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. Mexico to build only energy-smart homes in three years: minister

by Staff Writers
Mexico City (AFP) Feb 8, 2008
Mexico will soon allow only energy-smart homes to be built in the country, and plans to have 30,000 such units up and running by 2011, Environment Secretary Juan Rafael Elvira said Friday.

"In two or three years all traditional home construction will come to an end, and all new homes will be built with new materials and energy-sustainable standards," Elvira told a foreign press conference.

He said the government project will begin with a federally-funded pilot program to build 30,000 energy-smart homes in the next three years that will help establish the criteria for energy efficiency construction.

The initiative is part of a global project to build by 2012 one million energy-smart homes that will save the planet one million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, he added.

He said the new housing will be equipped with energy-smart devices such as solar water heating, low-energy fluorescent lights, high-efficiency appliances and low-flow plumbing fixtures.

The 30,000-home pilot program will be aimed at people "who make daily wages of 200 pesos (18 dollars), while the federal government will provide support of 22,000 pesos (some 1,900 dollars) to the interested parties," Elvira said.

He said the cost of each energy-smart home will range from 120,000-240,000 pesos (up to around 21,000 dollars).

The secretary said a separate energy-smart-home building program is planned for the southern state of Chiapas to help relocate thousands of people made homeless by the massive floods of October and November.

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