Blog Archives

Volunteer Task Force

Energy Efficiency Task Force Volunteer Night

Get involved with Appalachian Voices to educate Western North Carolina residents about decreasing energy waste!

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Serving residents by saving energy

Students at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. spent a recent Saturday volunteering with Appalachian Voices and others to give two local homes an energy efficiency boost. The work was part of the school’s 18th annual MLK Challenge. “They caught energy leaks I knew nothing about,” said Faith Wright of Vilas, N.C., who was grateful for the volunteer energy of what she called the “student worker bees.”

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French Broad communities broadly support on-bill financing

Community members in the French Broad electric co-op service area in western NC attend a forum on energy efficiency.

Our recent “French Broad Community Energy Forum” in western North Carolina brought together more than 60 residents and representatives of local government, community service agencies, and businesses to learn and talk about the advantages of providing upfront financing for residents to make home energy efficiency improvements.

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Boone community comes together to tackle energy waste

At the first-ever Boone Energy Stakeholder Meeting, Appalachian Voices and other stakeholders took an important first step toward identifying solutions that could help tackle the problem of energy waste for the Town of Boone.

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Home Projects to Save Energy and Money

Appalachian Voices recently produced several short instructional videos about home projects that can lower your energy bill as well as help you protect the environment by consuming less energy.

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What do electric co-ops have to do with economic justice?

"WeOwnIt is a pro-member, pro-democracy organization that aims to build the foundation for a fair and just economic system.

The nonprofit WeOwnIt initiative was established in 2015 to create a national network for cooperative members of all sectors to have the rights, education and tools to implement organizing practices. This year, WeOwnIt is concentrating efforts towards electric co-ops.

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O’ TVA where art thou?

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.

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

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.

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Energy bill acrobatics

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.

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The Path of Most Resistance

Some of the region’s state legislatures and largest utilities have been working to restrict access to solar power and energy efficiency. But clean energy advocates are pushing back.

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