New TVA rate structure likely to harm low-income families
Last month, the TVA board voted against low-income families and clean energy by passing a new rate structure requiring local power companies to pay a fixed “Grid Access Charge.” The fee will result in higher electricity bills across the Tennessee Valley while making it harder for families to reduce their energy costs. Learn how this rate structure change sets a bad precedent.

 

 

 

Finalists announced for High Country Home Energy Makeover Contest
Five families from Alleghany, Ashe and Watauga Counties in N.C. have been awarded free home energy audits as finalists in our High Country Home Energy Makeover Contest. The finalists were selected because of their unaffordably high energy bills and inefficient homes. Read their stories.

 

News

U.S. wastes two-thirds of its energy
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory recently released their annual flow chart of energy sources and uses, illuminating the fact that over 68% of all energy in the United States never sees the light of day, so to speak. Learn more about the magnitude of our problem with energy waste, and find out where all that energy comes from in the first place.


Can broadband access fight opioid addiction in rural communities?
Rural areas have been hit particularly hard by the opioid epidemic. Find out how expanding access to high-speed internet, and therefore access to economic opportunity, education and medical care, is one tool that rural electric co-ops could use to help combat the opioid crisis.


Microgrid at N.C. co-op is powered by pig poop
At a pork farm in central North Carolina, a microgrid powered by solar panels, energy storage and biogas from pig waste was connected to the grid of the local electric co-op, South River Electric Membership Corporation. Learn more about the project and the role of agricultural microgrids in making the electric supply resilient and sustainable.

 

Take Action!
Do you get your electricity from Blue Ridge Energy in the High Country of N.C.? Don’t miss your chance to attend the electric co-op’s Annual Member Meeting on June 28 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at their corporate office in Lenoir. If you can’t attend and still want to submit comments in support of energy efficiency or solar, or about other co-op matters, email lauren@appvoices.org to ask how.

 

Events
Home Energy Block Party in West Jefferson, N.C.
Join the Energy Savings team and your neighbors to learn about renewable energy, energy efficiency, and how to get involved with your electric co-op. The event is on Saturday, June 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at BackStreet Park in West Jefferson, N.C. There will be free food and door prizes! See more details and RSVP.

Film screening of Reinventing Power: America’s Renewable Energy Boom
Learn how the growth of the clean energy industry is impacting people’s lives in eight different states in Reinventing Power: America’s Renewable Energy Boom. The free screening, hosted by the Sierra Club and MountainTrue, will be held on Wednesday, June 27 at 6:30 p.m. in Asheville, N.C. Find out more about the event.

East Tennessee Community Lab’s Community and Social Justice Fair
Attend this dynamic event to connect with regional groups working on critically important community issues and to identify intersections for movements grounded in common values. It takes place Saturday, June 16 from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. at Pellissippi State Community College’s Magnolia Campus. The fair is free and open to the public. Learn more and RSVP.

 

Energy Savings Tip—Seal air leaks around your windows!
Are your windows drafty? Caulk up the leaks around your windows to help stop this problem! This simple and inexpensive fix will keep the heat in your home during the winter and the cool air in during the summer, and it could lower your energy bill. Your local home improvement store should have caulking and a caulk gun for as little as $10.00-$15.00. Watch this video to learn how to do it yourself! Photo: U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sergeant Courtney Richardson