CONAVI, INFONAVIT Honored as 'Stars of Energy Efficiency' by Washington, DC-based Advocacy Group, Alliance to Save Energy
Mexico City, August 17, 2009 – Each year the Washington, D.C.-based Alliance to Save Energy, a nonprofit organization that promotes energy efficiency worldwide, selects an international organization to receive one of its “Stars of Energy Efficiency” awards. This year, that honor is being shared by Mexico’s National Housing Commission (CONAVI) and National Fund for Housing (INFONAVIT) for their exemplary work in promoting energy efficiency in their low-income housing programs.
“The Alliance to Save Energy commends CONAVI and INFONAVIT for their important work in advancing energy efficiency, protecting the environment, and increasing affordable housing for their countrymen,” said Alliance President Kateri Callahan. “Buildings worldwide – including homes – account for about 40 percent of global energy use and CO2 emissions. This 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 is currently leading Mexico’s 2007-2012 national housing program titled “Towards a Sustainable Housing Development” and is a leader in initiating Mexico’s energy efficiency policies for housing. 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.
CONAVI notes that housing is a key sector in Mexico’s efforts to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, and that energy efficiency is an essential element in 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 construction is a critical element in the cost of housing, and the construction sector of the housing industry has one of the biggest economic, social, and environmental impacts in Mexico.
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,” due 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.”