On March 2, 2012, the town of West Liberty, Kentucky suffered a massive tragedy. An EF3 tornado ripped through this community of about 3,400 residents, killing seven, devastating nearly 400 homes, businesses and government structures, and destroying much of the downtown area. While the disaster was an unprecedented crisis for the tiny community, it also represented an extraordinary opportunity: to rebuild itself with a 21st century, lower-cost, sustainable infrastructure, and develop a path to create job-producing business opportunities, increasing the tax base and attract new residents to West Liberty. The community’s residents and leaders chose this bolder path. After a year of extensive discussions among key stakeholders and outside experts, the community completed a thorough visioning process to rebuild West Liberty in a thoughtful and sustainable manner, giving careful consideration to the need to preserve the region’s Appalachian heritage and resources.
In January 2013, Midwest Clean Energy Enterprise issued a strategic report: Rebuilding West Liberty, Kentucky, outlining thirteen locally-inspired strategies that would make West Liberty not only a model for disaster-ravaged communities, but also for all of rural America.
The Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard (EEED) monitors and evaluate energy consumption of Commercial Bank of West Liberty and four units of the new highly energy efficient multi-family residences at Frederick Place Apartments. In addition, two Habitat for Humanity homes built after the tornado were selected and an Appalachian Regional Commission grant funded the installation of solar panels on each home. The solar panels installed were designed to be “net zero” so the homeowners in some months would have electric bills that are in excess of the electricity generated by the solar panels. In some months, the solar panels will generate more power than consumed and the home owners will receive a credit on their electric bills.
Check out the Live Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard - Click here