Electrify New Mexico

Whether you own or rent, have one project or want to transform an entire house, this website will guide your path to an energy efficient, climate friendly, cost-effective and healthy place to live.  

Electrify Everything

Electric appliances for cooking our food, heating our homes and water, drying our clothes and transporting us have made remarkable advances.  They offer superior efficiency, precision, comfort, and health benefits at the same or lower cost as gas appliances.

And because electricity generation grows cleaner every day, switching to electric cuts climate and air pollution too.

WORTH A LISTEN: Volts Podcast “So you want to electrify your home” with Cora Wyent of  Rewiring America

Meet some of our Colorado neighbors who have already electrified!

Photo source: Joe Wachunas

Disclaimer: We are not tax professionals.  Please contact the Internal Revenue Service or your tax adviser before you make any decisions regarding tax credits described in this website.

What To Know Before You Start

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), New Mexico state and electricity providers offer consumers financial incentives to go electric.  Some low-income residents will be able to weatherize and install green appliances for free.  NM was the first state to apply for the IRA Home Energy Rebates. Stay tuned!

Great intro to Making Your Electric Plan from Electrify Now. Also try Rewiring America’s new Electrification Planner for IRA incentives with the caveat that IRA rebates in New Mexico will be limited to low-income and multi-family units.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

Get an energy audit and insulate/fix leaks first. It will save you money on heat pumps.

Heat pump installations can be pricey.

You may have to upgrade your electrical panel to allow more electricity in your house. But research alternatives.

Make sure the model of the equipment you choose qualifies for incentives.

Federal Electric Vehicle tax credits are now transferrable to dealerships for the maximum allowable amount, giving you an instant discount. However not all dealers are participating. So check before you buy. Read more here.

Start planning now before an emergency like a busted water heater commits you to a choice you regret.  

Understanding Incentives. There are two ways to save: rebates discount the price of products and tax credits lower your tax bill.  If you plan to make the most of these, they will influence what you electrify and when. You can also finance energy and efficiency home improvements through FHA, VA and other energy efficient mortgages and loans.

Utilities and Rural Electric Coops offer rebates now. There are also free programs for low-income New Mexico residents to increase the energy efficiency of their homes.
***Bigger rebates from an IRA program for low-income residents (up to $14,000 per household for appliances) are coming in late 2024.  NM Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department has applied for the rebate programs and is working out how the program will be implemented through contractors and point-of-sale transactions.  Check on New Mexico’s application progress here. This calculator (Español) can tell you if you might qualify and for how much.  This Electrification Planner will help people at all income levels get started. The IRA rebates in New Mexico will only be for low-income and multi-family buildings. 
Contractors will also be eligible for rebates through the IRA and HOMES Rebate programs.
 

The State of New Mexico has income and business tax credits available now including for refundable credits for very low-income homeowners. You should apply for a certificate as soon as your project is complete and as early in the year as possible.

State tax credits usually require that your equipment is installed by certified electricians and plumbers and that they be inspected by a local building code authority. Equipment must meet specific technical requirements.

Federal IRA tax credits are available now, but optimizing them takes planning. 

    • Read tax credit rules carefully. For example, as explained below, electrification may require an electric panel  upgrade.  The part of the Title 26 US Code that gives this credit is called (25C). It offers 30% of the cost an electric panel upgrade up to $600 in conjunction with another 25C project (like a heat pump or heat pump water heater).  However, there is an uncapped (25D) 30% panel upgrade tax credit if it is done in conjunction with rooftop solar. The latter offers more money.
    • Converting to electric all at once can be expensive. The IRA runs for 10 years. Research now. Schedule replacements as old appliances wear out or fail.
    • Contractors may also claim IRA tax credits.

 

Understanding your home’s electrical system. Adding more electric appliances may require upgrading your electric panel, or breaker box, to accommodate more current, especially if you live in a house built before 2000 or have a panel that supports less than 100 Amps.  Some appliances may also require upgrading wiring for 240 volt outlets. Anticipating these and upgrading your electrical panel and wiring only once will save money in electrician visits (see how these upgrades are planned early in this electrification schedule for example). However, there may be ways to avoid these upgrades, which can run into the thousands of dollars.

    • Your electric panel or breaker box directs incoming electricity to different circuits in your house.  An old house may only be able to accommodate 60-100 Amps (A) of current, but as you add more electric equipment, you may need to upgrade your panel to let more juice in. This can be expensive. Upgrading your panel may trigger a utility service upgrade including bringing your home up to code. The National Electrical Code requires that your panel is able to support having all of your appliances running full blast at the same time.
    • Between 100A – 150A there may be ways to avoid a panel upgrade. First, fully weatherize your residence to conserve energy and lower the size of  a subsequent heat pump.
    • Talk to an electrician about installing a load management device for around $700.
    • Make careful power-efficient appliance choices. This means lowering either the voltage (V) or current (A) requirements. These are the voltage/current specs of traditional appliances and lower power versions. Choosing between 120V or 240V is important to your planning process, so research these appliances to see if 120V versions will work for you.
      • Heat Pump Water Heater: 240V / 15A-30A; Plug and play low-power 15A/120V is an easy replacement for existing gas water heater.
      • Combo induction cooktop and oven: 240V / 40A-50A.; Induction hot plate or 2-element countertop versions and full size induction with battery all plug into 120V outlet
      • Heat pump dryer: 240V / 20A-30A.; 120V; 120V/15A HP dryers are available too
      • Electric Vehicle Level 2 charger: 240V /40A – 300 miles overnight charge; A lower power 24A-30A EV charger will give you 180 miles overnight-still much more than most people drive every day.
    • Consider using a circuit sharing device or a smart panel. If your contractor doesn’t think this is possible, Electrify Now suggests getting a second opinion, especially if the work is too expensive even with the federal tax credits and rebates for panel upgrades, federal rebates for wiring upgrades, and state credits to make a building EV ready.

What To Electrify or Upgrade


Meet the new generation of electric equipment that will keep you comfortable, healthy and save you money.
Click below on the squares below to learn more.

Where To Start

1. To see what is possible, take a look at these five case studies from Rewiring America that illustrate how people at different income levels and house/apartment sizes might map out electrification projects.

2. Take yourself on a tour of your residence.

    • Most houses leak energy. Fixing high-heat-loss windows, leaky doors, or inadequate insulation can save you lots of money in equipment and heating and cooling bills.  An Energy Audit and Weatherization should be your first  first steps. Write this at the top of a list.
    • Make a list of your appliances and their ages (how to find an appliance’s age; typical appliances’ lifespans). When might your appliances need replacing? Rewiring America says: Electrify when they die! Make a replacement timeline. 
    • Panel/Wiring Upgrades. Read about your home’s electric system in the What to Know Before You Start section above. Write “electric panel/wiring upgrade” near the top of your list if you think you will need these. Also write “240V” by the appliances that might need a 240V outlet or write “120V” if you’ve already decided to use a 120V version or want to discuss this with a contractor.

3. What are your top reasons to electrify?  Here are some examples. On your timeline, highlight the changes that mean the most to you.

    • If you are worried about the health impacts of NOx and other pollutants in your kitchen even when your stove is off, an induction cooktop or hot plate might be your first priority, followed by replacing a gas furnace and gas water heater.
    • Are you concerned about toxic wildfire smoke coming into your house through a swamp cooler? You might explore replacing your swamp cooler with a heat pump for both cooling and heating.
    • High heating bills?  Are you using electricity, propane, wood pellets or a wood stove for spacing heating? Switching to a heat pump as soon as possible will save you money.
    • If you heat with methane (natural) gas it may not make economic sense to switch to a heat pump especially if your furnace is new.  However, in central and northern New Mexico, an economical option is to install a less expensive heat pump and keep the gas furnace for backup on only the coldest days.
    • Are thinking about building an addition and don’t want to add a gas line? Consider adding a mini split heat pump.
    • Do you have a casita or small guest house that needs heating and cooling or another small heating/cool project? Consider adding mini-spit heat pump to the top of your list.
    • Are you looking to reduce building costs? Leave out the gas line and go all electric.
Do you have methane (natural) gas heating, but have one room that is always too cold or hot? A mini-spit heat pump might do the trick and be a small project to test the electrification waters. 
If you were thinking of replacing your swamp cooler with refrigerated air because of warming temperatures or allergies, now is a great time to explore a heat pump and get a great heating system as well.
Your first priority should be to drive electric (50% of your emissions), install an electric heat pump for heating and cooling (25%), install a heat pump water heater (10%), switch to induction cooking (5%), and install a heat pump clothes dryer (3%). And, while electricity providers are still not 100% clean renewable energy, installing solar and storage to power your EV and appliances is also very important. Note: to really cut your emissions ride a bike instead of drive, cut back on flying and eat less meat. 
Explore buying or leasing an electric vehicle and installing an electric charger  at your home, rental or condo.
Power your electrification with Solar and/or electric storageCheck out our pages on how to make the most of state and federal tax credits.
Is your income low to moderate? See if you qualify for these free weatherization and other services first. Then see if you  might qualify for these IRA rebates. If so, you should start to prioritize your electrification goals in case these IRA rebates and other emerging programs can help you with your plans.
As a renter consider putting portable appliances on your list like a heat pump clothes dryer, induction hot plate or, in a year or so, a portable window heat pump. Look for community solar opportunities. You can also consider an EV and work with your landlord or electricity provider to get an EV charger.

 

4. What financial incentives are you eligible for? Are you possibly eligible for low-income IRA rebates that come out in 2024?    These can really cut the costs of appliances like heat pumps and electric upgrades, so you might have to wait for those on your timeline if you qualify. New Mexico will only be issuing IRA rebates to low-income and multi family buildings, NOT middle-income residents. Explore our webpages for other New Mexico incentives.

5.  Timeline in hand, you are ready to put your plan together with Rewiring America’s planning guide.

Resources

Rewiring America:

LoveElectric: Ready to Make a Change?   Colorado-based website filled with info and real world examples of  heat pumps, heat pump water heaters and cooking.

Electrify Now  Oregon-based website includes information, webinars, real case studies on heat pumps, induction stoves, all electric homes,  renewable electricity, and EVs. Estimates how much CO2 is avoided by taking action.

Carbon Switch  Comprehensive Guides on water heaters, lighting, heating and cooling, insulation and stoves.

Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership  Air Source Heat Pump Installer and Consumer Resources  – Buying guide, installation guide and information about heat pumps in cold climates.

Internal Revenue Service Credits and Deductions Under the Inflation Reduction Act includes information for individuals and businesses on everything from EVs to Solar and Wind Facilities.

New Mexicans who have Electrified!

Coming soon!  Want to share your story? Email us at stefiwebsite@yahoo.com