The Front Porch Blog, with Updates from AppalachiaThe Front Porch Blog, with Updates from Appalachia

Mountaintop removal limited — not stopped — in Tennessee

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 | Posted by Elizabeth E. Payne | No Comments

The Obama administration has approved a petition from Tennessee to designate some 75,000 acres of mountain ridges off limits for surface coal mining. The move protects mountain streams, wildlife habitat, scenic views and eco-tourism assets of the iconic Cumberland Plateau. But other mountains in Tennessee are still threatened with mountaintop removal mining. Take action today. [ More ]

America’s miners deserve better than this; time to do your part

Thursday, December 8th, 2016 | Posted by Thom Kay | No Comments

America owes a debt to the nation’s coal miners. The Miners Protection Act would begin to pay that debt, but the opportunity for Congress to pass the bill is quickly slipping away. [ More ]

O’ TVA where art thou?

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016 | Posted by Amy Kelly | No Comments

The Tennessee Valley Authority was created in the 1930s to bring cheap electricity to the most rural reaches of the Tennessee River valley. Almost a century later, many residents are struggling to pay electric bills that can be hundreds of dollars a month for their modest homes. Utility-sponsored financing to help with energy-efficiency improvements would go a long way. [ More ]

Do-It-Yourself tips for energy efficiency: Heating & Cooling

Friday, August 26th, 2016 | Posted by AV's Intern Team | No Comments

Education is a key part of our work, and one way we are helping residents lower their energy costs is by creating and sharing some short videos with Do-It-Yourself energy efficiency tip. This video features John Kidda, founder and President of reNew Homes, Inc., in Boone, N.C., discusses programmable thermostats as a way to save on heating and cooling. [ More ]

Energy bill acrobatics

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 | Posted by Lou Murrey | No Comments

For the Schmidt family of Tazewell, Tennessee, managing their budget is a balancing act, and one they have become very good at. But high electric bills--up to $300 in the winter--makes that balance tricky to maintain, sometimes leaving very little for emergency funds, much less for the home repairs they need that could actually lower their energy use. [ More ]

Keeping energy through the generations

Friday, June 10th, 2016 | Posted by Lou Murrey | No Comments

“We do everything we can to keep energy,” Barbara Taylor says as she heads down the stairs to the basement of the home she has shared with her husband, Paul, in New Tazewell, Tennessee since 1980. Outside it’s a humid 78 degrees, but in the narrow basement room that houses the Taylors’ heat pump it’s cool and dry. [ More ]

Announcing the Energy Savings for Appalachia webinar series

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016 | Posted by Amber Moodie-Dyer | No Comments

If you happened to miss our first energy efficiency on-bill financing webinar on May 11, don’t despair. You can watch the recording of the webinar, which is the first in a series describing the benefits of on-bill financing entitled “Leveraging Energy Savings: On-bill Financing as an Economic Opportunity in the Southeast.” [ More ]

Sleeping giants: TVA and Georgia Power stuck in second gear on energy efficiency

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016 | Posted by Guest Contributor | No Comments

While even the region’s top achievers have room for improvement, some of the largest utilities in the Southeast are seriously falling behind on energy efficiency. In particular, the Tennessee Valley Authority and Georgia Power are two enormously capable utilities that appear to be stuck in second gear. [ More ]

Federal agency considers restricting surface mining in Tennessee

Monday, January 18th, 2016 | Posted by AV's Intern Team | 1 Comment

Ridgeline corridors across a 67,000-acre area of Tennessee could be protected from surface mining. The U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement is considering granting the state's request for a ban. Submit your comment in support of the Cumberland Mountains before Jan. 25! [ More ]

Understanding the Stream Protection Rule

Friday, October 23rd, 2015 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

While the draft Stream Protection Rule is far from perfect, it is a long overdue update to protections for surface and groundwater from mountaintop removal coal mining. Not surprisingly, the coal industry had relied on “war on coal” talking points to fight against the rule, and claims these protections are unnecessary and will undermine an otherwise viable industry. Let’s examine those claims. [ More ]

Follow the leader: A Tennessee electric co-op moves forward

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015 | Posted by Amy Kelly | No Comments

As one rural electric cooperative in Appalachia expands clean energy and technology, other utilities in the region can learn from its example of leadership. Appalachian Electric Cooperative is launching a community solar program, conducting a feasibility study for fiber optic internet and leading the way forward for rural energy efficiency programs in Tennessee. [ More ]

Weatherizing Tennessee homes gets results

Friday, October 2nd, 2015 | Posted by Amy Kelly | 1 Comment

TVA is delivering millions of dollars in grants to communities in East Tennessee to start programs to help families weatherize their homes so they can stay warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer while saving money on their electric bill. People like Dorothy Ware of Knoxville. [ More ]