By Beth Galante, The Lens contributing opinion writer |

New Orleans is working to reduce the energy consumption of our city’s households, and city officials want your help to determine how interested homeowners are in a loan program to improve energy and water efficiency.

The Office of Environmental Affairs has received a $220,000 Recovery Act grant from the U.S. Energy Department that will be used in part to sponsor market research to guide the design of new incentive programs. One component of this research effort is the web-based

I strongly encourage all homeowners in New Orleans to take five minutes to complete the questionnaire. Every household that takes the survey improves the ability of the city to craft the best incentive program for residents.  Strong citizen input helps ensure smart, effective government. Much work has gone into setting up the energy efficiency program to this point. It is now up to us as citizens of New Orleans to do our part.

I also encourage homeowners in Jefferson Parish to complete the survey as well. Though Jefferson Parish does not have any programs in the design phase, can collect information that could be used in the future. The Greater New Orleans area must treat this as an all-hands-on-deck moment, as we battle the damage of climate change and oil dependence on the Gulf Coast region.

New Orleans is on the front line in the battle to reduce the carbon emissions that lead to instability in global climate and sea level rise. It is critical for New Orleans to draw attention to the issue in every way possible. The very best way we can do that is to lead by example. New Orleans is starting small, but getting the first steps right is necessary to demonstrate our ability to create effective, more ambitious programs in the future. Obtaining robust participation in research efforts like the is a key component of that ability.

Please visit Global Green’s website at and visit the New Orleans page at for more information on our efforts to support the green rebuilding of New Orleans.

Beth Galante is the director of the  New Orleans Office of Global Green USA.