We believe that every New Mexico household deserves affordable and accessible home energy – for lights, heating, cooling, and cooking. That’s why we advocate for the rights of limited-income households to affordable energy.
The Need for Affordable Energy in New Mexico: High Energy Costs Eat Up Household Budgets
Too often the costs of the basics – like heating or cooling – prevent working families and individuals from being able to save for the future.
In New Mexico there’s a lot of “energy poverty”. One in five families in New Mexico use 20% of their household income to pay utilities. An affordable energy bill would not exceed 6% of household income. Expenses like these prevent many families from creating prosperity in their lives.
That’s why we advocate keeping energy costs down – through more affordable energy rates and efficiency measures - such as weatherization of homes. We also advocate for protections against shut-offs or fees for late payment of bills.
The Need for Energy Efficiency in New Mexico: Reduce Energy Costs & Global Warming
We also believe that the best long-term solution to the high energy costs of limited-income families is energy efficiency – well-insulated, weatherized homes that require less energy. This approach also reduces energy consumption and global warming.
Increasing the energy efficiency in a home can save as much as 30% in energy costs to that household each year.
Prosperity Works’ Energy Advocacy
Through our Energy Initiative we advocate for:
- Energy efficiency programs paid for by New Mexico’s utility companies that reduce the energy costs of limited-income families;
- Fair utility rates (gas, propane);
- Elimination of charges, such as late fees, that increase a family’s utility bill.
- In 2005 we advocated for passage of the Efficient Use of Energy Act in New Mexico. This law requires utility companies to provide energy efficiency programs to all ratepayers. As a result of our work, limited-income New Mexicans have received more than $11 million in energy efficiency services. The energy savings per household is between $250-450 each year.
- Prosperity Works collaborated with two utility companies to develop their plans to strategically invest $150,000 each year in energy efficiency programs for limited-income families.
- Prosperity Works advocated successfully against fees by New Mexico’s largest utility company for late payment of bills. As a result, limited-income households saved more than $10 million in avoided fees. All other residential customers also benefitted: late fees for all customers were lowered from 18% to 8%.
- Prosperity Works has advocated successfully for legislation to prevent disconnections of utilities to limited-income households during the winter months.
- We developed a comprehensive strategic approach to energy affordability, efficiency and sustainability for San Juan County, New Mexico.
- Through these, and other, advocacy efforts Prosperity Works has helped limited-income households in New Mexico save more than $10 million in energy costs. That’s money that can be used for other household necessities, or saved for the future. And its money circulating through our local economies.
Investments in energy efficiency for limited-income households create 218 jobs for New Mexico’s families for each $1 million invested.