~ June 2015 ~

Passionflower by Janice Wagnon

It’s planting season! Make your curb garden functional with bushes, shrubs and vines around your house to shade it from the hot summer sun. 

Focus on the west side, which gets the brunt of late afternoon light, to help keep your house cooler and save money on air conditioning costs. Vines on a trellis grow faster than shrubs while providing adequate airflow. Learn more about smart landscaping!

Hardy native plants will need less water and care to maintain. Here are some bushes native to the southeast that you could consider for shade plantings:

  • Azalea: The flame azalea has a bright red-orange flower and grows well at high elevations.
  • Spicebush: This shrub’s fresh twigs are fragrant.
  • Serviceberry: This small fruit tree has sweet, tangy berries that are great in pies, jams or eaten raw.
  • Passionflower: This semi-tropical vine has elegant flowers which are used in plant medicine.

Check out the U.S. Fish & Wildlife's guide to more native Southeastern plants for your yard.

Campaign Updates

Blue Ridge Electric Explores On-Bill Financing

Our outreach efforts in the High Country region of northwestern North Carolina have gained a lot of momentum for our campaign this spring! At Blue Ridge Electric’s annual meeting last week, CEO Doug Johnson said they are looking into on-bill financing. We now have 774 signatures of support from the community asking the coop for greater accessibility to energy efficiency. Ten local service agencies and eight businesses have also signed on.

Are you a Blue Ridge Electric member? We need your voice! Sign on to our letter of support for energy efficiency programs in the High Country.


Winning With Energy Efficiency

This past winter we reached out to North Carolina's northwestern region to find people who struggle with paying their energy bills, and received over 70 applications and inquiries for our High Country Home Energy Makeover contest. 

Watch our new video that tells the stories of the contest winners and illustrates the true need for energy efficiency programs in Appalachia.



  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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