Instead of celebrating the first Saturday of the semester by sleeping in, students at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., spent Jan. 21 volunteering as part of the school’s annual MLK Challenge to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Appalachian Voices was glad to once again participate in the service day. With the help of six student volunteers, our Energy Savings team improved the energy efficiency of two local homes.
Energy efficiency upgrades can help lower energy bills and make homes more comfortable, though they often have a high upfront cost that many families cannot afford. There are programs that provide free and low-cost weatherization services, but the need greatly exceeds the available aid. To make energy efficiency more accessible, our Energy Savings team is advocating for the establishment of on-bill financing programs by electric cooperatives in Western North Carolina and East Tennessee.
Energy assessments for both homes were provided by reNew Home, Inc., to identify needed efficiency upgrades. Volunteers completed a variety of projects that included weatherstripping doors, installing insulation and sealing air leaks. Materials were donated by Watauga Building Supply and Lowe’s Home Improvement of Lenoir, N.C.