility costs annually.