Hospitals and other public buildings in Mexico City are being outfitted with energy efficiency upgrades and renewable energy systems to cut bills and carbon emissions.

The Challenge

Providence's building stock accounts for more than two-thirds of their carbon emissions. Leading by example and installing energy efficiency upgrades in municipal buildings will pave the way for broader policy change and help achieve the goal of becoming a carbon neutral city by 2050.

The Solution

Mexico City is pursuing a dual-action strategy as part of their low-carbon energy transition, using energy efficiency improvements in combination with investment in renewable energy systems for public buildings. Building on the UN's Energy Efficiency Accelerator Platform, the city is performing energy diagnostics on public buildings in order to plan strategic upgrades and reduce energy consumption. As well as these 'invisible' actions, the city is also investing in solar thermal heating systems to provide hot water in all public hospitals. Mexico City already has an ambitious Climate Action Program calling for a 30% reduction in CO2 by 2020, but reducing emissions from existing, inefficient buildings is notoriously difficult. When done right, however, efficiency upgrades can be one of the cheapest ways to reduce emissions, as the pilot project at La Villa Pediatric Hospital demonstrates. After the installation of 32 rooftop solar thermal collectors, the hospital now saves around $8,800 per year in heating costs and 52 tons of CO2 equivalent.

Environmental Benefits – With the installation of solar water heating systems and energy retrofits in 12 hospitals, Mexico City expects to save around 750 tons of CO2 equivalent.

Economic Benefits – Each hospital under the project's scope could save around $8,500 annually after efficiency upgrades and installation of renewable energy systems.

About Cities100

Presented by C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), Sustainia and Realdania – Cities100 2017 showcases leading solutions to urban climate challenges in five sectors: Energy, Waste, Adaptation, Mitigation and Transportation.

Available online and in print, Cities100 provides stakeholders an accessible format to explore achievable solutions for climate action in cities, and will be a useful tool for relevant groups ranging from impact investors and development organizations, to mayors and city governments. You can access the full Cities100 2017 publication online here.

  • Economic
  • Environmental
Key Impact
2.8 years is the time required for solar thermal panels to pay for themselves in energy savings
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