This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.
New Mexico Bills to Encourage Efficiency and Renewable Energy
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson signed three new energy-related bills into law on April 5th, including a groundbreaking bill that establishes up to $20 million in bonds to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements in public buildings. House Bill 32, the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Bonding Act, aims to achieve the maximum amount of renewable energy use that, combined with energy efficiency measures, still results in long-term cost savings. Projects financed with the bonds will be paid back to the bonding authority using the savings on energy bills. The bonds will be applied to state buildings and school district buildings, and the projects will include most energy efficiency measures and any type of renewable energy system, as well as energy recovery and combined heat and power systems. The bill—the first state-level measure of its kind in the nation—follows the lead of a similar bonding authority established in San Francisco, California, in 2001. See the full text of the bill (PDF 51 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.
In addition to House Bill 32, Governor Richardson signed Senate Bill 644, which encourages utilities to implement energy efficiency and load management programs and to recover the cost of those programs from ratepayers, and House Bill 995, which provides tax savings for biomass energy producers. The three bills are based on the recommendations of several clean energy task forces established by the governor. See the governor's press release (PDF 100 KB) and the full text of Senate Bill 644 (PDF 63 KB) and House Bill 995 (PDF 24 KB).