CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA – With the City of Charlottesville currently in the midst of celebrating its 250th birthday and identifying new ways to honor to the past and promote its priorities moving into the future, a new initiative was announced today to provide no-cost or low-cost energy reviews to 250 homes in the next 250 days (Today’s date marks 250 days left in 2012). With Charlottesville’s ongoing commitment to promote energy efficiency improvements and reduce related greenhouse gas emissions, the City and Charlottesville gas are partnering with LEAP, the Local Energy Alliance Program, to offer this valuable service to save area residents money and energy. LEAP, a community-based 501c3 nonprofit, has a mission to lead the effort in our community to retrofit buildings with energy efficient and renewable technologies. LEAP’s overarching goals include cost savings, job creation, energy self-reliance, local economic development, and the mitigation of global warming. Another valuable partner to this campaign is the UVA Community Credit Union which has developed an effective energy efficiency focused loan program - the PowerSaver Program. This new campaign, named “Energize!250”, strives to engage 250 homes in 250 days to will achieve an average of 10% energy efficiency (with beneficial cost savings). There are many reasons why the timing for this campaign is appropriate:
· Charlottesville is committed to promote and support actions that increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and this campaign serves as another tangible action linked to the City’s ongoing Climate Protection Program.
· UVA Community Credit Union will use City funding to provide 0% loans for a limited number of City homeowners.
· Charlottesville has remaining Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) funding from the US Department of Energy for energy assessment rebates that needs to be used by September.
· LEAP has valuable rebate dollars for home energy retrofits that must be expended by May 2013.
Through a recent $50,000 grant from the City to implement the Energize!250 campaign, organizers aim to make a lasting impact in the community through actual savings both in energy and in costs. The funds are intended to support home energy reviews, establish “limited time only” incentives for homeowners to complete energy assessments that can receive the DOE funded rebates, and allow for the campaign outreach, and program administration. More information at energize250.com.
Through a series of stories told through an array of mediums, CELEBRATE 250 is writing a new chapter for Charlottesville. This year of events will honor the rich tapestry made from the lives of generations that have authored the values that we benefit from today. The Celebrate 250 Steering Committee has been directed by City Council to engage the community in the planning of a celebration that honors the diverse history of the City of Charlottesville and creates a proper legacy to give to future generations.