Energy Incentive Programs, New Mexico

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Updated February 2015

What public-purpose-funded energy efficiency programs are available in my state?

Since 2005 the “Efficient Use of Energy” Act has required New Mexico’s utilities to fund energy efficiency programs through a fixed tariff rider. The rider is currently 3% of sales revenue for both electricity and natural gas. Additionally, through a series of amendments, electric utilities are required to cost-effectively achieve at least 8% energy savings by 2020 relative to their 2005 sales. In 2013, New Mexico utilities budgeted over $35 million to promote energy efficiency in the state (including residential and load management programs).

What utility energy efficiency programs are available to me?

Xcel Energy (Southwestern Public Service Company of New Mexico) offers rebates under various energy efficiency initiatives, both for existing buildings and new construction. Programs cover up to 60% of project costs and include the following:

  • Cooling Efficiency rebates for efficient chillers, packaged rooftop units, split systems, condensing units, water source heat pumps, evaporative cooling systems, and more.

  • Custom Efficiency provides up to $400 per kW of power reduced for almost any type of electric equipment upgrade or process improvement that leads to energy savings. Custom Efficiency projects require pre-approval before equipment purchase and installation.

  • Lighting Efficiency for lighting retrofits, new construction, or custom measures.

  • Motors and Drives covers new motors, motor upgrades, variable/adjustable drives, and custom projects.

  • Computer Efficiency offers prescriptive rebates for qualifying equipment or software.

  • Business Energy Advisor provides tools and other resources to reduce energy use.

Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) offers several rebate programs for business customers:

  • The Retrofit Rebates program covers energy-saving upgrades to existing buildings including prescriptive (lighting, HVAC, refrigeration and motors) and custom improvements with verifiable electric savings. Custom projects pay $0.06 per kWh for first-year savings.

  • The New Construction program for projects that are more energy-efficient than the New Mexico building code requirement. Incentive payments are $0.08 per estimated first-year kWh saved for projects at least 10% more efficient than code and $0.10 for projects at least 20% more efficient than the code.

  • The Quick Saver™ program provides free energy assessments and rebates (50% or more of the cost) for the installation of efficient lighting and refrigeration equipment to qualified customers with monthly peak demands of 100 kW or less.

  • The Building Tune-Up program offers incentives for retro-commissioning assessments and measures.  Support for training that helps building operators identify energy-efficient opportunities is also available.

El Paso Electric (EPE) offers financial incentives for commercial/industrial customers:

  • Rebates for a wide range of efficient equipment include lighting, motors, commercial cooling, cool roof systems, vending misers, window treatments, and custom efficiency measures. 

  • The Large Customer Self-Directed Option allows large customers (> 7,000 MWh/year) that wish to undertake self-directed cost-effective energy efficiency measures to opt out of paying a share of EPE’s EPESaver program costs. In exchange for foregoing financial incentives, eligible large customers whose application and supporting documentation are approved by the Self-Direct Program Administrator may receive a credit equal to the incremental energy efficiency expenditures. Additional governing rules apply.

  • The Electric Score Plus program provides technical assistance and a financial incentive of $0.12 per first-year kWh saved for qualifying projects. Projects include the installation of energy-efficient lighting, HVAC systems, roofing and other measures in existing buildings or new construction/renovation projects.

The New Mexico Gas Company provides rebates for the purchase and installation of new and replacement energy-efficient gas space, water heating, and food service equipment. Incentives are also available for custom projects, which may include HVAC and boiler controls, insulation, duct sealing, roofing and other gas-saving measures. The utility also provides direct, no-cost installations of low-flow water-saving equipment.  

What load management/demand response options are available to me?

Public Service Company of New Mexico offers two load management programs:

  • The Peak Saver program, open to large customers on qualifying rates, provides quarterly financial incentives to participants in return for voluntarily reducing the amount of energy they use during peak demand days, typically the hottest days of the year. The size of the incentive paid depends on the amount of electricity managed by the program.

  • The Power Saver program offers small (< 50 kW) and medium (< 150 kW) sized facilities annual payments and a generous one-time enrollment bonus for allowing the company to connect a load control device to their air conditioning units so that they can be controlled in a similar way as a thermostat. On selected summer weekday afternoons when electricity demand soars, the Power Saver device receives a wireless signal that puts the air conditioner into a conservation mode.

Xcel Energy (Southwestern Public Service Company of New Mexico) offers several load management programs:

  • The Interruptible Credit Option (ICO) provides opportunities for significant electric bill savings to customers who have a contract interruptible load (the median of maximum demands from noon-8pm weekdays from June 1 to September 30 of the previous year) of at least 500 kW. Participants choose the amount of interruption appropriate for their facility. Remuneration in the form of a monthly credit is based on the maximum annual hours of interruption and the advance notice needed, so it ranges widely. Customers may choose either the year-round or summer version of the program.

  • The Peak Day Partners program provides bill credit or direct payment for customers who voluntarily accept an offer to reduce electricity loads during peak events, which usually occur weekdays from June 1 through September 30. Customers must be able to reduce electricity load by at least 500 kW, and accept or decline offers to commit to a minimum load reduction for individual events via a secure internet-based system.

  • The Saver’s Switch for Business offers program participants an October bill discount of $20 per ton of enrolled air conditioning in exchange for allowing the utility to cycle the air conditioning on and off for 15 to 20 minute intervals during periods of peak electric demand in the summer.

What distributed energy resource options are available to me?

The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) website provides information on programs that offer incentives for renewable distributed generation. Federal customers may be interested in the following offerings:

Xcel Energy’s Solar*Rewards program offers an incentive for qualifying PV systems. Check the site for current renewable energy certificate (REC) pricing.

Public Service of New Mexico’s (PNM) Solar Energy Customer  program includes the purchase of RECs and net metering for small systems (<10kW) and large systems (> 10 kW and up to 1 MW). Check the site for current renewable energy certificate (REC) pricing.

New Mexico provides tax credits for renewable energy installations. Although federal agencies can not use this tax credit directly, it can be assigned to a tax-paying entity, such as an energy service company (ESCO) or other project developer.

Are there energy efficiency programs sponsored by the state government?

No state energy efficiency programs are currently available to federal customers. For information on future opportunities, contact the Energy Conservation and Management Division of the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department.

What additional opportunities are available to me?

Federal customers whose utilities have area-wide supply contracts through GSA (e.g., El Paso Electric and Public Service Co. of New Mexico), may be able to take advantage of 3rd-party financed energy efficiency projects called utility energy services contracts (UESCs). Information is available in GSA’s Energy Division Library. Federal facilities should contact their account executive to determine the level of each utility's participation.