Community Resources & Solutions for Green Living in Southern New Mexico

Join Our Email List
For Email Newsletters you can trust

Profile Update?
Tech Problem?
Data Error?

Please help us to
keep this resource current
by reporting errors to:

Viva Verde Guide: Frequently asked questions

Carbon Offsets/Green tags
How can I become more carbon neutral?
If you’re on a quest to become “carbon neutral” – zero out your carbon emissions to help mitigate climate change – carbon offsets or greentags are a useful tool. Carbon offsets are a certificate for a one metric ton (2205 pounds) reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. The reduction in carbon dioxide from renewable energy projects can be sold as offsets, helping to finance these projects critical to developing clean power resources. The first step is to calculate your carbon footprint – amount of CO2 emissions -- from home energy use, cars and air travel. Carbon footprint calculators do this for you easily.
Click here to check out the carbon emissions offset directory.

Energy Efficiency
How can I find out my home's energy efficiency score
How can I find out my home's energy efficiency score?
Find out your score by using the Energy Star Home Energy Yardstick. This calculator uses your annual or monthly utility usage and costs to evaluate how your household’s energy use compares to similar homes nationwide. The tool provides you with actions and links to information to improve your score.
Click here for more info.

How can I save energy and money with a Home Energy Audit?
Conduct your own simple home energy audit or hire a professional energy auditor to determine how to make your home more energy efficient and save money on your monthly energy bills. From the Department of Energy’s Do-It-Yourself Home Energy Audit at

How can I do my own simple home weatherization?
- Achieve a potential 5% – 30% energy savings by correcting drafts from doors, windows, baseboards, attics, and around wall or window mounted air conditioners. Install the recommended level of insulation in your ceiling, floors and walls To learn more, consult the Energy Star Do-It-Yourself Guide to Sealing and Insulating at:

- Change heating and cooling filters as needed which is generally every 1 – 2 months especially during periods of high use. Have a professional check and clean your system annually. * Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) through El Paso Electric’s ENERGY STAR Residential Lighting Program. Visit participating stores to get discounts on ENERGY STAR Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs).

Dollar Tree 2190 N. Main St.
Las Cruces, NM 88005

Dollar Tree
1701 E. University Ave. #2
Las Cruces, NM 88001

True Value Hardware Store
1002 W. Picacho
Las Cruces, NM 88005

PNM Home Lighting Discounts

Silver City Ace Hardware
3025 Hwy 180 E.

1956 Hwy. 180 E.

Silver City Wal-Mart
2501 Highway 180 E.

Deming Wal-Mart
1021 E. Pine St.

How can ENERGY STAR help me save energy and money?
Energy Star is a resource to help you make energy efficient choices for your home or business. Consult the Energy Star webpage to find energy efficient products and practices or look for the Energy Star label on products that show that they meet strict energy efficiency standards. Visit

What is an Energy Star Home?
If you’re looking for a new home, work with an Energy Star-certified Site-Built Home Builder or Developer to construct or buy an Energy Star-certified home. Visit:


How can I Finance My Energy Efficiency Project and
Take Advantage of New Federal Tax Credits?

The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act raised the tax credit from 10% to 30% of cost for a range of energy efficiency products. In some cases, the minimum cap was raised to $1500 for the two year period (2009-2010). Geothermal heat pumps, solar water heaters, and solar panels however are not subject to the $1,500 maximum. Click here to find out how to receive your tax credit on your next energy efficiency purchase.

How can I save energy and money through El Paso Electric’s incentives and rebates?
El Paso Electric provides incentives such as rebates to its customers for energy efficiency upgrades including insulation, solar screens, and high efficiency cooling.
Click here for more info.

How can I save energy and money through the PNM Energy Efficiency Program?
PNM offers a range of rebates and discounts to homeowners and businesses for energy efficiency measures, such as advanced evaporative cooling, refrigerator recycling, Enroll in the PNM Power Saver Program ( and receive a yearly thank you check for doing your part to reduce electricity demand during peak times.
Click here for more info.

How can I benefit from weartherization services available to low-income households?
The Weatherization Assistance Program is a federal grant program that helps low income customers save energy and reduce their home energy costs. After completing an energy audit, the Weatherization Assistance Program will provide income-qualified customers with free installation of energy saving products such as:
- Air leakage reduction measures
- Insulation
- Lighting
- Refrigerators
- Storm Doors
- Heating and Cooling Modifications
- Storm Windows
- Health and Safety measures such as repairing gas leaks, installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

How can I get weatherization expense coverage for Incidental repairs?
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 raised the qualifying income threshold to 200% of the federal poverty level and the cap on weatherization expense to $6500. For Catron, Doña Ana, Grant, Hidalgo, Luna, Sierra, Socorro counties, contact the Community Action Agency of Southern New Mexico to fill out an application for weatherization assistance.

Community Action Agency of Southern New Mexico
320 East Wyatt Drive
Las Cruces, NM 88001

How can I take advantage of Energy Efficiency Mortgages?
Homeowners can take advantage of energy efficient mortgages (EEM) to finance a variety of energy efficiency measures, including renewable energy technologies, in a new or existing home. The U.S. federal government supports these loans by insuring them through Federal Housing Authority (FHA) or Veterans Affairs (VA) programs. This allows borrowers who might otherwise be denied loans to pursue energy efficiency improvements, and it secures lenders against loan default.

Federal Housing Authority

Veterans Affairs Energy Efficient Mortgages

Viva Verde c/o Gila Resources Information Project
305A North Cooper Street • Silver City, NM 88061 • p/f 575.538.8078