Alliance to Save Energy Honors Mexico President Calderón, Mexico's Housing Agencies, for Promoting Energy Efficiency
New York, September 23, 2009 – The Alliance to Save Energy, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization that promotes energy efficiency worldwide, is presenting an award today to Mexico President Felipe Calderón to honor Mexico's National Housing Commission (CONAVI) and National Fund for Housing (INFONAVIT) for encouraging energy efficiency in their nation's housing programs.
“The Alliance to Save Energy commends President Calderón for his outstanding guidance and vision in the energy efficiency arena,” said Alliance President Kateri Callahan. “Our award recognizes that under his leadership, CONAVI and INFONAVIT are, on a daily basis, tackling energy waste with energy efficiency, protecting the environment and curbing climate change, and making housing in Mexico more affordable for more people.
“Buildings worldwide – including homes – account for about 40 percent of global energy use and CO2 emissions,” Callahan added. “That means that while the housing sector is a major contributor to climate change, it also presents a major opportunity to use energy efficiency to improve the environment, grow national and local economies, and benefit low-income residents.”
National Housing Commission (CONAVI)
CONAVI, whose mission is to design, coordinate, and promote Mexico's housing policies and programs, is a leader in initiating energy efficiency policies for housing. Energy efficiency has been the key to establishing a sustainable housing policy in Mexico, and housing and energy efficiency go hand-in-hand in the nation's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and advance Mexico's sustainable national housing policy.
That is because housing consumes more than one quarter of the electricity and most of the liquefied petroleum gas (propane) produced in Mexico, and the demand for natural gas in the housing sector is growing. CONAVI adds that the energy consumed during home construction is an additional critical element in the cost of housing, with a huge economic, social, and environmental impact in Mexico.
The commission's main areas of work are restructuring the national regulatory framework; research and development on energy-efficient technology; certification procedures and financial incentives; and mitigating the effects of climate change.
National Fund for Housing (INFONAVIT)
As the largest originator of residential mortgages in Mexico, INFONAVIT authorized a credit system called Green Mortgage in response to the recommendations of the General Assembly. The Green Mortgage program is aimed at improving the environment, promoting the incorporation of sustainability criteria in the homes that INFONAVIT finances, supporting the National Strategy for Climate Change, and ensuring energy and water savings that will make homes more affordable.
INFOAVIT's 2008 report on its Green Mortgage Pilot Program indicated that the homes financed by the program were “financially viable,” thanks to the savings generated by reduced energy and water consumption. That year, INFONAVIT signed an agreement with key energy efficiency agencies launching the Green Mortgage program at the national level.
“The contributions from these two agencies in Mexico are significant and worthy of recognition,” said John Fielder, Southern California Edison president, Alliance Board member, and chair of the Alliance Dinner and Awards Committee. “CONAVI's work with energy efficiency in housing and INFONAVIT's program to promote environmentally friendly strategies for housing bode well for the country's environmental, economic, and clean energy future.”