This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.
DOE Web Site Aids Energy Savings in Gulf Coast Reconstruction
DOE launched a Disaster Recovery and Building Reconstruction Web site on November 22nd as part of its continuing effort to support hurricane victims in the Gulf Coast. The new Web site encourages cost-effective, durable, and energy-efficient reconstruction in areas devastated by recent hurricanes. It provides resources and information for consumers, builders, contractors, and state and local officials, and also links to a wide range of guidelines, fact sheets, and case studies developed by DOE and other federal agencies and organizations. See the new Disaster Recovery and Building Reconstruction Web site.
DOE is also working closely with Gulf Coast state energy offices and their partners to provide resources, training, and technical assistance. A key component of the states' recovery efforts is their partnership with the National Association of State Universities Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC) and in-state extension services to provide training workshops on achieving energy efficiency and storm resistance while rebuilding. These workshops will combine NASULGC's ability to deliver educational programs with DOE's national network of building scientists, energy analysts, and builder training professionals. The Disaster Recovery and Building Reconstruction Web site will provide information on the workshops as it becomes available. See the DOE press release.
Since the hurricanes, a number of organizations have noted the benefits of energy-efficient, green rebuilding in the afflicted areas of the Gulf Coast. An analysis by ICF Consulting found that a $900 million investment in energy efficiency for rebuilding the 310,353 destroyed homes to Energy Star standards would pay for itself in just 7.5 years. The finding led the company to suggest the Energy Star requirements as a minimum standard. Meanwhile, the U.S. Green Building Council, the Enterprise Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, the Trust for Public Land, and others worked together at the recent Greenbuild Conference and Expo in Atlanta, Georgia, to launch a number of initiatives to help incorporate green building into the Gulf Coast rebuilding plans. See the press releases from ICF Consulting and the U.S. Green Building Council.