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.  

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.

2.8 years is the time required for solar thermal panels to pay for themselves in energy savings

The challenge

Transitioning to a sustainable city will be a challenge for the most populous city in the Americas, when more than 80% of the energy consumption comes from fossil fuels. Implementing energy efficiency and installing renewable energy systems are two strategies the city is pursuing, starting in the public sector.


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

Environmental 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.

Social Promoting sustainability actions in public buildings increases the visibility of the sustainability agenda to citizens and demonstrates the government is willing to take the first step in the clean energy transition.

About Mexico City

Mexico City is the capital and most populous city of Mexico. Mexico City is one of the most important financial centers in the Americas. According to the most recent definition agreed upon by the federal and state governments, the Greater Mexico City population is 21.3 million people, making it the largest metropolitan area of the Western Hemisphere. In recent years, the local government has passed a wave of liberal policies, such as abortion on request, a limited form of euthanasia, no-fault divorce, and same-sex marriage.

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