Who wouldn't want to be more environmentally aware and active? Yet as attractive as going green sounds, it's not always easy for businesses and individuals to know the best approaches. That's where North Carolina's Hometown Green program has helped.
Launched in the spring of 2009, the program run by public power providers is intended to raise awareness of energy efficiency and renewable energy options. Components include energy efficiency kits and audits, online calculators for determining the energy use of appliances, and easy-to-use tools for comparing the efficiency of heating/cooling and water-heating systems. North Carolina Public Power even converted a Toyota Prius into a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that it showcases at fairs and festivals. The various Hometown Green initiatives are promoted through advertisements themed "We're Painting the Town Green."
Last summer, ElectriCities of North Carolina earned the 2009 Public Outreach Award from the National Energy Resources Organization (NERO), honoring its efforts to inform and engage the public through the Hometown Green initiative. ElectriCities was one of just four recipients honored with 2009 NERO awards.