After Tragedy, Joplin, MO Rebuilds with ENERGY STAR Certified Homes

By: Ramona Schwartz

In May 2011, a deadly tornado ripped through the community of Joplin, Missouri, tragically killing 161 people and destroying a third of the city. Thousands of structures were destroyed or damaged, including many homes. Over a year later, the community is still rebuilding. But the people of Joplin have the true American spirit and are determined to rebuild and to rebuild better.

This rebuilding effort includes a project called Building Joplin. Building Joplin is an initiative by natural gas distributor Missouri Gas Energy. Under this initiative, we are working with local home builders, contractors, and major manufacturers to rebuild Joplin’s homes to be ENERGY STAR certified. ENERGY STAR certified homes are more efficient than most other homes, saving owners money on their utility bills, which is something residents of Joplin can really benefit from.

We are committed to training builders and sub-contractors on the best practices contained within ENERGY STAR’s requirements with the goal of rebuilding a more energy efficient and sustainable community. Our first home is under construction and will be completed in early April 2013. We believe that the Building Joplin project will grow public awareness about the importance of energy efficiency in Joplin and beyond.

One of my favorite movie quotes is, “If you build it, they will come.” This quote embodies the spirit behind the Building Joplin project. We believe that once the community sees and lives in ENERGY STAR certified homes, they will understand the efficiency, comfort and durability benefits of these homes, and they’ll want all of Joplin’s homes to be ENERGY STAR homes. For more information on ENERGY STAR certified homes, click here.

About the Author: Ramona Schwartz is a contractor working in support of Missouri Gas Energy’s Building Joplin project. She is very passionate about helping people in need and saving energy.

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