Energy Efficiency: Important Challenges Must Be Overcome to Realize Significant Opportunities for Energy Efficiency Improvements in Gulf Coast Reconstruction

GAO-07-654 Published: Jun 26, 2007. Publicly Released: Jun 26, 2007.
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Following several hurricanes in 2005, the need to rebuild and repair destroyed and damaged homes and buildings in the Gulf Coast region may create opportunities for making energy efficiency improvements and realizing energy cost savings. While numerous federal agencies are involved in the recovery process, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Energy (DOE) interact with the states on a regular basis regarding matters of energy efficiency. This report, initiated under the authority of the Comptroller General of the United States, examines (1) the extent of opportunities for incorporating energy efficiency improvements in the Gulf Coast reconstruction, (2) potential challenges to realizing the energy cost savings during the reconstruction, and (3) the role of HUD and DOE in promoting energy efficiency in the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast. GAO limited the scope of its work to Louisiana and Mississippi since these states experienced the majority of the hurricane damage. GAO assessed opportunities for incorporating energy efficiency measures by conducting site visits and interviewing federal, state government officials; home builders; and energy efficiency experts. GAO also worked with a DOE national laboratory to develop energy cost savings estimates. GAO is making no recommendations.

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