MFA Awards $10.5 Million in Funding for Energy Efficiency Upgrades and Repairs to Homes Across New Mexico

The Board of Directors for the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority (MFA) recently approved annual Energy$mart contracts for service providers to provide $10.5 million in energy efficiency upgrades and emergency repairs for low-income households. These improvements range from adding insulation and air sealing to major upgrades such as the repair or replacement of appliances, heating systems and cooling systems.

“Over the past 13 years, this program has helped more than 10,000 low-income families reduce their energy costs and improve the health and safety of their homes,” said MFA Executive Director and CEO Isidoro Hernandez. “This program can help provide energy savings that families can use for necessities like food, medicine and other essentials.”

To learn more about the services, qualification criteria and application process, individuals should contact the service provider that serves their area of the state. (Central New Mexico Housing Corporation (CNMH) serves Northern New Mexico, Southwestern Regional Housing and Community Development Corporation (SRHCDC) serves Southern New Mexico and the International Center for Appropriate and Sustainable Technology (ICAST) serves multifamily developments in the state.) Since MFA administers the funding, program oversight and contracts with service providers, all inquiries about services will be referred to the appropriate service provider. A complete list of the counties each service provider covers is listed on MFA’s website.

“The impact of these services has been lifechanging for so many families,” said MFA Green Initiatives Manager Dimitri Florez. “We’re honored to work with such an outstanding network of providers who are helping to make homes throughout New Mexico safer, more comfortable and more energy efficient.”

In order to qualify for the services, households can earn up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level, or $60,000 for a family of four.  Preference for the program is given to households with a high energy burden, children under the age of 5, people over 60 years of age and to individuals with disabilities.

Since 1997, MFA has administered the NM Energy$mart Program, which is funded by U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Low Income Housing Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (CSLFRF), the New Mexico Gas Company, the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM), El Paso Electric, and funding from the State of New Mexico. The New Mexico Energy$mart program is part of the nationwide Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), that operates in all states and territories and has been administered and funded by the Department of Energy (DOE) since 1976.

According to a 2020 report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), low-income households—those with incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level— spent 8.1 percent of their income on energy costs, on average, compared to 2.3 percent for non-low-income households. The report also found that home weatherization can reduce the energy burdens of low-income households by an estimated 25 percent.

The National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP) website also noted that residents of weatherized units report fewer colds and headaches, fewer hospitalizations, days of school or work missed, and fewer doctor visits. These health and safety benefits, when factored into the energy efficiency cost savings, provided program participants with a return of $2.78 for every dollar invested in the WAP.

For more information visit: housingnm.org/home-repair-and-energy-efficiency/energymart-weatherization-assistance/apply