In Alexandria, Virginia, an unsuspecting homeowner was the recipient of a $3,000 prize after overhauling her house to increase its energy efficiency before the coming winter months.
Ann Dorman entered the contest on a whim in an attempt to gauge the legitimacy of the Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP), an initiative she had heard about through friends and neighbors that encouraged residents throughout Virginia to reduce their utility consumption.
After looking into it, she saw that not only was her municipal government a sponsor, but so were utility providers Dominion Resources and CommonwealthOne. Not expecting to win, Dorman and her husband, Rich, filled out the official survey and went about finding where in their home they were wasting the most energy.
Officials from LEAP contacted Dorman on November 13, telling her that she had come in third place in the contest. Officials from all the involved sponsors then visited Dorman's property to give her the $3,000 check along with an evaluation of the home to show how she could best use the money to decrease her utility consumption.
According to statements from Michael Hogan, LEAP’s residential energy services manager, that were published in a story from the Alexandria Times, the biggest improvements to be made were in the form of more energy efficient lighting.
By replacing the halogen bulbs she currently uses throughout the house, Dorman would save significantly on her monthly electric bill, Hogan told the source.
As well, sealing up cracks the team found in Dorman's attic would lower her heating costs as the temperatures get colder, sealing in the home's warmth.
The $10,000 first place prize for the LEAP contest went to a homeowner in Arlington, while a Reston resident was the recipient of the $5,000 second place award.