State buildings to incorporate environmentally sustainable features

New Mexico

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Dozens of state buildings are getting greener.

Work has begun on a two-year-long project, upgrading 30 government buildings around Santa Fe with more sustainable features. Those include solar panels, low-flow toilets, and heating and cooling improvements.

The state estimates the changes will cut utility bills in half, saving more than $1 million taxpayer dollars a year.

“It’s the responsible thing to do, not only fiscally, but environmentally,” energy engineer Erica Velarde said. “We have to start doing our part if we’re going to start inching our way toward a renewable future.”

The $32 million project is paid for in part by the legislature’s Green Energy Project Fund. The rest is bond money, expected to be paid back with the utility savings.

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