Blog Archives

Finalists announced in N.C. “Home Energy Makeover Contest”

We are delighted to announce the five finalists in our High Country Home Energy Makeover Contest, who all received a free energy audit on their home. The grand prize winner will be announced soon.

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A bigger prize for our N.C. home energy contest!

We’re increasing the amount of our grand prize for our High Country Home Energy Makeover Contest for even more impact.

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The Energy Burden

Tennessee residents with inefficient housing and high energy bills could benefit from programs that make home weatherization improvements more accessible.

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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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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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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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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 importance of being earnest — about energy efficiency

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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Keeping energy through the generations

“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.

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Energy efficiency success in western N.C.

We’re taking a moment to step back and celebrate a significant milestone in our Energy Savings for Appalachia program. Just a few days ago, Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corp. launched a financing program that enables eligible members to make energy efficient home improvements now, and repay the co-op on their monthly bills over time. It’s a win-win for residents, local economies and the environment.

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