Beginning in 2016, Sandoval County leadership began assessing new ways to save money and reduce the environmental impact of our facilities. Then, in 2017, the County made significant strides towards a more sustainable and financially responsible future by signing an agreement that will upgrade facilities across the County using New Mexico’s Guaranteed Utility Savings Contract and Pricing Agreement.
With annual energy costs escalating at an average of 5% to 8% over the last 10 years, the County is leveraging savings from more efficient equipment to control costs and replace aging infrastructure. This year, Sandoval County is investing $6.5 million in LED lighting, advanced building control systems, high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment, solar systems and water conservation measures.
Sandoval County is undertaking a fully encompassing energy efficiency plan to be sustainable and save taxpayer dollars. This energy efficiency project is by far the most aggressive and most inclusive in the state of New Mexico from a government entity.
The energy efficiency program, once fully installed, will reduce the County’s annual energy use by 40% and annual costs by 35%. This project will touch 45 of the County’s 52 facilities. In fact, the solar installations alone in this project will provide 25% of the electricity needed to power all County facilities.
In addition, we’ve also contracted with a company that is housed in Sandoval County and they’re hiring local workers for the project. Sandoval County has partnered with ENGIE Services U.S. out of Rio Rancho. ENGIE is designing, installing and guaranteeing the annual energy savings from this project.
The project is financed through Sterling National Bank and annual savings in energy, water, and maintenance will cover the debt service and annual service fees. The energy and solar upgrades have a 14.5 year simple payback, with total savings exceeding $10 million over the 20 year term of the savings agreement.
The new solar systems, high efficiency LED Lighting, improved HVAC and new plumbing fixtures represent Sandoval County’s commitment to developing sustainable energy solutions for future generations and its commitment to being fiscally responsible with taxpayer dollars.
Recently, the Rio Rancho Observer covered this project and visited with one of the installation teams working at Sandoval County Fire Station 21. Learn more from the Rio Rancho Observer at: http://www.rrobserver.com/news/article_b7d7f3ea-6b69-11e8-a1e6-d75570626dab.html
Stay tuned for more details throughout the summer as Sandoval County releases fun facts and project updates about how we’re working to reduce energy consumption, go green and save taxpayer money so it can be allocated to other programs and services.
**Photo provided courtesy of Stephen Montoya, Rio Rancho Observer**