Charlottesville’s Clean Energy Loan Program Keeping Businesses in the Green


Charlottesville, Virginia – City program buys down interest rate on business loan to support clean energy for local businesses.

The Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP) is happy to report on the success of the City of Charlottesville’s innovative Clean Energy Loan Program. Through 2018, the Clean Energy Loan Program has supported 8 projects in the City worth nearly $1.5 million, which generate roughly $700,000/year of clean energy for the business owners.

The Clean Energy Loan Program (CELP), available to all of Charlottesville’s businesses, supports solar panel installations and energy efficiency equipment by buying down the interest rate on a business loan. The CELP has worked with local solar installation companies such as Sun Tribe Solar, Sigora Solar, and Sun Day Solar, as well as local banks like Virginia National Bank, Pioneer Bank, Union Bank, United Bank, and University of Virginia Community Credit Union to implement and finance the projects.

Chris Meyer, Executive Director of LEAP, is excited about the CELP. “The CELP is a great opportunity for local businesses interested in reducing their energy bills to collaborate with their lenders and local renewable and energy efficiency companies.”

Taylor Brown, Chief Technical Officer of Sun Tribe Solar, said of the CELP, “As more and more companies make renewable energy a part of their business plan, the Charlottesville Commercial Clean Energy Loan Program has made it possible for leaders to take those plans from paper to production in a way that’s efficient and means real savings. This program gives business owners and executives the flexibility they require to meet their complex financial and energy needs, while ensuring that our team at Sun Tribe can build strong partnerships and advise them on the best way to build a brighter future.”

One great 2018 example in which Sun Tribe participated is the new solar array for Charlottesville-based performance management company Inova Solutions. Located just off the end of the Downtown Mall, this proved a challenging location for solar, as the roof space is notably constrained. Financed by United Bank, the Sun Tribe Solar team successfully designed and built a solar system capable of reducing Inova’s energy bills by 14 percent, with savings estimated to be more than $375,000 over the next 30 years.

Inova Solutions’ Co-Founder Tom Hubbard was thrilled with the partnership and results, saying, “From the start, our customers have expected – and demanded – reliable solutions of the highest quality, which means that we needed an energy partner who could provide that reliability, while also helping us reduce costs. The team at Sun Tribe Solar was able to work with us at every step of the way, from design to installation. And it was all made possible thanks to the Charlottesville Clean Energy Commercial Loan Program – they know what leaders need in order to make the business case for sustainability.”

The CELP does operate on a first-come, first-served basis, with limited funding, so Meyer suggests businesses contact either LEAP, a solar company, and/or an energy efficiency contractor as soon as possible to get in the cue. “Unfortunately, the CELP’s financial support is not infinite, so if a business is interested in the Program, it should move quickly.”

For more information about the Clean Energy Loan Program, visit:

CONTACT: Erin Higgins, Marketing and Outreach Manager,, 540-407-2412‬
Rob Corradi, Public Affairs Manager,, 410-212-5483


The Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit headquartered in Charlottesville, VA. As a trusted nonprofit, LEAP delivers direct education and services for improved energy performance that address climate change; create cost savings for families and businesses; enable healthier, safer, and more durable buildings; and bolster local jobs and economic growth.

Facebook: Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP)
Twitter: @LEAP_VA

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