Efficiency, Green Buildings and Renewables Committee

Welcome to the Wenoca Sierra Club Efficiency, Green Buildings and Renewables Committee.

This brand new committee identifies advocacy and educational opportunities to advance efficiency, green building and non-polluting renewable energy in Western North Carolina and beyond. We strive to utilize multiple carbon reduction strategies generated from green businesses, academia, community members and a coalition of non-profits to create a more sustainable built environment. 
Interested in getting involved? Contact Laura Piraino at postcarbonservicesofasheville@gmail.com


Current advocacy issues include, but are not limited to:

Improving North Carolina’s Energy Building Codes
Supporting New Offshore Wind Development in North Carolina (appropriately sited)
Supporting the Solar Job’s Bill, which increased the solar requirement of NC’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard

Legislative Update, May 2011

In North Carolina, a
number of bills are being considered that will roll back 30 years of
environmental progress in our state. 
These include:

S709 Energy Jobs Act will be on the Senate floor next
Tuesday.  As a reminder this bill would: (1) Direct the governor to enter
a compact with neighboring states aimed at accelerating offshore drilling; (2)
direct DENR to study fracking; and (3) dismantle the Energy Policy Council and
rename it the “Energy Jobs Council”.

-The State House has passed a budget that makes radical cuts
to DENR (the states Department of Energy and Natural Resources) that would
essentially prevent them from doing their jobs.  As one commentator put
it, the appropriations committee is changing environmental policy through
budget cuts.  For example, the Western NC
DENR office staff would be reduced by 2/3’s.

High-Speed Rail Update: The House approved a
version H422 of Rep. Ric Killian’s infamous high-speed rail bill.  The
first version of the bill directed the state to return the $461 million grant
from the federal government for high-speed rail.  The final version of
bill that was passed allowed the state to accept the $461 million, but in the
future DOT will not be able to accept money without explicit approval from the

Please thank Representatives Keever, Fisher, Hare, McGrady,
and Rapp and Senator Nesbitt for trying to stop these bad bills.  Let Representative Moffitt and the other
Republican Representatives and Senators know how disappointed you are in their
support of efforts to roll back environmental protections.

A few good environmental bills have been introduced in
Raleigh that deserve our support:

for Energy Efficient Homes!: Four members
of the House filed H918 this week.  One of the provisions of the bill is
a $1500
tax credit for new homes built to the voluntary 30% energy efficiency levels
(or higher) as outlined in the pending 2012 building code.




Solar Jobs BillHouse Bill 495 and Senate Bill 473 were
filed this week.  These bills would double the solar carve out in the
state’s renewable energy portfolio standard.  You can read about it more
in this N&O story.
Not only would this bill help transition our state to a renewable energy
economy, it will also create an estimate 6,000 new jobs in North Carolina.
Critics are already ramping up the opposition for this bill, so I
encourage you to take second and email the bill sponsors to thank them for
introducing the bill, and write a letter to your local paper to support this important

-NC Water Security Act:
Senator Dan Clodfelter (D-
Mecklenburg) recently filed Senate Bill 427.
This bill would make a number of changes to state law to increase water
efficiency, including mandating that local water plans include a water
efficiency plan, and requiring the state to incorporate recent water
efficiency provisions in the International Building Code.

Offshore Wind Bill Filed in the Senate:  Senators Hartsell (R-Iredell), Stein
(D-Wake), and Bingham (R-Guilford) filed Senate Bill 747, the Offshore Wind Jobs and Economic
Development Act.  The bill would encourage the production of offshore wind
off of North Carolina’s coast as well as encourage wind turbine manufacturing
facilities to locate in North Carolina.

Please encourage your state representatives and senators to
support these bills.