Our Energy Savings for Appalachia team has been campaigning to bring energy efficiency to the High Country of North Carolina, a region that spends nearly three times more of their income on electric bills than the average American. The campaign’s…
Not only can energy efficiency retrofits reduce energy consumption and lower utility bills, they can make a substantial local economic impact. Appalachian Voices is working in the North Carolina High Country to promote and help develop programs that will benefit residents who are suffering from poorly constructed or aging homes, while also raising the market accessibility for companies already working to improve energy efficiency in our region.
The Energy Savings for Appalachia team would like to thank our community and business partners for making the High Country Home Energy Contest possible. Without their dedication and service, we would not have been able to offer three households the extensive energy efficiency home improvements that we have in the past month.
Through its brand new program, Upgrade to $ave, Roanoke Electric Cooperative is offering its members on-bill financing for home energy efficiency improvements. The program is made possible by a $6 million loan through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program.
Did you miss the party? Last Thursday, Energy Savings for Appalachia hosted a launch party for our new campaign focusing on Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corp. Energy efficiency advocates and residents facing high energy costs gathered in our downtown Boone office to hear about the campaign and how they can get involved in our outreach efforts.
This September in Tennessee, Appalachian Voices participated in an energy efficiency “retreat” that brought the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association and six of its member cooperatives together with a number of state agencies and numerous experts in energy efficiency finance.
Tapping into Appalachia’s vast potential for energy efficiency will help to alleviate poverty and create local jobs while reducing the environmental impact associated with our energy use. In fact, energy efficiency may be the most vital solution to Appalachia’s energy and economic future.
This is the fourth installment in a five-part series illustrating the need for greater investments in residential energy efficiency as an economic driver in rural Appalachia. In this post, we explore the history and role of rural electric cooperatives, and explain why they should be doing more to help their members reduce their energy bills, and how they can overcome any barriers they face.
Energy efficiency is merely one strategy that local governments, economic development agencies working with the rural electric co-op or municipal utilities might employ with the goal of diversifying the local economy. But the proven benefits of energy efficiency investments suggest it should be a key focus in any plan for local economic diversification.
The small businesses, churches and schools you’re likely to find in a typical Appalachian town are pillars of their communities. But they’re not sources of significant employment. For most of rural Appalachia, poverty, high unemployment and the lack of economic diversity are persistent problems that have yet to be addressed in any comprehensive, effective manner.