LEAP Welcomes AmeriCorps NCCC Team to Cville to Support Community Engagement

Contact: Annie Suttle, 434.249.9817; Tyler Sewell, 434.962.8087

Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP) Welcomes 12-Person AmeriCorps NCCC Team to Support Community Engagement

Free Energy Efficiency Services on Tap for Charlottesville Area Homeowners in August and September

Charlottesville, Virginia – The Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP) is excited to welcome 12 members from AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (“AmeriCorps”) today to the Charlottesville community. The team will be engaged in neighborhood and community outreach in Charlottesville and Albemarle in August and September, providing local residents with free home energy reviews, volunteer trainings, information and resources about energy efficiency options. Out of more than 40 applicants in the Southern Region, LEAP’s “EmPOWERing Neighborhoods” project was one of only seven selected to host a team this term.

“This will be a grassroots effort to introduce interested residents to local resources that can assist them in saving money and making their homes more comfortable. As a small nonprofit we are happy to have help in getting the word out about our Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program and the thousands available in cash rebates to City and County residents of all income levels for home energy improvements,” said Cynthia Adams, Executive Director of LEAP.

The team will go through an intensive week of orientation and training and work together throughout their project with LEAP’s staff and contractor experts.

“Our trained volunteer group will provide information on our programs and perform a free in home energy review for homeowners who want one. The ‘emPOWERing Neighborhoods’ campaign is a bit of a research project – a community energy use benchmarking exercise. It will help us learn more about our local building stock and residents’ needs and interests. Even if someone does not want or need a home energy review, we hope folks will spare a few minutes to answer some questions to help us in that endeavor,” said Adams.

The AmeriCorps NCCC mission is to strengthen communities and develop leaders through direct, team-based service projects. Working together with LEAP, they will engage in a door-to-door and face-to-face campaign in Charlottesville that includes: knocking on doors to talk with residents about ways to improve the health and comfort of their homes and save money on utility bills; offering to conduct free home energy reviews and help install energy efficient light bulbs and weatherstripping; and hosting “green and healthy homes” events.

“I hope you’ll join me in welcoming LEAP’s AmeriCorps NCCC team to Charlottesville,” said Charlottesville Mayor Dave Norris. “Keep your eyes open for them on the streets of your neighborhood – look for their signature gray shirt and cargo/khaki pants uniforms – and find an opportunity to take advantage of their free services for your home and our community.”

More information about how to interact with the AmeriCorps team is available at www.leap-va.org/americorps. Local residents who would like to schedule a time for them to visit their home, neighborhood or community event please email info@leap-va.org.

They kicked their efforts off at Fridays After Five and City Market this weekend (where they will be through September), promoting the PowerSaver Home Energy Makeover Contest. They will be based out of LEAP’s offices at ecoREMOD: The Energy House (608 Ridge Street) and housed at Camp Holiday Trails.

“Camp Holiday Trails, a local nonprofit camp for kids with special medical needs, is pleased to partner with LEAP and will provide housing for an AmeriCorps NCCC team at Camp while they dedicate their service time to LEAP and our community,” said Tina LaRoche, Director of Camp Holiday Trails. “We are pleased to support national service.  In the past, we have housed other AmeriCorps NCCC teams while they partnered with local nonprofits.  In addition, CHT has twice hosted their own AmeriCorps NCCC teams who spent time improving the Camp facility for kids with special medical needs.”

For more information on the mission of Camp Holiday Trails, visit www.campholidaytrails.org