January 2015

With the dawning of the new year, resolutions are made and new projects are conspired. Why not include upgrading your home to be more energy efficient on your to-do list? Not only will it save you money, but you will be warmer and more comfortable the next time arctic winds pass through the Appalachian ridges.


Insulation Good from Bad

We’ve been busy this winter, learning even more about the ins and outs of energy efficiency in the home! Our energy contractor partners emphasize that insulation in your attic, crawlspace and exterior walls is one of the largest contributors to a home’s efficiency. Insulation may seem complicated, but here are some helpful tips that can help you appraise your home for insulation.

  1. If your attic insulation does not rise above the level of the rafters, you need more.
  2. Insulation should be evenly distributed; inconsistencies or gaps allow conditioned air to escape.
  3. If your crawl space insulation is not in direct contact with the floor of your house, it is not effective.
  4. The moisture barrier on crawl space insulation must be in contact with the floor, not with the air. 
  5. Check exterior wall insulation by removing an electrical outlet panel and sticking a wooden cooking stake into the wall behind the electrical outlet to feel for insulation.

Energy Contest Update


The High Country Home Makeover Contest is wrapping up and we will choose the three finalists next week. We have spent the past two months assessing the 48 applications we received. In December, the North Carolina Energy Efficiency Alliance and our local home energy contractor partners helped us narrow down the list to 11 semifinalists. 

Although our donated funds only stretch so far, education can go a long way in helping homeowners create a more energy efficient home. A workshop taught by contractor John Kidda engaged applicants in discussion about DIY projects. We also created a handy resource guide for the High Country that lists programs for people in need of energy efficiency upgrades or assistance with their energy bills. Please email sarah@appvoices.org to have a hard copy mailed to you.


Wednesday Jan. 14: Contest finalists selected

Monday Jan. 19: Grand Prize Winner Announced! Stay tuned for their story!



  1. Forward this email to 5 friends
  2. Sign a letter to your cooperative supporting energy efficiency
  3. Live in N.C.? Host a free energy efficiency workshop at your church or local community group -- contact eliza@appvoices.org to set one up!
  4. Send a letter to the local press expressing your support for home energy savings -- contact sarah@appvoices.org to get some tips.

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