Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP)

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What is LEAP?

LEAP is a provider of weatherization and home energy upgrade programs for utilities around the state of Virginia. LEAP offers three categories of services: energy assessments, weatherization, and home/business solar.  Other similar organizations exist around the state.  A list of these organizations can be found here.

These state and federally funded programs provide money-saving services at no cost to qualified owners and renters, and to landlords and property managers whose residents qualify. Single-family homes, multi-family homes (apartments or condos), and mobile homes all qualify. To help save on energy costs, qualifying utility customers will receive a free energy assessment and free energy-saving measures, which may include:

  • Air sealing
  • Attic insulation
  • ENERGY STAR® qualified LED light bulbs
  • Efficient, low-flow showerheads
  • Efficient, low-flow faucet aerators
  • Pipe wrap insulation for hot-water pipes

How does it work?

LEAP can be a useful resource to Habitat for Humanity affiliates, especially those that carry out renovations on existing homes.  

Eligible applicants must meet one of the following income criteria:

  • Household income is less than 80% of the state median income
  • Household income is less than 120% of the state median income for residents over 60

Most, if not all, Habitat for Humanity partner families will qualify according to these income guidelines. Habitat affiliates should contact LEAP (434-227-4666) to schedule a home energy assessment. This initial assessment takes one or two hours, and results in a custom report that recommends energy saving upgrades. The assessment is then followed by a one- to two-day implementation of selected improvements at no cost to the homeowner.

Once energy efficiency improvements have been made, Habitat homes qualify for solar energy systems. 

At present, funding for these solar systems exists through mid-2023, after which community solar will likely be the preferred option for utilities to deliver the benefit of solar electricity to low-income households.