An Agenda of Collaboration with Mexico City

Mexico Energy Initiative Team Lead Michael McNeil and Program Manager Alberto Diaz recently held a meeting in Mexico City with partners in city government and the non-governmental sector to advance collaboration projects on energy-efficiency.

The meeting was organized by the Mexico City Secretariat of Economic Development (SEDECO) and included representatives from Secretariat of Environment (SEDEMA); the National Commission for the Efficient Use of Energy (CONUEE); Mexico’s Climate Initiative (ICM); World Resources Institute (WRI); and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

Dr. Alberto Valdes Palacios, Director General of Development and Energy Sustainability at SEDECO, presided the meeting and emphasized the importance of coordination between federal and city authorities in the development of energy efficiency strategies.
The agenda included discussion of two projects where MEI is directly involved:
a) a proposal to renew efforts for the implementation of mandatory energy-efficiency building codes in Mexico City
b) a proposal to create a Virtual Data Lab as part of the Vallejo Innovation Center (iVallejo) to process, store and analyze energy end use data
In both cases, the discussion generated useful recommendations to move forward and expand engagement with relevant Mexico City government agencies.

The meeting at SEDECO is part of the follow up to the visit to Berkeley Lab last November by the Mexico City Chief of Government, Dr. Claudia Sheinbaum, where it was agreed to develop a partnership to address Mexico City’s sustainability challenges.

Partnering on Energy Efficiency

SEDEMA recently released a presentation on the Energy Sustainability Strategy (Solar City) for 2019-2024, which includes Berkeley Lab as one of the international partners. Berkeley Lab, along with the Comisión Nacional para el Uso Eficiente de la Energía (CONUEE) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), will work in the area of energy efficiency, focusing on retrofits of public buildings and energy efficiency regulations.

MEI appreciates the distinction of being identified by the Mexico City government as a partner in its energy sustainability efforts and looks forward to the opportunity to support the goals outlined in the 2019-2024 Plan.

Berkeley Lab’s Mexico Energy Initiative (MEI) participated in the second workshop launching the partnership of the state of Sonora with the Building Efficiency Accelerator (BEA), a global initiative that facilitates access to technical assistance and industry engagement for member cities advancing building energy efficiency. The event was held in Hermosillo by the Commission of Ecology and Sustainable Development of the State of Sonora (CEDES) with attendance by government officials, experts from research institutions in the state, construction professionals, and representatives of building technology companies.

MEI’s participation in the workshop was part of the activities of the Mexico Cooling Initiative, a comprehensive strategy devised with support from USAID to address the impacts of the increasing use of energy for air conditioning in Mexico. Dr. Michael McNeil, MEI’s Lead, highlighted the growing use of air conditioners around the world and the urbanization trends that will dramatically increase ownership of AC equipment in the country (from 14% of all urban households to 45% by 2050) with related economic and environmental impacts.

In the case of Sonora, located in a hot-dry environment in Northern Mexico, average temperatures in the summer months approach 105 degrees F; the state registers the highest electricity consumption of electricity for cooling in the country. Dr. McNeil announced that MEI will be conducting a field study to measure the consumption of electricity by mini-split air conditioners at a sample of households in Hermosillo with good time resolution (~15 min) for entire cooling season (May-Oct).

As part of the commitments made by Sonora in joining BEA (2017), at the policy level the state will implement adjustment infrastructure measures on buildings under CEDES coordination and will set up a pilot program for retrofit of municipal buildings. The Mexico Office of the World Resources Institute (WRI) will coordinate local BEA partners in this collaboration.

The presentation delivered by Dr. McNeil can be viewed here


The Global Cooling Prize is rallying a global coalition of leaders to solve the critical climate threat that comes from growing demand for residential air conditioning.

A global challenge to accelerate access to affordable, sustainable cooling through rapid deployment of cool roof materials.