Over the last two years, SOCM’s Cumberland County Chapter has advocated for on-bill financing program for energy efficiency at their electric co-op, Volunteer Energy Cooperative.
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CONTACT: Rory McIlmoil, Appalachian Voices Energy Savings Program Manager, email@example.com, (828) 262-1500 Boone, N.C. — A program that pays for the upfront cost of home energy improvements could lower monthly bills for thousands of families in western North Carolina while…
Two western North Carolina counties — Yancey and Mitchell — made energy efficiency history when they passed resolutions supporting development of an “on-bill financing” for their citizens by local utility French Broad Electric.
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.”
Nearly 60 citizens attended an energy efficiency information session in mid-November for members of the French Broad Electric Membership Corp., an electric cooperative that serves six rural counties in Western North Carolina and East Tennessee.
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.
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.
Energy use and costs are higher in Appalachia than the national average, so when a high proportion of family income goes towards paying the utility bill, something needs to be done in order to reduce people’s electricity bills through improved home energy efficiency.
Learn more about how rural electric cooperatives are leading the way to a more sustainable energy future, by helping their members pay for energy efficiency home improvements.