Beyond power: Electric cooperatives can provide more than just electricity to meet rural needs
From broadband access to sustainable forestry, electric cooperatives across the nation have the opportunity to promote local economic development in ways that go beyond providing electricity. See how some electric co-ops are finding innovative ways to serve their communities.



Clean energy helps expand affordable housing
Energy efficiency and solar energy can reduce energy costs in affordable multifamily buildings while also providing health and comfort benefits to residents. According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, those savings can be used to increase affordable housing options. Read ACEEE’s report to learn about the programs and policies that can help make clean, affordable housing a reality.



N.C. co-op is making solar possible for all members
Roanoke Electric Cooperative’s recently launched community solar program, Roanoke SolarShare, promises to give all its members an opportunity to benefit from solar energy in the form of lower electric bills. Members can subscribe to panels at the co-op’s solar farm, while sponsorships enable low-income families to participate in the program. Read the press release.

Town fights for right to start its own municipal utility
The residents of Decorah, Iowa, are taking on their local investor-owned utility for the right to create a municipal utility in order to reap the benefits of local, affordable and clean energy. Learn more about their efforts, and listen to an interview with community leaders. Barn photo by Carol M. Highsmith

Southeastern and Appalachian states have the highest energy costs compared to spending
Despite having some of the lowest energy rates, many states throughout Appalachia and the Southeast rank highly in terms of energy costs as a percentage of personal spending. Find out where your state ranks and why cheap rates don’t always equal cheap bills.


Take Action!
Are you planning on attending your electric cooperative’s annual meeting? At the meeting, which is open to all co-op members, you have the opportunity to vote for the board of directors, meet your neighbors and talk to co-op management. If you do not know when your co-op’s annual meeting is, trying looking on their website or calling your local office! Contact in Tenn. or in N.C. for more information on attending your electric co-op’s annual meeting.


Ashe Co. Weatherization Assistance Info Session
Learn about local options for affording energy upgrades and weatherizing your home with the N.C. Energy Savings team and representatives from regional agencies and businesses. The event is Wed., May 16 from 2 - 6 p.m. at Family Central in Jefferson, N.C. Share the Facebook event with your friends and neighbors!

Member Rights Workshop for Powell Valley Electric Co-op Members
The Appalachian Voices Energy Savings Team is holding a 101-style workshop for members of Powell Valley Electric Cooperative. The meeting will address various ways to get involved in the decision-making process of the co-op. The workshop will be held May 17 at the Lee County Public Library from 5 - 7 p.m. Please RSVP on our Facebook event page! Call us at (865) 291-0083 with any questions.


Energy Savings Tip—Use your windows more efficiently!
There are many ways that your windows can help you save money on your electric bill! Now that we have more hours of sunlight, try opening your blinds to use natural light instead of turning on the lights in your home. On really nice days, open windows to create a breeze that naturally cools your home. Once it starts getting hotter out, consider keeping the blinds closed on windows that receive direct sunlight to prevent your home from heating up.