Efficient Building Challenge in Mexico City supported by USAID/Mexico and LBNL achieves energy savings and emission reductions

LBNL and USAID/Mexico delivered technical assistance to the 2022-2023 Mexico City Efficient Building Challenge, an initiative aimed at reducing energy use and GHG emissions in public and private buildings. The project, led by WRI Mexico and the Mexico City Secretariat of the Environment (SEDEMA), achieved the reduction of energy usage and GHG emissions by 6% in five months among participating companies across Mexico.

The technical assistance delivered by LBNL with USAID/Mexico is part of the Energy Efficiency for Development program (EE4D) and consisted in the use of the BETTER toolkit to assess energy usage in private buildings and recommend low- or no-cost energy efficiency measures that result in economic and environmental benefits. Representatives of the private companies that participated in the Challenge, which seeks to cut energy use and emissions by 10% annually, avoiding emission of 825 Tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO 2 e) each year, recognized the impact of BETTER and committed to continuing implementation of energy efficiency interventions.

As part of the closing event of the Challenge, LBNL launched the BETTER | Mexico toolkit, which adds a building energy database specific to Mexico and customized building electricity and fossil energy consumption statistics to deliver accurate and precise benchmarking and net zero retrofit analysis of buildings in Mexico. The development of BETTER | Mexico, a web-based application that is available in Spanish and English, is supported by USAID/Mexico and was made possible by input and building data provided by partners in the public and private sectors.

Watch this video to hear testimonials by Challenge participants (in Spanish).


Launching of USAID/Mexico Partnership for Net Zero Cities

LBNL (along with members of USAID’s Energy and Green Cities Division) was invited by USAID/Mexico and RTI to collaborate in the co-creation workshop held in Mexico City on October 25th-27th to kick off the USAID/Mexico Partnership for Net Zero Cities program (PNZC).   LBNL provided an overview of previous and ongoing work supported by USAID to advance energy efficiency in buildings and outlined potential opportunities to collaborate with RTI and the PNZC subcontractors in Mexico. PNZC aims to reduce at least 17.34M CO2e emissions and mobilize $550M in investment by improving energy efficiency measures in the buildings and transportation sectors, while improving local governance and state/municipal finance across five cities (Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Merida, Hermosillo) The workshop was designed to gather inputs for the PNZC Year 1 work plan and to identify the needs of state and municipal actors working with other donors to avoid duplicate efforts.  Ongoing support from the DOE laboratories will help USAID/Mexico to utilize the high capacity of the local consultants/NGOs to demonstrate how to implement climate programs in the buildings and transportation sectors.

LBNL Delivers Training Improve Energy Efficiency in Buildings in Mexico

Training session on BETTER tool for participants of the Efficient Building Challenge held in hybrid format at the WRI Mexico facility. Photo credit: WRI Mexico

On August 10, 2022, USAID/Mexico partner Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) held a virtual training session for the building energy efficiency team at the National Commission for the Efficient Use of Energy (CONUEE) on the use of the Building Efficiency Targeting Tool for Energy Retrofits (BETTER). The tool, developed by LBNL, allows building operators to quickly identify energy efficiency measures that can be implemented at low or no cost to reduce energy consumption and related GHG emissions.  Another training session on BETTER was held in a hybrid format on August 9 for participants of the Efficient Building Challenge, an initiative led by WRI Mexico and SEDEMA aimed at reducing energy consumption in public and commercial buildings in Mexico City. This session included a live demonstration and a review of energy saving recommendations generated by BETTER.   






Advancing discussions on building codes implementation in Mexico City

The MEI team (Lead Michael McNeil and Program Manager Alberto Diaz) held a meeting last July in Mexico City with partners in the Mexico City government and the non-governmental sector to advance collaboration projects on energy efficiency, including implementation of building codes for energy efficiency in buildings.

The meeting was organized by the Mexico City Secretariat of Economic Development (SEDECO) and included the participation of representatives from the Mexico City Secretariat of Environment (SEDEMA); the National Commission for the Efficient Use of Energy (CONUEE); Mexico’s Climate Initiative (ICM); World Resources Institute (WRI) and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).  Dr. Alberto Valdes Palacios, Director General of Development and Energy Sustainability at SEDECO, presided the meeting and emphasized the importance of coordination between federal and city authorities in the development of energy efficiency strategies.

Under USAID’s  Scaling Energy Efficient Development Program (SEED), Berkeley Lab and partner ICM are working with the administration of Dr. Claudia Sheinbaum in an effort to achieve full implementation of mandatory energy efficiency building codes for commercial buildings.  The project takes advantage of the existence of federal codes developed by CONUEE, specifically thermal envelope specifications provided in NOM-008-ENER-2001.  While this technical code has existed for some time, as yet no Mexican municipalities have implemented its compliance through building permit requirements.  Successful completion of this project in Mexico’s largest city will therefore constitute a great step forward toward full compliance throughout Mexico.