County Flips the Switch to Power-Up Savings

Sandoval County recently hosted a “Flip the Switch” ceremony to celebrate the completion of the most aggressive energy efficiency program in the state of New Mexico, for a government agency. The ceremony highlighted the strides that Sandoval County has made towards a more sustainable and financially responsible future, by upgrading certain infrastructure in facilities across the county.

Sandoval County has invested $6.5 million in energy efficient LED lighting, advanced building control systems, high efficiency heating/cooling equipment, solar systems and water conservation measures that will touch 45 of the County’s 52 facilities. Overall, the project is expected to reduce the County’s annual energy use by 40%, annual costs by 35% and save the County more than $10 million over the 20-year contract term.

“Being financially and environmentally responsible is important to all of us,” said Sandoval County Manager Dianne Maes. “Previous County leadership envisioned the plan to do more than just recycle or install standalone solar, they wanted to create an aggressive and comprehensive energy efficiency program to save our taxpayers money, and protect the environment at the same time. We all now stand to benefit from their vision with the completion of this program.”

To install and put the energy efficiency program into place, Sandoval County contracted with ENGIE Services U.S., a local company out of Rio Rancho. By contracting with a local company the County also helped create jobs and support local residents and workers. ENGIE Services U.S. has designed, installed and guaranteed the annual energy savings from this project.

“Through successful collaboration with Sandoval County, the ENGIE Services U.S. team is proud to have contributed to Sandoval’s vision for long-term, positive economic and social impact in the community through sustainable, clean energy. With an expected total savings of more than $10 million over the lifetime of the project, Sandoval’s new, comprehensive energy profile will reduce annual energy use by 40% across all facilities – using a foundation of solar power and energy efficiency to generate long-term energy savings into plans to improve public services.”

Here are some quick facts about this fully encompassing energy efficiency program:

  • The solar installations alone, will provide 25% of the electricity needed to power all County facilities
  • In water savings alone, Sandoval County will likely see about $30,000 in savings a year
  • This project has implemented 475 water conservation measures including water softeners and low-flow plumbing fixtures
  • The program has upgraded over 5,700 interior lighting fixtures and over 440 exterior lighting fixtures
  • The program has installed 40 pieces of high efficiency heating/cooling equipment including boilers, air handlers and furnaces
  • The program has installed advanced building automation systems in 10 of the County’s largest facilities

“This program truly represents Sandoval County’s commitment to developing sustainable energy solutions for future generations, and its commitment to being responsible with taxpayer dollars,” said Sandoval County Board of County Commissioners Chairman David J. Heil, District 4.

This program was financed through Sterling National Bank, and annual savings in energy, water, and maintenance will cover the debt service and annual service fees.