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.
High Country Campaign
Our pilot campaign in North Carolina, the High Country campaign is focused on the Blue Ridge Electric Membership Cooperative service areas of Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, and Alleghany counties and parts of Wilkes, Alexander and Avery counties. The Energy Savings team has provided substantial outreach and education through this program, including our successful High Country Home Energy Makeover Contest in 2015, as well as the development of an on-bill energy efficiency finance program by Blue Ridge Electric.
French Broad EMC Campaign
We are working within the French Broad Electric Membership Cooperative’s four-county area of Buncombe, Madison, Mitchell and Yancey to generate support among members and encourage the co-op to expand their current low-interest on-bill financing program to include weatherization and other energy efficiency improvements.
Surry-Yadkin EMC Campaign
We are currently working in Surry and Yadkin Counties in the northern foothills of North Carolina to generate support for an on-bill financing program for Surry-Yadkin Electric Membership Cooperative members. While Surry-Yadkin currently does offer a rebate and other resources encouraging energy efficiency, the cooperative currently does not offer any type of financing for home energy improvements.