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Posted October 16, 2014

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Ron Rioux's Legacy Leaves APS More Energy Conscious

The district's Energy Conservation Coordinator retired after 19 years.

APS students participate in the annual New Mexico Electric Car Challenge.

Ron Rioux was hired in 1995 as a JROTC instructor but ended his career nearly two decades later as the district's first and only conservation coordinator, saving APS hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Rioux recalls when the then-head of Maintenance and Operations asked him to "build me an energy conservation program."

So, he did.

Rioux spent 14 years working with teachers, custodians, administrators and staff from around the district on developing a noteworthy and effective energy conservation program.

"We teach our students that every individual can make a difference in the bigger picture, and they understand that and embrace that," Rioux said. "Energy conservation is about the individual difference, and students get that. I am proud to have been a part of this project for so many years."

During his years as the conservation coordinator, Rioux:

  • Created the Energy STARS (Schools Teaching About Resource Sustainability) program, with more than 58 schools participating
  • Coordinated efforts with the State of New Mexico to increase awareness of energy conservation through gubernatorial proclamations of Energy Awareness Week
  • Implemented solar panel energy consumption use at various schools
  • Created the annual New Mexico Electric Car Challenge that continues to flourish today
  • Led the effort that resulted in over 48 APS schools earning the EPA’s ENERGY STAR® “Certification for Superior Energy Efficiency”

Rioux, who retired on Oct. 1, came to APS after a successful career in the military. In addition to serving as a JROTC instructor, he was an inspector for M&O prior to creating the Energy Conservation Department.

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