FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Elyse Petroni, Virginia Energy Sense (202) 585-2606 Bill Greenleaf, RREA 804-525-7657  

Richmond Region Energy Alliance, Virginia Energy Sense and 16 Organizations Kick Off Earth Day Energy Challenge Contest Will Help Homeowners Identify Energy Savings and Become More Efficient

Richmond, VA (April 3, 2012) – The Richmond Region Energy Alliance (RREA) and the state’s Virginia Energy Sense program today launched the Earth Day Energy Challenge with 16 other organizations to help Richmond-area residents make their homes more energy efficient. To enter the challenge, which runs from April 3 through Earth Day on April 22, homeowners will conduct a free online energy assessment that will instantly recommend ways they can save energy at home. Participants in the Earth Day Energy Challenge will be entered into a drawing to win one of five free in-home professional energy assessments donated by RREA’s pre-qualified contractors. Said RREA Executive Director Bill Greenleaf, “Our goal is to help people better understand their home energy use and the value professional home energy assessments provide. The first step to realizing potential savings on monthly utility bills is understanding where energy is being wasted and our online home energy audit can go far in facilitating that process.” Andy Farmer, manager of the Virginia Energy Sense program, added, “There are a lot of options to make your home more energy efficient, ranging from many low- or no-cost do-it-yourself improvements to the kinds of repairs that professional contractors can assist with and help deliver big energy savings. This challenge is a great way for Richmond residents to begin to better understand their energy usage and take steps to value their power.” The 16 area businesses and governmental organizations are encouraging their area employees to participate in the Earth Day Energy Challenge and the chance to win professional home energy assessments. Some of the participating organizations include Capital One, the City of Richmond, Dominion Digital, Dominion Virginia Power, Hamilton Beach Brands, Inc., Hunton & Williams LLP, Luck Stone, Owens & Minor, Performance Food Group, the Town of Ashland, Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME), and the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA). Richmond homeowners can enter the challenge at RREA’s website. Participants will receive a free home energy report. All entries will also be entered for the chance to win one of five free energy assessments. Professional home energy assessments, which can cost between $300 and $400, will help identify potential energy wasters in a home — especially those in tough to spot or difficult to access areas like crawl spaces and heating and cooling ducts. The home energy assessment allows the homeowner to prioritize the most cost-effective energy improvements to lower energy bills and live in a more comfortable home. To enter the challenge, participants must be 18 years of age or older, own a home and live in the city of Richmond, Town of Ashland, or the counties of Hanover, Henrico, Chesterfield, New Kent, Powhatan, Goochland or Charles City. Area homeowners will also have the chance to participate in the challenge by visiting RREA’s booth at the Earth Day Festival in Richmond on April 21. About Richmond Region Energy Alliance (RREA) RREA, a sponsor of Home Performance with ENERGY STAR, is a community service non-profit based in Richmond. RREA helps homeowners identify qualified contractors and provides access to rebates and financing to make home energy improvements that increase the comfort, safety, and overall health and value of their homes. About Virginia Energy Sense Virginia Energy Sense is the Commonwealth’s state-wide consumer education and outreach program under the guidance of the State Corporation Commission (SCC). It was created by the General Assembly to help Virginia residents understand how to save energy at home, work and school in support of the state’s goal to reduce energy consumption 10%. Virginia Energy Sense believes saving energy just makes good sense and encourages all Virginians to “value your power.” The program provides tools and information to help consumers understand their energy bill and take action to reduce it. Consumers can turn to the Virginia Energy Sense website ( or follow us on Twitter or Facebook to learn about energy efficiency and renewable energy, find ideas that “make sense” and explore financial incentives that “save cents.”

Lesson Plans
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Get your students energized about responsible energy use! In partnership with the Virginia Department of Education, we’ve created fun, multi-day, Lesson plans to help you teach your students how to understand and conserve energy! They’re classroom-ready and free to use!