The roof of Asheville City Hall.

Haywood Street hotel back on Council’s agenda for Jan. 24

Asheville City Council will consider another large hotel for downtown Asheville at its meeting on Jan. 24. With 185 rooms in a nine-story building at 192 Haywood St., the proposed Embassy Suites Hotel is the type of project that has generated widespread public attention and no small measure of controversy — and which Council seems hard-pressed to curb under existing zoning regulations.

COLD COMFORT: Since 2006, electric heat pumps have replaced over 12,000 oil- or propane-fired furnaces in WNC. While the heat pumps can be highly efficient at moderate temperatures, engineers and energy industry experts say they are less so when the mercury drops below freezing. Data from the Energy Innovation Task Force and Duke Energy; graphic by Scott Southwick

Heat pumps drive rapid growth in WNC’s peak electricit­y demand

Using data provided by Duke Energy, a local task force has shown that much of the growth in WNC’s peak electrical demand is driven by the conversion of existing oil- and propane-fired heating systems to electric heat pumps. Slowing the growth in peak demand is the mission of the task force, which hopes to delay or eliminate the need for one of three new power plants proposed for Duke Energy’s Lake Julian station.

The scene at Pack Square today. Photo by Sheila Mraz

Women’s March on Asheville fills downtown streets

Thousands participated in the Women’s March on Asheville today, in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington. According to the event’s Facebook page, its goal was for “community members [to] march peacefully to show our new administration that we stand with our families and friends for the protection of our rights, safety and health.” A number […]