Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Energy Efficiency and Quality of Life: An Analysis of Mexico’s Green Mortgage Program

  • Author(s): Giottonini Badilla, Miriam Paloma
  • Advisor(s): Estrada, Leobardo F.
  • et al.

Mexico’s Green Mortgage Program (GMP) is the largest and fastest growing effort to increase residential energy-efficiency in low-income households in the world. Since its implementation in 2011, it has delivered more than three million dwellings with energy-efficient appliances to the low-income sector in Mexico. In this dissertation, the GMP serves as a case study to analyze energy efficiency as an instrument to improve quality of life of low-income neighborhoods. Using a multiple benefits framework, I explore the outcomes of the GMP beyond the reduction of electricity consumption. This is the first study that evaluates the effects of energy policy as an instrument to promote energy efficiency and an improvement of living conditions of the largest and fastest growing sector of the population of developing countries.

This dissertation is divided into two major sections: The first part tests the hypothesis that dwellings built through the GMP use less electricity than traditional households. I use bi-monthly utility bills to compare energy consumption between two GMP and two traditional neighborhoods. I find no statistically significant difference between neighborhoods, suggesting that the GMP is not delivering the expected results.

The second part explores how the GMP has improved the living conditions of people participating in the program. I compare different participation levels among members of the GMP and the traditional households in three main activities: recreation, skill-building, and additional educational activities. The hypothesis is that a reduction in electricity usage will reduce utility payment, allowing households to access new capacity-building opportunities. The analysis of survey responses shows no statistically significant difference between the living conditions of both groups, demonstrating that the GMP has had no effect on the living conditions of its inhabitants.

I conclude that the GMP requires a considerable review and transformation so it can deliver the expected results, or participation in the program must become optional. Additionally, governments of developing countries must reconsider the overall effects of climate change related policies, particularly those oriented at the lower-income sector of society.

Main Content
Current View