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How One Oregon Town Is Building Back Greener After a Devastating Wildfire

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Resilient Construction

How One Oregon Town Is Building Back Greener After a Devastating Wildfire

As it recovers from a destructive wildfire, the small town of Talent, Oregon is employing the help of the Energy Trust nonprofit to build resilient and energy efficient new homes


September 2, 2022
Chimney and scorched tree left behind by wildfire
Image: Stock.adobe.com

In September 2020, a devastating wildfire ripped through the small town of Talent, Oregon, destroying 700 buildings and forcing a third of its 6,300 residents to rebuild. With the help of Energy Trust, a nonprofit funded by Oregon utilities that offers incentives for energy efficiency and renewable power, dozens have chosen to build back greener, using up to around $8,000 in incentives to add high-performance appliances, insulation, and solar power to their new homes, according to Fast Company.

Not only are Talent residents prioritizing energy efficiency in their new builds, but many are also investing in features that could double as protection in future fires, an essential precaution as Oregon adapts to more intense wildfire seasons each year.

As rebuilding continues, nearly 100 other homeowners are in the process of using the energy incentives to make their new homes more efficient. There’s a climate benefit, but it’s also going to save residents money. “We know that this [type of] home is going to cost less to live in,” says Scott Leonard, senior project manager at Energy Trust.

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