Environmental Leadership Center


INSULATE! is a program of the Environmental Leadership Center of Warren Wilson College and a part of the Mountain Green program.

Mountain Green is a year-long program of The Environmental Leadership Center of Warren Wilson College (ELC) that began in 2006. With leadership from a Steering committee representing western NC, Mountain Green provides an annual conference and a service component INSULATE! to promote sustainable community practices for our mountain region.

Partners of the INSULATE! program include:  The Asheville Home Builders Association, Community Action Opportunities, and Progress Energy.

  • The North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association reported in 2008 that homes of those living 50% below the national poverty level consumed a disproportionate amount of energy. NC households with incomes below 50% of the national poverty level pay 59.3% of their annual income on their energy bills. Homes built ten or more years ago consume up to 60% more energy than newer homes. And, heating and cooling account for 50 to 70% of the energy used in the average American home.
  • INSULATE! galvanizes higher education, federal and state agencies, private partners and municipal leadership to respond to this need. It attends to economic, environmental, and equity issues and embodies, in every way, sustainable community action.
  • With leadership from a Warren Wilson student work crew and Environmental Leadership Center staff, INSULATE! partners will work with The Council on Aging of Buncombe County, Inc., the Asheville Home Builders Association, the Community Action Opportunities Weatherization program, the City of Asheville, and Mountain Housing Opportunities to identify homeowners in need of this assistance, conduct audits, weatherize the home and educate the community about this important work.
  • Energy Audits Included in this outreach is a pre- and post- energy audit, no-cost insulation services, and long term energy monitoring. With labor and materials donated by community partners, Warren Wilson students manage the program and the service crews that monitor and insulate these homes. Warren Wilson’s Service Learning Department provides additional student workers to assist in the insulation work.
  • Please contact Phillip Ray Gibson if you would like to participate in this program. We are in need of supplies such as mobile home underpinning, insulation, weather seal, doors, and other materials that can assist low income homeowners with improving their energy efficiency – which will lower their energy bill AND lower energy consumption. This may also result in helping lower carbon emissions!
  • We are also in need of skilled carpenters, trades people that can lead volunteers in installing and making improvements on homes. If you are a carpentry team or a group of contractors that want to work together on a home, we welcome that too.