Aug. 1, 2023 - The city of Hampton is partnering again with Charlottesville nonprofit Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP) to make adding solar panels more affordable for residents.
LEAP's Solarize Virginia project began in 2014 and has helped 714 households add solar panels, according to the organization, generating more than 6.3 megawatts of solar capacity and more than $17 million in value.
“This program fits into Hampton’s long-range goals for sustainability, resiliency, and neighborhood development,” said Olivia Askew, resiliency specialist. In 2022, 82 people signed up to get more information, and 11 moved forward with installing solar on their homes. The total kW installed was 98.04.
Over the past eight years, Solarize campaigns statewide have achieved over 1,015 solar power system installations, totaling 9.3 MW of capacity.
The nonprofit holds webinars to teach residents about solar energy. There is a free initial screening to determine if solar is a good option for each household. In each area where LEAP operates, it selects a preferred vendor and negotiates a group rate.
The webinars will cover how the program works, what to expect as a participant, the basics of the installation process, the nuts and bolts of how a residential solar system functions, and the pricing structure. They will be held Tuesday, August 1, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Thursday, August 17, from 3 pm.m to 4 p.m. The programs are free but require registration.
Hampton is the only LEAP partner in Hampton Roads. There are now more than 20 localities in Virginia that participate. LEAP executive director Chris Meyer said: "We are proud to partner with local officials to make solar accessible and affordable to all in Hampton Roads.”
Learn more about the program or sign up for a webinar at https://solarizeva.org