- $125K available from non-profit partner for home energy improvements
- Joint effort aims to improve energy efficiency of 320 Arlington homes
- New program offers education, financial incentives for homeowners
ARLINGTON, Va.– Arlington County announced today a new partnership with the non-profit organization Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP) that will strive to improve energy efficiency in 320 Arlington homes. The program will provide local homeowners with expertise, guidance and financial support to make energy-saving upgrades to their homes.
LEAP will promote and administer the federal Home Performance with Energy Star (HPwES) program. It will use its own $125,000 in grants to provide incentives to Arlington County homeowners who achieve at least a 20% energy savings after completing energy retrofits. Arlington Community Federal Credit Union will provide low-interest loans for program participants.
“Arlington County is deeply committed to improving energy efficiency in the community,” noted Mary Hynes, chair of the Arlington County Board. “Our partnership with the Local Energy Alliance Program will help remove the financial barriers to making energy saving home improvements, while showing people how easy it can be to create a warm, welcoming, and energy efficient living space.”
The County will provide expertise and guidance on how best to market the program in Northern Virginia, and will help publicize the effort.
Working toward Energy Goals
Arlington County is working to reduce its carbon footprint with initiatives like Fresh AIRE and the Community Energy Plan. Partnering with LEAP and the Home Performance with Energy Star (HPwES) program will bring Arlington one step closer to realizing its Energy Plan goal of improving home energy use in existing homes by 30 percent starting in 2015.
“Through the Community Energy Plan, Arlington is working to transform the way we manage energy in the future,” said Jay Fisette, Arlington County Board member. “LEAP fits in with that by offering residents incentives to improve energy efficiency – one home at a time.”
Benefits to Arlington Homeowners
By making energy efficiency a priority in the home, Arlingtonians will help preserve our resources and reduce our community’s reliance on coal-fired electricity. Homeowners enrolled in the program can expect to see lower energy bills and benefit from a healthier, more comfortable home as a result of the improvements.
“LEAP is a one-stop shop for local residents looking to make cost effective improvements to their homes. In LEAP’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program, we pre-qualify contractors and perform independent quality assurance,” said Cynthia Adams, Executive Director of LEAP. “So not only can residents access low interest loans and our cash rebates, they also have peace of mind knowing their project will be performed to the high standards of our program.”
Over the next 18 months, LEAP and the County will aim to increase the energy efficiency of 320 homes by 20 percent. Residents who enroll in the program will receive a home energy assessment by trained and certified HPwES contractors who will then recommend cost-effective improvements, including:
- Improved insulation
- Air sealing throughout the home
- Installation of more efficient lighting
- Upgrading older heating/AC systems or appliances
To learn more, or to sign up for the program, visit the LEAP website, or contact Michael Hogan, NOVA Residential Energy Services Manager, at 703-642-4647 or 202-222-5426.
Arlingtonians also may apply to receive cash rebates for home energy improvements through the HPwES program. Homeowners who make their homes at least 20 percent more energy efficient than their baseline will receive cash rebates. The first 25 homes or homeowners to meet that 20 percent threshold are eligible to receive $1,000. The next 80 homes or homeowners to meet the threshold are eligible to receive $595.
LEAP (Local Energy Alliance Program) is a non-profit organization which coordinates home energy improvement projects. LEAP is an official sponsor of Energy Star’s Home Performance Program in Virginia. Our services include home energy assessments, federal rebates, special zero-to-low interest loans, and home energy upgrades to insulation, air sealing, heat pumps and other energy-wasting weak spots in your home.