The Local Energy Efficiency Partnership Act (LEEP) is a bill designed to lower small businesses’ operating costs and promote job growth throughout West Virginia.
Local energy efficiency partnerships help small businesses save money on energy. They use private financing, like loans from small banks, to pay for upgrades to make small businesses more energy efficient.
The loans then pay for themselves, with the money the business owners save on their energy bills.
LEEP also protects business owners, because the loan is attached to the building, not the borrower. That means the person paying for the energy efficiency upgrades is the person using the upgrades. No business owner will get stuck paying for upgrades to buildings they no longer occupy.
If LEEP passes, businesses wanting to use LEEP to upgrade their buildings will create a market for energy efficiency companies to grow. This will create local jobs and help our economy. That sort of job creation has happened in Ohio, Kentucky, and 30 other states that have adopted this kind of legislation.
You can urge our state’s legislators to pass the Leep Act and create energy efficiency jobs in West Virginia.
Thanks in large part to the bill sponsor in the Senate, Senator Craig Blair (R, Berkeley), Senate Bill 480 LEEP passed the Senate unanimously and is headed to the House of Delegates.
We are hopeful the House will give the bill the same kind of support. With public outreach, you can show the House Government Organizations committee that LEEP is a positive step toward a strong economy in West Virginia.
Please send an email to the committee members, mentioning these positive aspects of LEEP:
LEEP makes it easier for businesses to stay in West Virginia by lowering their costs and improving their buildings.
The LEEP Act will grow energy efficiency businesses in the state, creating a new job market in West Virginia.
LEEP is entirely voluntary, so if a local government doesn’t want to offer LEEP financing, they won’t have to.
Here is a link that makes it easier to email the committee members:
How LEEP works
Businesses that want to lower their energy costs seek out an energy audit to find the inefficiency in their buildings. This audit is often provided by an Energy Service Company (ESCO), a company that provides energy savings through efficiency.
Then, the ESCO recommends upgrades to the building. For example, if it audits a building with an old, inefficient furnace, the ESCO might recommend a new furnace, but also identify other issues like inefficient lighting and air leaks. The business chooses which of the upgrades they want to make and contacts their local government.
The business then finds funding for the project through local banks, national finance companies that invest in these sorts of projects, or other avenues. Often, the financing is done through bonds that are backed by the assessment on the building. No taxpayer dollars, state or local, are used to fund LEEP upgrades. The business owner then makes payments that are lower than the amount of money the business saves on energy costs.
Please take a moment to remind the House Government Organizations committee that LEEP is a positive step toward a strong economy in West Virginia.