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* Hampton City News

Posted on: August 1, 2023

Nonprofit helps residents learn about, install solar panels


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.

“In the current market, it is hard to know who to trust, or what questions to ask when you are thinking about getting solar," said Katie VanLangen, co-executive director of Local Energy Alliance Program. "We ask the questions and negotiate the pricing so that participants don’t have to worry. We are excited to help even more folks install solar this year!”

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. 

Learn more about the program or sign up for a webinar at

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