Mass.-based Conservation Services Group is leading an integrated effort to make New Orleans more energy efficient as it rebuilds. This effort is made possible by a grant from Entergy Charitable Foundation and the Home Builders Association of New Orleans.
CSG is spearheading the "New Orleans Energy Savings Initiative," a local technical advisory group comprised of Henry Consulting of New Orleans, the Homebuilder's Association, the Alliance to Save Energy, the New Orleans City Council advisors and the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation. The formal plan will be presented to the New Orleans City Council utility meeting later this month. If the plan is approved, it will be implemented as funding is put in place. According to Entergy, this effort signifies the first large scale energy efficiency program for the City. (In the past, energy efficiency efforts have been voluntary.)
The Energy Saving Initiative is one of the first to be implemented from an overall strategy for reconstruction called the Unified New Orleans Plan. This plan was funded by the Clinton-Bush Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. Henry Consulting was one of the lead local firms preparing the reconstruction plan and will be working with CSG to develop the energy efficiency program for the city.
Cathy Herren, director of housing initiatives for Entergy New Orleans, said, "New Orleans residents have been faced with extraordinary circumstances since Hurricane Katrina. The New Orleans Energy Savings Initiative is aimed at helping customers, especially those who are returning to and rebuilding their homes, to manage their energy costs. Entergy is focused on the future and that's why we are working with CSG to help deliver optimum energy savings for the people of New Orleans."
Stephen L. Cowell is chairman and chief executive officer for CSG. He added, "By getting involved now, we have an exciting opportunity to build in energy saving mechanisms from the ground up. If our plan is implemented, houses and commercial buildings here will be the most energy efficient, high performance facilities that they can be. They will consume less energy and cost less money to operate. Most importantly, this will mean a significant reduction in harmful greenhouse gas emissions, due to lower energy usage. An environmentally sound strategy is in the best interests of the community."
Based in Westborough, Mass., Conservation Services Group has 12 offices nationwide. CSG has been providing energy saving strategies and renewable energy technologies to consumers and businesses since 1984.