Energy Report

Conservation and wise energy use starts at home. Read about innovative Appalachians who are greening their nests, one step at a time.



Families Win Energy Savings

February 18, 2015 A plastic tube winds through the Dunlaps' front room to a door covered in red plastic sheeting. It's the first step in a process to make this drafty home warmer and more efficient through smart investments in air-sealing and insulation.


Crowdfunding Solar in West Virginia

December 19, 2014 In a state known for coal, solar energy emerges through a grassroots "barn-raising." This innovative program relies on energy efficiency and a collaborative spirit to harness the sun's power for community nonprofits.


Winter Weatherization: Stay snug and save

October 13, 2014 By Eliza Laubach As falling leaves signal approaching winter winds, autumn is an ideal time to “bundle up” your home. Over time, building materials shift, which forces heating and cooling systems to work harder. And since many houses were built


Appalachian University Builds Home With Solar Flare

June 3, 2014 Appalachian State University, partnered with a French university, will be the sole representative of Appalachia’s green ingenuity in the third European Solar Decathlon Appalachian State University’s net-zero energy home, shown above under construction in Boone, N.C., will compete in the event.


A Sustainable Habitat

February 7, 2014 By Sarah Kellogg Nestled in a mountain forest of oaks, poplars and rhododendron, a neighborhood of charming houses sits lightly on the land. These are the energy efficient homes of the GreenWood Community, a project of the Watauga County Habitat


Gateway to Sustainability

October 9, 2013 By Kimber Ray For Patrick Ironwood, the point where the Sweet Gum Gateway home ends and the wild lands of the Cumberland Plateau begin is blurred, with the sweeping porch and edible landscape of Sweet Gum elegantly blending with the


Growing Community in the New River Valley

August 23, 2013 Story and photos by Molly Moore From a curvy, two-lane road roughly four miles from downtown Blacksburg, Va., Arlean Lambert’s property is easily recognizable. Three solar panels are mounted by a pond in front of her ranch-style home. A verdant


Microhydro Powers Mountain Farm

June 19, 2013 Our spring multimedia assistant, Matt Abele, traveled to Woodland Harvest Farm in Ashe County, N.C., to see how Elizabeth West and Lisa Redman are harnessing their creek’s energy to power their small farm and homestead.


Home Energy Tips

April 17, 2013 Making your home more energy efficient can sound like an expensive and complicated task, but in reality there are many easy steps homeowners and renters can take to convert a dwelling from an energy waster to a sustainable homestead. Below


Two School Districts Go Green to Save Green

October 19, 2012 By Toby MacDermott North Adams Elementary is one of the greenest schools in southeast Ohio. With solar panels on the roof, wild turkeys roaming the grounds, and a design based on LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, standards,


Recycling the Rain Brings a Barrel of Savings

August 8, 2012 By Paige Campbell Tom McMullen may be the most water-wise homeowner in the neighborhood. McMullen, his wife Amanda and their two sons live on six-tenths of an acre inside the town limits of Abingdon, Va. A small front lawn and


These Green Houses:
Green Building 101

October 13, 2011 By Jeff Deal Green building might just be the world’s oldest construction style. Caves, lean-tos, waddle and daub, mud brick, stone pyramids and temples, wooden post and beam, Devonshire Cob; all are green building styles, some dating back more than


Eco-friendly Living in Outdoor Spaces

October 13, 2011 By David Pferdekamper and Brian Sewell Considering the changing colors and the crisp air, autumn is as good a time as any to spend outdoors. If you don’t have an “outdoor living space” yet, it may be time to create


A Rush of Clean Energy at Pine Root Creek

August 1, 2011 Spinnin’ the meter with flowing water By Jesse Wood Just as kayakers and farmers love rain during a drought, so does Richard Cobb. “I just constantly hope for rain,” Cobb said. Cobb installed a 5-kilowatt microhydro system on his Mitchell


The Crash Pad

June 13, 2011 Bunkbeds Never Looked So Good By Julie Johnson Hosteleers, your green dream is about to arrive. This June, The Crash Pad, the country’s first LEED certified hostel, will open in Chattanooga, Tenn. Forget the usual rickety bunk beds with questionable