LEAP Enters Voluntary Carbon Market
Companies, Individuals Can Now Offset Carbon Footprint Via Local Nonprofit
Charlottesville, VA (December 15, 2014) – The Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP) announced today the launch of its “Save a Ton Program” — the first of its kind in the Southeast U.S. LEAP has completed a rigorous process to verify the reduction of 996 tons of greenhouse gas emissions achieved through energy efficiency upgrades. These reductions have been quantified as carbon credits through the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) and can now be sold to companies and individuals wishing to offset their carbon footprint.
The Save a Ton Program will issue (and retire upon purchase) numbered carbon credits. LEAP’s program went through third party validation and verification of savings based on utility data pre and post energy upgrade. The initial round of carbon credits is equal to taking 133 homes off the grid for a year or 203 cars off the road.
“LEAP’s entry into the voluntary carbon market reflects the myriad benefits of energy efficiency programs, from economic to environmental,” said Cynthia Adams, LEAP’s Executive Director. “Our single and multifamily home energy improvement projects have already generated critical cost savings for residents and tenants. They’ve also saved energy and limited pollution right here in Virginia, and now companies and individuals can support more carbon reductions in their own community backyard by purchasing carbon credits from LEAP.”
The credits were generated as part of LEAP’s Weatherization Innovation Pilot Program (WIPP), where LEAP worked primarily with owners of low income multifamily properties from across the Commonwealth to make their buildings more efficient. More than 830 housing units were retrofitted in three years, and these projects led to hundreds of thousands of dollars of savings for low income households. A portion of the WIPP projects were selected for inclusion in LEAP’s Save a Ton Program.
The 996 tCO2e of greenhouse gas emissions that were verified and validated removed almost a thousand tons of carbon dioxide (tCO2e) from the environment — carbon dioxide which would have been produced by burning fossil fuels to light, heat and cool those buildings. Carbon credits generated from this pilot program is equal to:
– 133 average homes’ electricity use (per year)
– 203 passenger cars usage per year
– 1.04M pounds of coal burned
– Amount of carbon sequestered by planting 25K trees (and letting them grow for 10 years)
LEAP selected to work with the VCS protocol for validation and verification of carbon savings because of its rigorous, scientific process and third party oversight. LEAP intends to sell its first carbon credits for $25/ton of carbon as a fundraising activity to provide continued support for its low income programs. Purchasers are not only off-setting their own carbon footprint, but also helping improve the lives of local residents in need. The per ton cost is based on a range referencing project standard, type of work done to create the carbon credit, and location. Similar carbon credits are retailed by “Carbon Planet” for as much as $23/ton.
“We expect our stature as a small, local, nonprofit that generated the carbon savings right here in our community will drive a premium price for these hard-earned credits,” said Adams. “By aggregating the carbon savings from our energy efficiency improvements and selling them to corporate or individual buyers, LEAP can continue to fund our low-income energy assistance and other programs.”
Parties interested in learning more about the Save a Ton Program or purchasing the credits can contact LEAP at firstname.lastname@example.org or 434.227.4666.