New Mexico Quantifies Benefits of New Building Energy Code

May 01, 2004

Photo of a school building surrounded by students.

With New Mexico's more stringent energy conservation codes, schools alone are expected to cut energy costs by $15.9 million in the next decade.
Credit: Scott Milder

In mid-2003, New Mexico adopted the latest edition of the International Energy Conservation Code, a set of building standards known as IECC 2003, in mid-2003. The state estimates that the following benefits will result from the new standards:

  • Public schools will save $15.9 million in electricity in the next 10 years.
  • Electricity savings for commercial sector will be 490,000,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) by 2020.
  • New Mexico will avoid the need for 45 megawatts (MW) of additional generating capacity.

On December 19, 2003, the New Mexico Construction Industries Commission embraced IECC 2003 and other updated model codes. But a provision remained in the New Mexico Electrical Code to maintain a 2-watt/ft2 lighting allowance, which is significantly higher than what 2003 IECC stipulates.

The New Mexico Electrical Code Technical Advisory Group recommended adopting the new lighting power density requirements of 2003 IECC. Technical assistance on the impacts and implications of that move came from DOE's Building Energy Codes Project at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and from the Building Codes Assistance Project in cooperation with the Denver Regional Office.