Press Release

New Website Provides Southeasterners a One-Stop Resource for Saving Money and Energy

Visit the Energy Savings Action Center

Contact:
Rory McIlmoil, Energy Policy Director, 828-262-1500, rory@appvoices.org
Cat McCue, Communications Director, 434-293-6373, cat@appvoices.org

Boone, N.C. – Residents in eight southeastern states who want to save money and energy now have a new online resource where they can find information about home energy loan programs offered by their electric utilities, local businesses that conduct home improvements, and much more. The “Energy Savings Action Center” was launched today by Appalachian Voices, a regional non-profit organization that promotes efficiency as one of the most abundant, clean and affordable sources of energy.

The Southeast has the largest untapped energy-efficiency resource of any region in the country, with 29% of the nation’s total potential. The largely rural area of Appalachia, where homes are less efficient than average, accounts for much of this wasted energy. The region is served mainly by member-owned electric cooperatives and municipal electric utilities.

“We see incredible potential in our region for residential energy savings, which will keep more money in local communities, create thousands of new jobs, and build a flourishing energy services sector in Appalachia,” says Rory McIlmoil, energy policy director for Appalachian Voices.

“Many homeowners and renters feel they can’t afford to pay upfront to weatherize their home, buy new energy efficient appliances or make other improvements which could save them hundreds of dollars a year on their energy costs,” McIlmoil says.

The website launch comes on the heels of a U.S. Department of Agriculture announcement last week that $250 million will be available to electric cooperatives across the U.S. each year for energy efficiency programs, including offering residential customers low-cost loans to make cost-effective improvements, such as upgrading their heating, air conditioning and lighting systems, and installing insulation and energy efficient windows. The Appalachian Voices website includes specific information about how residents can encourage their cooperative to tap into this funding.

TN_AppalachianElectric_web

“Appalachian Voices’ Action Center is a valuable, one-of-a-kind tool for residents in the Southeast to learn more about energy efficiency programs that will improve home comfort and cut energy costs,” said Carol Werner, executive director of the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, a national non-profit organization that promotes sustainable energy development. “The Action Center comes at an opportune time with the launch of USDA’s new energy efficiency loan program.”

The easy-to-use Action Center is based on Google Maps and covers eight Southeastern states (AL, GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV). Residents can find links to their electric company, whether it’s a rural co-operative, a municipal provider, or an investor-owned utility, as well as information on energy efficiency programs and incentives their utility may offer, such as home energy loans. If loans are not offered, residents can use the website to send their utility a letter requesting a low-cost loan program.

Residents can also find a list of local companies that provide home energy audits, insulation, weatherization, duct repair and other improvements, with links to the company websites and contact information, and a list of non-profits in the region that focus on energy efficiency and other clean energy sources.

“I’m excited that Appalachian Voices has developed this great online tool to promote energy efficiency loan programs,” says Kent Hively, president of High Country Energy Solutions, a business specializing in home weatherization throughout western North Carolina. “Home energy loans can help keep more local dollars in our community, provide new jobs for skilled laborers and support small independent businesses, such as ours, by expanding our market base and creating new awareness about the services we offer.”

Additional contacts:
Carol Werner, Executive Director
Environmental and Energy Study Institute
202-628-1400

Kent Hively, President
High Country Energy Solutions
828-773-9762

CONTACT media@appvoices.org for print-ready, larger files of this logo and screenshots of the Action Center website.

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