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Environmental Leadership Center
Warren Wilson College
Campus Box 6323
P.O. Box 9000
Asheville, NC 28815-9000


Please refer comments or questions about this website to Ellen Querin.


In 2008 students of Warren Wilson College convened a campus meeting and explored ideas of how to reduce the consumption of carbon based fuels.  A group of three students stood and stated that they felt we needed to weatherize the homes of low income families who stand to also benefit financially by making their homes more energy efficient.  Over 470 students volunteered over 2,820 hours to weatherize 47 homes during the period of 2008 to 2012.  CAO also teaches WWC students on the steps of pre- and post- energy audits, no-cost insulation services, and long term energy monitoring. With some labor and materials donated by community partners, Warren Wilson students manage the program and the service crews that monitor and insulate these homes. 

Over 60,000 families in Buncombe County, NC are in poverty.  Poverty has a direct relationship on a person’s ability to live in a safe and affordable home, including the cost of utilities.  Homes of those living 50% below the national poverty level consume a disproportionate amount of energy (NC Sustainable Energy Association, 2008). 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.

The Environmental Leadership Center, Community Action Opportunities’ Weatherization program, the WWC Service Program Office and The Asheville Home Builders Association formed a partnership to support the existing work of CAO by providing volunteer labor to weatherize homes in our local community.

INSULATE! 2012 - 2013 Schedule

September 22, 2012 - Lucy Lawrence (Social Work)
September 29, 2012 - Yamuna Kollalpitiya (General Chemistry II)
October 13, 2012 - Gretchen Whipple (Mathematics and Computer Science)
November 3, 2012 - BK Segall (Library Work Crew)
November 10, 2012 - Christine Swoap (Spanish II)

February 9, 2013
February 16, 2013
March 2, 2013
March 9, 2013
April 6, 2013


2011 - 2012 Schedule

• August 27, 2011 – Steve Cartier (Thermodynamics class)
• Sept 10, 2011 – Lucy Lawrence (Intro to Social Work class)
• Sept 17, 2011 – Catherine Reid (WRI 320: Environmental Writing class)
• Oct 8, 2011 – BK (Library Work Crew)
• Oct 29, 2011 – Pat Tuttle (Mountain Area Child and Family Center crew)
• Nov 5, 2011 – Christine Swoap (Spanish class)
• Nov 12, 2011 – Gary Hawkins (First Year Seminar class)
• Feb 4, 2012 – Christine Swoap (Spanish class)
• Feb 25, 2012 – Rob Shook (WWC Women’s Basketball Team)
• Mar 24, 2012 – Bruce Hills (WWC Cross Country Team)
• Apr 7, 2012 – Kevin Walden (WWC Men’s Basketball Team)
• Apr 21, 2012 – Andrew Pulsifer (WWC Swim Team)
• May 5, 2012 – Katie Green (Admission and Advancement Work Crew)

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