Steps for an energy independent Asheville

Asheville Vice Mayor Brownie Newman will present a plan to Council on Tuesday intended to decrease Asheville’s energy use and create local jobs.

The Asheville Energy Independence Initiative proposes that Asheville could create a financing system, backed by a bond issue, by which property owners can take out loans to make energy-efficient upgrades to buildings. The repayment of the loans would be rolled into property taxes.

On the blog Scrutiny Hooligans, Council member Gordon Smith backs the plan:

“It will create jobs, reduce energy use, and save people money. It’ll be revenue neutral or better for the City, meaning it’ll pay for itself.”

A Power Point presentation of the plan is viewable at Scrutiny Hooligans.


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4 thoughts on “Steps for an energy independent Asheville

  1. Politics Watcher

    Is the only source of funding for this initiative the additional property taxes owners will pay who choose to borrow from the fund establishing by floating bonds?

  2. Gordon Smith


    The program is 100% voluntary. No one has to do it. The city, through bond funding, will offer homeowners and business owners the opportunity to increase their energy efficiency forever. Once someone is awarded energy efficiency money, payback for that will be rolled into their property taxes for 10-15 years. When the award is repaid, the loan is repaid while the energy savings go on and on.

    I hope you’ll have a look at the powerpoint presentation at Scrutiny Hooligans. It explains it fairly well, and it demonstrates how quickly homeowners and business owners will start saving money on energy bills.

  3. JWTJr

    Is 10-15 years a long enough term? You would have to use a lot of electricity to break even with a term that short.

  4. Politics Watcher

    Thank you to Mr. Smith for reply. I have looked at the Power Point presentation and especially the “Case Study” for the Jones family. I’ll need an accountant, I’m afraid, to work out all the math, but I understand the concept from the homeowner’s point of view.
    How much do you estimate the total amount of the bonds issued will be for? I assume that amount will be the limit on the funds available for homeowners to voluntarily participate, unless bonds are issued on an on-going basis. Is that possible? What interest rate will the city have to pay on these bonds? Are there any financial risks for the city?

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