Mexican Regulations, the Pilar to Boost Industrials' Energy Transition

Mexico faces enormous energy challenges and multiple national and international climate change related commitments as a result of the 2013 energy reform and the ratification of the Paris Agreement. 


The current transformation of the institutional framework highlights the role of energy efficiency as a key instrument to support this transition. Therefore, the Mexican government seeks to promote its implementation, as well as the coordination of actors to finance it, through the development of public policy,  projects and programs.

With the 2013 reform, the Energy Transition Law (LTE) was created, altering the Mexican paradigm of dependency to fossil fuels (Fossil fuels accounted for 87.2 % of primary energy production in 2015) by incorporating specific actions to decarbonize the economy

In order to achieve the objectives of the LTE, the law grants powers to Mexico, the Ministry of Energy (SENER) and the National Commission for the Efficient Use of Energy (CONUEE) for establishing the roadmap to achieve energy efficiency goals and defining the targets and objectives of the National Program for the Sustainable Use of Energy (PRONASE).

As we can infer from the above-mentioned regulatory scheme, during the last decade, Climate Change in Mexico has been an important issue in the regulatory framework. This is reflected in the General Law on Climate Change, that presents the benefits of energy efficiency as a key to mitigation and emission reduction actions, and includes the private sector as a strategic part of this process, as well as the development and transference of low carbon technology. 

As a result of this law, the National Climate Change Strategy is the main planning instrument to achieve the mitigation and adaptation of climate change and the reduction of emissions. Its main objective is to reduce emissions by 30% by 2020 and 50% by 2050 with respect to the year 2000.

According to those different actors, energy efficiency has economic advantages: it increases competitiveness and productivity. CONUEE highlights other benefits: the reduction of costs in the use of energy, job creation and specialized human capital, as well as the change of culture around efficiency that promotes economic growth by reducing the intensive use of energy.

Official Mexican government figures indicate that 30% of the energy consumed in the country is used for industrial production processes. The main energy-intensive industries are mining (16%), the chemical industry (13%) and iron and steel production (13%). For those specific industries, deploying an energy efficiency strategy is relevant. In monitoring and optimizing production processes, industrials can indeed achieve energy savings and carbon reduction.

To reach the goals proposed for 2050, CONUEE establishes programs and actions to promote the sustainable use of energy through the optimal use of energy in all its processes and activities, from its exploitation to final consumption. To this end, and in coordination with other stakeholders, it has launched various programs such as the Business Energy Saving and Efficiency Program (PAEEEM) and the National Program for Energy Management Systems (PRONASGEn), which seeks to promote the implementation of best practices and energy management systems.  This type of program stands out for its efforts to increase the number of ISO 50 001 certifications related to EMS’s in Mexico.

The goals are ambitious, but in terms of energy efficiency, Mexico has a solid regulatory framework accompanied by public policies that allow the industry to establish and implement measures that support the decarbonization of its territory and improve the competitiveness and productivity of the economy.

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