Energy Savings for North Carolina

After a successful year for the Energy Savings for the High Country campaign, our Energy Savings team is working to expand our campaign beyond the High Country into other rural electric cooperatives in western North Carolina — and even the rest of the state. Here in the mountains, we are conducting community outreach and education in the Surry-Yadkin Electric Membership Corp. and French Broad Electric Membership Corp. service areas. Read more below about how to support and get involved in these efforts.

Our grassroots success led us to work at the state level and co-found the North Carolina On-Bill Working Group. As a member of the group, we are working to expand outreach and technical assistance for the development of on-bill energy efficiency finance programs through all of the state’s 26 electric cooperatives. The Working Group includes the Environmental Defense Fund, University of North Carolina’s Environmental Finance Center, Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and Southern Environmental Law Center.

We are also working with local and state partners to advocate for a strong state carbon emissions reduction plan that meets the requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency’s new Clean Power Plan. Our goals are to:

(a) ensure that the state provides for an inclusive stakeholder process,
(b) achieves the targets EPA has set for North Carolina, and
(c) includes energy efficiency and renewable energy goals which will help lower energy costs for Appalachian residents and move the state toward a clean energy future.

French Broad EMC Campaign

French Broad Electric Membership Cooperative provides electric service to 33,000 residents and 3,000 businesses across Buncombe, Madison, Mitchell,Yancey counties in North Carolina. For the past two years, French Broad has been offering low-interest on-bill financing for high-efficiency “mini-split” electric heat pumps to its members. Our goal is for French Broad to expand that program to include weatherization and other energy efficiency improvements.

The Energy Savings team is reaching out to community-based organizations, agencies and energy efficiency businesses to generate support for that effort. As economic data illustrates, an expanded on-bill finance program for French Broad EMC members could provide substantial financial and economic benefits for the four-county service area.

Avg. poverty rate 18.5%
Median income $17,000 – $20,000
Percent of homes more than 30 years old 51%

Get involved! If you are a French Broad EMC member and support the development of energy efficiency finance programs, sign this letter of support!–NEEDS LINK

If you would like to learn more about the campaign or want to get involved, contact Eliza Laubach at (847) 721-5147, or email her at Eliza@appvoices.org.

Surry-Yadkin EMC Campaign

Surry-Yadkin EMC provides electric service to 26,600 residents and 250 businesses across Forsyth, Stokes, Surry, Wilkes and Yadkin counties. While Surry-Yadkin does offer a rebate and other resources to its members encouraging energy efficiency, the electric cooperative does not currently offer any type of financing for home energy improvements. Our goal is to promote and generate strong community support among Surry-Yadkin EMC members for the cooperative to develop an on-bill energy efficiency finance program.

The Energy Savings team is reaching out to community-based organizations, agencies and energy efficiency businesses to generate support for that effort. As economic data illustrates, an expanded on-bill finance program for Surry-Yadkin EMC members could provide substantial financial and economic benefits for the five-county service area.

Avg. poverty rate 21%
Median income $25,000
Percent of homes more than 30 years old 54%

Get involved!

If you would like to learn more about the campaign or want to get involved, contact our AmeriCorps Associate, Ridge Graham, at (828) 262-1500, or email him at ridge@appvoices.org.