A publication of Appalachian Voices


A publication of Appalachian Voices

Innovative Appalachians constructing a clean-energy world, one home at a time



Accelerating Appalachia's Energy Savings

Appalachian Voices' Energy Savings for Appalachia initiative is working with regional electric cooperatives to provide energy efficiency options for their members.


Power of Cooperation: Co-ops put solar on rooftops

By banding together in solar cooperatives, residents are negotiating better prices for home solar installations, supporting each other through the process, and becoming more empowered solar advocates.


Plugging-in Off the Grid

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory has designed a 3D-printed single-room building and a 3D-printed vehicle that can wirelessly share energy with each other.


Knoxville Homes Get an Energy Makeover

The Knoxville Extreme Energy Makeover project is working to weatherize 1,278 homes by September 2017. They aim to reduce energy spending by at least 25 percent for each home weatherized.


Vaughn’s Diesel

A Tennessee man has built his own biodiesel fuel processor and now uses cooking oil to run his farm equipment and truck.


Communities Find Solutions to Stormwater

To help reduce polluted stormwater from overwhelming nearby waterways, Appalachian cities, towns and universities are deploying green infrastructure and other creative methods.


Increasing Homeowner Access to Energy Savings

Financing programs are helping homeowners invest in upgrades that make residences more comfortable while lowering electric bills and reducing a home's carbon footprint.


South Fork Sharestead

In six years, Jonathan Towers has transformed his average American home into an energy-efficient, food-abundant powerhouse. By retrofitting the house to be energy efficient and maintaining a strong commitment to energy conservation, their utility bill has dropped 75 percent.


Smoke in the Hills: Wood Stoves in Appalachia

Some cherish wood heat as a renewable, inexpensive energy source that offsets fossil fuel use, but wood stoves have been under fire in recent years for smoke pollution. Despite their smoky reputation, wood stoves can be an efficient, low-impact heating source when operated and maintained correctly.


Families Win Energy Savings

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

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

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

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

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

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