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Charlottesville Council to Review Environmental Protection Partnership

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Two Charlottesville groups are working to turn the light switch on for a new partnership to make our community more energy efficient. City Council will consider putting more than $100,000 into the collaboration.

The city's Climate Protection Program and Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP) want to work together towards the goal of making Charlottesville a "greener" city.

According to recent reports, overall emissions for Charlottesville have been going up. The groups say it's time to take action.

"When we talk about energy efficiency in our buildings - residential and commercial - really what we're talking about is lowering the monthly operating expenses for the people who live and work in those buildings. We're talking about creating a healthier environment, the indoor air quality usually improves when you do energy efficiency improvements too," said Cynthia Adams, executive director of LEAP.

City environmental officials say council made a strong commitment by signing the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement in 2006. 

Since then, community emissions baseline reports have been generated. The most recent numbers show that emissions for the city of Charlottesville have been going up overall. Charlottesville's environmental administrator says this partnership with LEAP will help reverse that trend.

"Any time we invest in things that are our homes and our community, our contractors that do work here, our residents for whom healthy homes are a good thing, our children, these are all part of a 'green city', a healthy city helping with some of the economic stability and really keeping a lot of those resources local," said Kristel Riddervold, environmental administrator.

The partnership wants to transform current campaigns and pilots into more concrete programs aimed at reducing emissions in the city.   

"When we talk about energy efficiency in our buildings, residential and commercial, really what we're talking about is lowering the monthly operating expenses for the people who live and work in those buildings.  We're talking about creating a healthier environment, the indoor air quality usually improves when you do energy efficiency improvements too" said Cynthia Adams, executive director of LEAP.

Council will get a rundown of emissions in the city and review the partnership proposal Monday night.

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