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Friendship Court Undergoes Money-Saving Energy & Water Efficiency Upgrades with LEAP’s Help

Charlottesville, VA (November 13, 2014) – Today Friendship Court celebrated the completion of $265,000 in energy and water efficiency improvements that will save low-income residents money on their utility bills. Friendship Court is an affordable housing complex providing green, energy efficient homes for 150 low-income families and seniors in the heart of downtown Charlottesville, Virginia. The property was preserved in 2002 by the National Housing Trust-Enterprise Preservation Corporation and Piedmont Housing Alliance. The property features extensive resident education programs, a community center, computer lab, and community garden—with the hopes of improving for the lives of residents and their children.

Friendship Court Highlights:

  • Lighting efficiency upgrades on all 150 apartments and the exterior
  • Water fixture upgrades
  • Low-flow toilets in all apartments—with funding support from City of Charlottesville
  • New refrigerators in 40 apartments
  • New heat pumps installed in 20 apartments

friendship court checkAs part of the celebration, the Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP) presented the National Housing Trust with a $125,000 check to cover a portion of the retrofits (pictured at left with Piedmont Housing Alliance’s Executive Director Frank Grosch accepting the check). The funding was made possible through LEAP’s Weatherization Innovation Pilot Program (WIPP) funds from the U.S. Department of Energy. LEAP completed similar upgrades to Midway Manor in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2013. In total, LEAP has administered $1.9M in WIPP funds in the Charlottesville community.

“LEAP is always thrilled to help Charlottesville area residents stay cozy in the winter while keeping utility bills in check — saving them money that is often needed for the bare essentials like rent, medication and school supplies. We’ve helped more than 2,000 households in central Virginia with home energy check-ups and improvements, and we are pleased to see our grant dollars and expertise at work at Friendship Court.” – Tim Leroux, LEAP’s Director of Operations (below left) 

friendship court“We’re honored to be receiving support from LEAP to perform some much-needed energy and water upgrades at Friendship Court. These efficiency measures are helping our residents, who live on tight budgets, to save some precious dollars. The upgrades will reduce resident and property utility bills by $50,000 per year. In terms of greenhouse gas reductions, that’s the equivalent of taking 60 cars of the road per year or eliminating energy use in 25 homes per year.” — Jared Lang, Sustainable Development Manager for NHT/Enterprise (above right)

“This is a perfect example of how public private partnerships can work together to save residents money on their utility bills and assist property owners in capital expenditure needs. Abacus really enjoyed working with LEAP and our client NHT/Piedmont to help make the whole thing come together.” — Abby Johnson, President of Abacus Property Solutions and project consultant

“This project demonstrates important investments in our community’s housing stock to reduce wasted energy and water, to save money, and to improve the comfort of our homes.  There are many similar opportunities in housing types around the City, and we encourage other property owners to follow this local example and make practical decisions to improve energy and water management.  Individual projects like this contribute to the success of Energize!Charlottesville, our community campaign to win the $5 million grand prize from the Georgetown University Energy Prize competition.”  — Kristel Riddervold, City of Charlottesville Environmental Sustainability Program