Hear from central and northern Virginia homeowners, contractors, partners and other parties about their experience with LEAP.
“It’s so easy to be influenced by every article you read. And there was no way we felt like we could afford to do everything we were reading. The LEAP expert helped us match our budget to an effective strategy, which allowed us set and reach goals we could be excited about. We were thrilled with how easy it was to do the right thing for our energy use and the environment.” — Kristin S.
“When I decided to move, having the LEAP certificate in the book my realtor put together gave me a competitive edge over houses in Belmont offered at the same price. I also felt confident that the appraiser had the information he needed to take the energy efficiency and comfort into account. It feels great to have made the house work well for the future.” — C. Brown
“Working with LEAP was a pleasure and we implemented great energy improvements throughout our 1950s house. They helped us navigate the resources and improvements we wanted that made the most energy-sense based on the home energy audit. We thoroughly enjoy the increased comfort in our house as a direct result of the measures we took. We also loved the support and comprehensiveness of the Energy Star program and the great tax benefits it provided.” — Christian D.
“I noticed a difference as soon as the insulation was completed; particularly the heat retention of the upstairs and the heat pump not running continuously. The process was seamless. I initially heard about the program from one of my own clients. Good response from LEAP and the Energy Coach was very efficient in going through my home” — Helene R.
“LEAP’s Energy Coachand his team identified a major problem right away. The sealing in our crawl space and attic was terrible, which meant that the insulation couldn’t do its job. They were great about explaining—and showing—what was happening, why, and what we could do about it, all without being pushy. The work they did finally helped make *all* our rooms comfortable and gave us lower heating and air conditioning bills to boot. LEAP was professional and objective – really a pleasure to deal with – and we’re so pleased with the results.” – Betsy F.
“This winter, we have not needed to use our extra space heater, whereas in prior winters we used it day and night. The air flow coming through the venting is significantly stronger now, not only in the bedroom but all over the house. It is quite astonishing how much better the conditioned air reaches all parts of our home now. We’ve been extremely pleased with our results and have recommended the process to countless people – in fact our neighbors just had an assessment done this week.” – Teresa R.
“Thanks to LEAP, we really do now have a home for all seasons. We enjoyed a much cooler home this summer, and already feel improvements keeping out the cold as winter begins to set in, too. Everyone involved, from start to finish — even the loan officer who helped with the PowerSaver loan at UVA Community Credit Union — was enormously helpful, patient, and thoroughly professional. You really made the whole process so easy that we’d have been crazy not to make the LEAP-supported improvements we made.” — T. Phipps
“We are always looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint, and it turns out one of the most meaningful ways to do that was in our own home. And along with the lower energy bills, it’s a bonus that the temperatures and air quality in the house seem more comfortable. LEAP and our contractor Home Performance Solutions made the road to a greener, more efficient home easy and smooth. They let us know about available rebates, did quality assurance checks and were very professional.” — B. Morgan
“I was upstairs this afternoon and it hit me: Our upstairs is not nearly as hot a it has been in summers past! Now that we’ve had a few days of legitimate summer heat, it is very clear that sealing off the attic has made an enormous difference. In summers past, the upper two levels have been stuffy, hot and have actually smelled like the attic. But not now. Our home is comfortable and the AC is not having to run all the time. I don’t feel like the temp goes up 10 degrees for every set of stairs I climb!” — Martha F.
“I was actually surprised at how easy and pain-free the whole process was. I expected it to require more of my time and energy. The contractors who worked on my home gave me choices which I liked and with that came the guidance to make the best decisions and save the most energy.” R. Nowell
“Until we had the audit, we blamed most of it on our aging heat pump. Turns out, that heat pump was working double-time. We had such a ‘leaky’ house we were basically heating the neighborhood! We used our audit to prioritize the work. The LEAP audit provided us the data and the game plan to get things done, and now our home is more comfortable, more efficient, and worth more in the long run.” D. Whaley
“The audit gave us great feedback. We didn’t know what to expect and were surprised with some of the results. For instance, we expected to be told our windows were leaky when in fact they were not. We had no idea how much heat the ceiling lights generated, so we were thrilled that they were replaced.” A. Dorman
“Being an architect I understood the importance of some of the recomendations that the LEAP team made – adding insulation (properly installed this time!) in the attic seemed like a no brainer. I was surprised however at how well it worked. I was skeptical of plans to fix the temperature issues in our sunroom by addressing the crawl space beneath — I thought they would start with the windows. But now we’ve reopened the door between the sunroom and the rest of the house, and have been able to enjoy room regardless of how cold it is outside.” Rich L.
“I was pleased with every step of the process. One thing that stood out was the building expert who visited my home was surprisingly honest and objective. They clearly explained which recommendations would save me the most money and which were less important. So I felt confident making decisions on which upgrades to choose.” JoAnn M.
“We went through with pretty much everything that was recommended and it made a big difference in the house. Our bills are way down, plus the house feels more comfortable. To be completely honest, we were doing this because we felt it was the right thing to do for the environment and did not even realize we would receive a rebate check — let alone a sizeable check. So I really do not understand how anybody would not want to go through this process.” Michael A.
“We love LEAP. We were able to make our home measurably more energy efficient, allowing us to save money and live more gently upon the Earth.” Ridge S.
“I want to thank LEAP for a job well done. As a result of the air sealing work they performed and the insulation they added to the attic of my 1950’s Cape Cod home, my Charlottesville gas bill was cut in half from last year! Not only are my fuel bills lower but the house is less drafty and I feel like I’m significantly reducing my environmental footprint. I have recommended LEAP to all of my neighbors and some have already signed up for work on their houses.” Ned Ormsby
“Being a fan of HGTV shows, I always see them spray foaming and talking about energy efficiency. Now I am a believer. We have yet to put the heat past 68 in our house, when I used to run it at 72 degrees despite the looks from my husband!” Kathleen Brumbaugh, Winner of the 2011 PowerSaver Home Energy Makeover Contest
“Lack of insulation and significant air infiltration were our greatest energy bandits. I have definitely noticed this winter that the foam insulation installed in the basement and attic has reduced the cold air in a second-floor closet, an adjoining master bathroom, the kitchen corner cabinet and my basement office. Ours is an all electric house, so we’re looking forward to reduced electricity bills as well as a more comfortable house this winter.” Hubert S.
“Because of the LEAP program, we got fans and vents in our bathroom and kitchen and new windows. These measures greatly reduced condensation and mold in our home — a big plus, especially since our daughter has asthma and we are always trying to reduce her symptoms.” Jan F.
“The emphasis on efficient heating and cooling systems and comprehensive insulation was expected.What I found surprising was the emphasis that LEAP staff placed on safety. They were particularly concerned about my old gas-fired water heater and worked with my contractor to ensure that it was working both efficiently and safely.” Paul R.
“We were very impressed with the helpful folks at LEAP. Not only did they walk us through our options to help reduce our energy usage, they tested and retested to make sure that the work we paid to have completed was in fact going to reduce our energy usage by over 20% (which it did!). We plan on working on the next phase of our energy use reduction using the personalized plan created for us by LEAP.” Bill W.
“I’m grateful for having won the $2,500, for the education and for the opportunity to go above the suggestions to make my home more energy efficient, more financially efficient and more comfortable.The first night we had the foam insulation, the house felt better. My wife said, ‘it’s like someone put a blanket on our house.’ We’re planning on staying in our house longer, so making this decision to invest in our house was a no-brainer.” Jim Duncan, Winner of the 2011 PowerSaver Makeover Contest
“I’d always assumed that energy problems were limited to older houses, yet our bills in our 2004 home seemed far higher than I would have expected. I’d considered an audit, but had put it off because of cost and because it’s easy to ignore problems you can’t see. The LEAP program rebates significantly reduced the audit cost, and what we did pay out of pocket was well worth it. The auditors were unbiased and very thorough with ongoing detailed communication; they identified not only the trouble spots in my home, but told us what was working well. As a result we made changes that have had substantial impacts on our energy bills and environmental footprint, and the house is more comfortable as well. We were able to obtain rebates through LEAP and state programs to help offset the costs.” Allyson S.
“As first time homebuyers, we were unsure which improvements were most vital and cost effective to pursue. But, with the knowledge and dedication of its friendly staff LEAP enabled us to make wise decisions, and our 1936 bungalow has maintained its original charm while undergoing a radical improvement in its energy performance and overall comfort. Their financial and technical assistance has transformed our everyday living.“ Amanda P.
“Every fall we thought about moving rather than suffering through another miserable winter. We had done everything we could think of to address the problems in our attic, including crawling around up there trying to seal duct leaks (we’re in our 60s!) and adding insulation so deep it covered the ductwork. The results of the energy assessment were really eye-opening. We finally understood what was wrong with our house. With the work completed, we’re looking forward to a more comfortable winter, but what I didn’t expect was the dramatic increase in comfort we’ve already experienced this summer.” Kathy W.
“We didn’t give much thought to energy efficiency when we bought the house, but almost immediately we knew something was wrong when we got our winter heating bills. We’ve now got a house that doesn’t just look good — it feels good. And the cost savings will really add up. I’d rather be in my home enjoying a good glass of wine and filet mignon than wasting my money on high utility bills.” Chip H.
“We wanted to stay in our house for the long run, but we were paying for its age in drafty rooms and high energy bills. With LEAP our house went from Swiss cheese to American cheese, and we can already feel the difference. We can tell our home is far more comfortable now, and the cost savings will be the bonus we were looking for.” Nicholas D.
“I just want to say thank you for all the work that LEAP did on my mother’s home. We are delighted with all the improvements and I am sure that her bills will drastically reduce. I appreciate your time and the contractors who worked to make her home more energy efficient. The gentlemen were very polite and had excellent customer service attitudes.” Grateful daughter of a satisfied LEAP homeowner
“After buying our 1918 home eight years ago, we quickly realized it was drafty and inefficient to heat. Between minor cosmetic improvements, we blew in additional insulation, installed programmable thermostats, insulated windows every winter and much more. Caring about long term consequences of our energy consumption and suspecting that we’d live here a while — and that the house would be here much longer — we conducted a home energy audit with LEAP. The energy auditor was highly professional and informative and launched us down the path toward select efficiency improvements with a LEAP Certified Contractor. It was a highly collaborative process — fascinating to watch and a rewarding investment. Our home’s efficiency increased dramatically after two weeks of targeted work. We’ll enjoy the results of the improvements through the seasons and over the years to come. ” Adrienne D.
“Completing the LEAP process has dramatically improved my home on several levels. I began with an interest in saving energy and lowering monthly bills but didn’t appreciate how much it would improve the comfort of my home. Having more consistent temperatures room-to-room and increased air quality has simply made the house a more pleasant place to be.” Allen H.
“After doing some basic energy saving projects in our 1960’s ranch home (insulating the attic and basement, and replacing the original windows), we were anxious to have a complete professional energy audit done on the house. The LEAP program helped make the audit affordable for us and the results were well worth the cost. The audit confirmed that the work that had already been done was done well and producing the energy savings that had been promised. It also pointed out a dozen additional ways, large and small, where we could save more energy, money, and achieve a more comfortable living environment. Very important to us, they also found two safety issues related to our old gas furnace that we would not have known about! The energy auditors were extremely knowledgeable and professional, and took the time to teach us about what they were doing. The whole process went smoothly and we recommend the LEAP program to anyone interested in improving the comfort, safety and energy efficiency of their home.” Wendy R. “We had lived in our home for 16 years, and the entire time the upstairs floor was extremely hot in the summertime despite having central air. Several conversations with HVAC people over the years yielded only one suggestion for relief: put in a window air conditioner. Once we had our home energy assessment, the LEAP Certified Contractor came up with a plan to make the house dual zone. The work has been completed, and for the first time EVER we are comfortable on the second floor. Apparently it just took someone who knew how to address the problem.” Margie G.
“Before participating in the LEAP Home Performance with Energy Star Program I thought my home’s major insulation problem was windows and doors. After my LEAP home energy audit I realized no, it was the problem air leaks and lack of insulations in the crawl space, the attic and the basement. LEAP then became an invaluable partner in getting my home air sealed and insulated, both lessening my harmful effects on the environment, protecting my family, and saving me money.” Bob H.
“Putting my home into the hands of the LEAP program was exciting and reassuring at the same time. Each of the LEAP affiliated people I came into contact with was
knowledgeable and more than willing to answer my (millions of) questions. Learning more about how I could use my home to make positive change in the environment has compelled me to further explore other way in which I can make a personal contribution to a better world. The LEAP program is local organization doing its best for our community.” Corey L.
“For a long time, we had been thinking of ways to improve our heating efficiency, but we had been stalled by our lack of knowledge in this area. The guidance we have received during this process has been outstanding. We have learned a great deal about our home and its weaknesses and now have a list of options to enhance its efficiency and comfort. We plan to install improved insulation, and we are certain that we’ll see a difference right away.” Christie W.
“I loved working with LEAP . They provided the support and intelligence to turn what had previously seemed a bewildering complex of tasks into a truly enjoyable and enriching project. I had been contemplating improving the efficiency of my older house – and through this save on utility bills and lessen my environmental impact. LEAP supplied me with the excellent resources to make it happen.Their guidance, patience and ingenuity helped me do it as inexpensively and easily as possible.” Ruth T.
“We jumped at the opportunity to join the LEAP program based on a gut feeling that our house was not very efficient. We are very glad we did. Not only did we address all of their concerns about air sealing and insulation, but we learned a ton of building science which helps us develop better habits in our day to day lives. Our monthly energy bills have dropped dramatically, and we expect our involvement in LEAP will help when we are ready to sell our house, especially as the world is moving more and more green. Mostly it feels great to know we are not wasting energy.” John T.