Increase energy efficiency and repair your home

 

Sealing leaks, installing energy-efficient appliances, accessing renewable electricity and driving electric will cut your monthly utility and transportation bills. Here are free or low-cost programs designed to help you lower your energy costs.

  • Free energy efficiency upgrades are available in through some cities, counties and the Mortgage Finance Authority under the Community Energy Efficiency Development (CEED) grant fund. 2024 Awardees. See the great model developed by the CEED Pilot Program. Get your local government to write a proposal. EMNRD Rules. Check here for EMNRD’s request for proposals.
  • Coming soon are the Inflation Reduction Act rebate programs for energy efficiency and equipment through NM EMNRD, which will offer low-income residents point of sale discounts for heat pumps, electric stoves etc as well as no-cost house upgrade programs. The Solar For All program will provide low-income residents with avenues to receive clean solar energy.
  • Low income homeowners and renters may get free weatherization from the New Mexico Energy $mart Weatherization Program Home.  Qualify if someone in your household receives Disability Income, Supplemental Security Income and/or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. Services offered include insulation, duct repair and sealing, heating/cooling repair or replacement and other actions.
  • The HOME Rehabilitation Program  provides heating and cooling energy-saving measuresrepair or replacement of furnaces, ducting, water heaters, roof and mobile home replacement, code upgrades and utility connections. Click on the link to see qualification criteria.
  • See if you qualify for Yes Housing rentals throughout the state.
  • What should you do if you do not qualify for a rebate, tax credit or low-income program? Or if you qualify for a free heat pump for example, but need funding for an electrical panel upgrade? There are several financing options for homeowners that you might want to consider.  FHA loans for energy upgrades and renewable energy retrofits are in every state.
  • This article from the Zero Energy Project is a good overview of many loan/mortgage sources for solar and energy efficiency home improvements.
  • This is an overview of Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEMs) or green mortgages that allow existing or prospective homeowners to finance the cost of upgrades in new and existing homes. According to the Dept. of Energy, these mortgages take into account the lower utility bills that will come from the upgrades, and this may result in more favorable financing terms for the borrower. EEMs are sponsored by federally insured mortgage programs (FHA and VA) and the conventional secondary mortgage market. Lenders can offer conventional EEMs, FHA EEMs, or VA EEMs.
  • Check with credit unions such as Nusenda or the Clean Energy Credit Union PV loans and other green loans.
  • Homewise Home Improvement Loans. Homewise offers affordable financing services to help you maintain and improve your home. Make repairs or add energy efficient features such as electrical panel upgrades, heating and cooling, hot water heaters, windows or solar. Ask if you qualify for the Albuquerque Home Preservation Grant Program or other similar programs that helped this family.
  • Look for community solar and solar coop opportunities, such as the San Juan County Solar, Storage, and EV Charging Co-op and Solarize Santa Fe to get reduced solar electricity rates.
  • New Mexico’s Sustainable Building Tax Credit  offers residents refundable tax credits for ENERGY-STAR energy-saving installations, meaning even if you do not pay income taxes you qualify for the tax credits if your income falls below 200% of the federal poverty level. The credits themselves are also larger if your income qualifies or you live in affordable housing:  Heat pumps ($2,000), insulation (up to $2,000), windows/doors (up to $1,000),  heat pump water heater ($700) and EV Charger prep ($1,000).
    • 2024 federal poverty line values. For a household of 4, the Federal poverty line is $30,000, so 4-person families with incomes below $60,000 would qualify for the low income SBTC tax credit of $2,000 for a heat pump, for example. Four-person households above $60,000 would qualify for a $1,000 credit.
  • Veterans Home Rehabilitation and Modification Program provides energy-related home repairs or accessibility modifications to eligible disabled veterans who lack the resources to do so

  • Veterans may also qualify for $6,000 in efficiency upgrades through a VA Energy Efficient Mortgage.

Xcel’s Low Income Home Energy Service, through  Project Sponsors, provides energy efficiency retrofits for multi-family customers who meet the income guidelines. There is a program for single-family customers too.
PNM has the Energy Efficiency Rebate & Discount Programs for Income Qualified Customers.  If you get a PNM Home Energy Check-Up you may qualify for a free refrigerator, free weatherization and energy reduction devices and rebate forms for heat pumps and heat pump water heaters. PNM also has rebates for evaporative coolers and at the register discounts for weatherization products

 


By 2024 or 2025, the Inflation Reduction Act rebate programs will hopefully be implemented by New Mexico. If your local government or other entity has applied for funding, you may be eligible for rebates on electrical panel upgrades, heat pumps, and other efficiency improvements.

Loans. If you chose to take out a loan for clean energy appliances, solar or EVs, we recommend looking at Nusenda, the Clean Energy Credit Union (CECU) or similar institutions. For example CECU’s Clean Energy for All Loan programs for minority borrowers and low-income borrowers offers 0.50% rate discount.

 

If you need help paying your utility bill

 Xcel

PNM  Good Neighbor Fund

El Paso Electric List of New Mexico Assistance Agencies and Bright Hearts Fund.

For Jemez Mountain Electric Cooperative Members

New Mexico Gas HEAT NM

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)    [Solicitud para LIHEAP (PDF para completar/imprimir)]

Energy Assistance Rental Program  (Renters and Homeowners)

Community Response 2-1-1 National Support Hotline gives referrals to agencies and organizations. (or call 211)

 

Electric Vehicles (EVs) cost less to operate than gas-powered vehicles, especially if you can charge them where you live. For example, the Chevy Bolt costs $275/month less in fuel, maintenance, insurance and depreciation than a comparable gas car, according to Plug Star.

But being able to afford and then finding an affordable EV is not always easy in these early days of EV adoption.

Can I afford an EV?

If you decide you cannot afford to purchase an EV, look at the section on this webpage called Can I still drive an EV if I can’t afford to buy one?

  • Starting in 2024, you may transfer the maximum allowable federal EV credit (30% up to $4,000) to a participating dealer at the time of sale and receive that amount as a down payment or instant discount even if you owe no federal taxes.  The dealer must be registered with the IRS Energy Credits Online system. The dealer will enter the EV VIN and other information into the system to determine if the EV you want is eligible for the tax credit.  If so, make sure you get a confirmation of the IRS Seller Report  before you leave the dealership. You will have to file this with your taxes (even if you do not owe any federal taxes). If you do not transfer the credit to the dealer and wait to claim the credit in April, you may not receive the full allowable amount of the credit. Check with the dealer first to make sure they will take your tax credit transfer.
    • Example: You want to buy a used, 2022 Bolt for $24,000. The federal tax credit is 30% up to $4,000. $24,000 times 0.3= $7,200, but $4,000 is the maximum amount you can get. At the dealership if you transfer your tax credit you can use the $4,000 as a downpayment on a loan for $20,000 or buy the car outright for $20,000.
    • If you do not transfer the credit to the deal at the time of sale, you will only be allowed to take the credit of $4,000 if you owe that amount in federal taxes. If you only owe $1000, you will only be refunded $1,000.  If you owe not taxes you will not be able to claim the credit at all.
  • With the NM Clean Car Income Tax Credit  from 2024-2026 you could get an additional $2,500 off the price of a used EV. The amount for new EVs is $3,000. New EVs have to cost less than $55,000, and used EVs must be under $25,000. At the moment dealers are not required to offer the tax credit at point of sale, but you can file your state tax return in April to receive the full tax credit even if you do not owe any state taxes . The tax credit amount steps down each year from  2027-2029.
  • Combining the two tax credits means that a used $10,990 2015 Nissan Leaf (Caravan 2/14/24) would cost $5,193 and a $24,990 2016 Tesla S (Caravan 2/14/24) would cost $18,490.
  • Using the Carvana car loan calculator, an average credit score and a 60 month loan, your monthly credit payments would be $116 for the Nissan Leaf.  However, we do not know that Carvana will participate in the 2024 EV tax credit program.
  • To use federal tax credit, your modified adjusted gross income must be less than $150,000 for joint filers, $112,500 for head of household and $75,000 for single filers.

Beyond tax credits look for for extra savings on the Edmonds rebates site, COSTCO Auto Program and ENERGY STAR rebates page from manufacturers and banks. However to get the federal and state tax credits EVs must be purchased through a dealer.

For those living in PNM’s service area, the utility will offer a limited number of $4,000 EV rebates to qualifying low-income customers with incomes less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. EVs must cost less than $55,000.  

El Paso Electric will have a similar plan for 50 income-limited residents.

For the best used cars, check out:

This article describes different charger installation scenarios, with costs ranging from $1,700 to $6,900.  Combining federal, state and electricity provider incentives should cover the costs of many installations depending on their configurations.

      • Some EV companies offer home free charger with purchase.
      • Xcel low-income rebate is $2,500.
      • PNM low-income EV charger rebate is $4,250 including installation.  Multifamily income qualified community rebates are up to $10,000/charger port. PNM’s off-peak hours charging program should fill up your tank for ~$3.
      • El Paso Electric low-income EV charger rebate is $2,300. (200% Fed poverty level)
      • Your Rural Electric Coop may have rebates for chargers.
      • In selected communities, the IRA rebate program administered by New Mexico in 2024 or later will have rebates for electrical wiring costs up to $2,500, if you need to add a 240 volt line for charging.  There is also both a rebate and a tax credit for upgrading an electric panel if needed.  If there is an existing 240 volt line for a dryer, it can be shared for charging with a circuit splitter.
      • If you live in a rural or low-income community, there is an IRA tax credit of 30% up to $1,000 for a charging station.
      • The NM State tax credits are $500 or $1000 (<200% Federal poverty level) including installation.  Alternatively the 2024 NM Clean Car Income Tax Credit offers $400 for EV chargers.

If these incentives won’t work for you, you could look into these alternatives:

      • Are you in Xcel’s service area?  For $12/month you can rent a charger they install through their  EV Accelerate At Home program.
      • If you already have a 240 volt line being used by another appliance, consider sharing it with a circuit splitter if an electrician will allow it to avoid wiring or panel upgrades.
      • Use Level 1 charging.
      • If you are renting, see our section for renters under electric cars and chargers.
Yes!    Forth Mobility’s GoForth opened an EV sharing program in Albuquerque in Feb 2024 and plans to open a second site in Santa Fe.  There are 2 cars located at the PAH! Hiland Plaza Apartments, 5000 Central SE. The charge is $5.00/hr or $50/day + tax or $4.00/hr, $40/day for low income residents. To use the service you must registered download the MDO Carshare App (Apple App store; Google Play). The Las Cruces Sustainability Office is also working to build community housed EVs that can be rented by the hour or day by residents.