Newscasts

PNS Weekend Newscast - June 25th, 2017 


Here's what we're covering.....Another Republican has come out against President Trump's healthcare bill, advocates across the country are speaking out about the new GOP plan for healthcare, and actor Johnny Depp is apologizing for joking around the President Donald Trump should be assassinated

Daily Newscasts

Program Offers Energy Efficiency Without Going in the Red

On-bill financing allows homeowners to pay for the cost of weatherization through their electric bill. (Miheco/flickr.com)
On-bill financing allows homeowners to pay for the cost of weatherization through their electric bill. (Miheco/flickr.com)
May 19, 2017

UNICOI, Tenn. – As the mercury climbs, so will the energy bills for consumers across Tennessee. Energy-efficiency measures can go a long way in reducing usage, but their cost often presents a roadblock for thousands of families.

Programs known in the industry as on-bill financing allow homeowners to pay for the cost of weatherization through their electric bill - essentially using the savings to pay off the cost and preventing out-of-pocket additional expense.

A new report from Appalachian Voices highlights the need and potential impact of such a payment system, according to Rory McIlmoil, the group's energy-savings program manager.

"They need some sort of solution that can meet the level of need, but can also be accessible for everybody," he says. "There are federal weatherization grants, but those funding sources barely scratch the surface of meeting the need that's out there."

The report specifically looked at the impact for households who are members of the French Broad Electric Membership - a co-op that serves counties in North Carolina as well as Unicoi and Cocke counties in Tennessee. It estimates if the co-op were to implement an on-bill system, participants could save a $1,000 or more over a 10-year period.

Tennesseans who want to participate in such a program are encouraged to call their electric provider.

McIlmoil says on-bill financing programs may be available to residents of some Tennessee counties in the future. He points out that while low-income households are often the last ones to be able to afford efficiency measures, they're often the most in need.

"They're more likely to live in homes that need energy-efficiency retrofits, whether new insulation or an upgraded heating system," he explains. "So they can't pay to improve those things that need to be improved in order to make their home more comfortable, more healthy and also reduce their energy bills."

The Appalachian Voices report estimates the energy efficiency work in the French Broad Electric Membership area alone could generate as many as 60 jobs.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - TN