New Program Provides Free Solar for Age and Income Qualifying Homes

For years, LEAP’s free energy assessments and weatherization services for seniors and low-income households have been a core element of our work. Now, thanks to a new initiative from Dominion Energy, we’re taking our mission to the next level by offering free residential solar installations to age and income qualifying households.

The program, which began last year, provides a residential solar array to qualifying participants at no cost. The systems, which produce between 3kW and 5kW, have a 25-year warranty, so there won’t be maintenance or repair costs down the line either.

Rachel Brown, a LEAP client who received a home solar energy system through the program, recently shared her experience with the Energy News Network. While her new system cut her energy bills by a third, in her view the real payoff was creating a more sustainable future for her granddaughter. “All that I do and know and share influences her,” she said. “So, if this can increase the percentage of renewable energy for her future, I’m all for it.”

Like Rachel, we also see residential solar as an essential part of a sustainable energy future. Since 2014, we’ve helped more than 1000 households across the state make the switch to solar through our annual Solarize Virginia campaign. In the process we’ve learned how to address the questions and concerns people have about solar and how to work with them to comfortably navigate the installation process. With this new program from Dominion, we can apply that expertise to help vulnerable segments of the community access the benefits of residential solar that would otherwise be out of reach.

Age and income qualifying solar also dovetails nicely with the residential efficiency work that has long been central to our mission. To ensure that homes receive the maximum benefit from their solar array, homeowners must complete a weatherization program in order to qualify for the program. By sealing gaps and adding insulation, LEAP reduces a home’s energy waste, which in turn means it will have to draw less from the grid once solar is in place.

It’s exciting to have a new tool to improve our region’s environment and the lives of its residents and we’re looking forward to reaching as many homes as we can. If you or someone you know could benefit from this program, please fill out our service inquiry form so we can help you get started!