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Got 90 seconds? Learn how your electric utility can save you money and energy

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What if your home could be fixed up so that you’re cool in the middle of summer, warm in winter, and you have more money every year for things you need? See our new 90-second video and learn how.

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Report finds thousands in western N.C. and eastern Tenn. need energy efficiency financing

Marshall, N.C. on the French Broad River. Photo by Jamie Goodman

CONTACT: Rory McIlmoil, Appalachian Voices Energy Savings Program Manager, rory@appvoices.org, (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

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Two North Carolina counties make energy efficiency history

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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.

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Serving residents by saving energy

Sadi Aryal replacing an incandescent light bulb with an energy efficient compact fluorescent bulb.

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 Energy Forum is a Success

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.

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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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Energy bill acrobatics

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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 importance of being earnest — about energy efficiency

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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.

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The Changing Nature of Rural Electric Cooperatives in the 21st Century

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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.

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Survey says … energy efficiency financing needed in western NC

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Appalachian Voices recently conducted a Facebook survey in western North Carolina served by rural electric co-ops. Almost 90% of the respondents survey said they had trouble paying their electric bill. Tens of thousands of homes in this region are older and drafty, losing energy through windows, doors and roofs. Yet almost half the population is below the poverty line. A new financing mechanism for energy efficiency improvements could work wonders.

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