University Sustainability

Defining Sustainability since 1899

About the Energy Summit

The 12th annual Appalachian Energy Summit will be held in-person on the campus of Appalachian State University June 5-7, 2024.

Since 2012, the Appalachian Energy Summit (AES) — a three-day, annual event envisioned and hosted by App State — has gathered faculty, staff and students from colleges and universities, energy managers and visionaries, and government and industry leaders to share ideas and put into action ecological, financial and social processes designed to improve energy efficiency across the UNC System, the state and beyond. Support from corporate sponsors and private donors has allowed governmental, educational, and non-profit participants to attend free of charge.

Throughout the year, working groups sponsored and supported by the summit continue to advance energy saving initiatives.

$1.75 billion in avoided energy costs

At its 11th annual conference in summer 2023, Chancellor Sheri Everts reported that University of North Carolina System institutions, together with industry partners, have saved North Carolina $1.75 billion in avoided energy costs since 2002–03. App State’s proportion of these savings was $56 million. The expectation is the System will realize $2 billion in avoided costs by 2025. App State has achieved nearly $56 million in avoided energy costs and over $15 million in avoided water use costs since 2002–03, for a combined total of more than $71 million in utility savings.

For a decade, the Appalachian Energy Summit has facilitated a collaborative learning environment in energy efficiency. The resulting energy savings are impressive financial gains for North Carolina taxpayers, and I’m proud that App State has been the driving force behind creating and presenting the summit each year, which also offers numerous opportunities for students to share their scholarship and learn from some of the most innovative minds in the energy industry.

— App State Chancellor Sheri Everts

Listen to notable AES speakers

  • Amory Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute co-founder and chief scientist; 2013 AES.
  • Bill McKibben, a best-selling author and environmental activist; 2016 AES.
  • McKibben and Lovins, an armchair discussion at the 2016 AES.
  • Leith Sharp, director of executive education for sustainability leadership, Harvard University; 2017 AES.
  • Michael Regan, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality; 2017 AES.
  • David Orr, environmentalist, activist and the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics Emeritus at Oberlin College; 2017 AES.
  • Majora Carter, urban revitalization strategist and MacArthur Fellow; 2017 AES.