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Cville Complex Gets Tenants Involved in 'Green' Initiative - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Cville Apartment Complex Gets Tenants Involved in 'Green' Initiatives

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Midway Manor tenant exchanges her light bulb Midway Manor tenant exchanges her light bulb

Midway Manor Apartment Complex in Charlottesville already spent $500,000 in upgrades to go green – and on Thursday, a bright idea helped get those who call Midway Manor home involved.

It isn't always easy to get apartment residents excited about making green upgrades because they rent temporarily - so Midway Manor came up with the idea of a light bulb exchange. Residents at the 98-unit apartment complex lined up to turn in one old incandescent bulb and receive a free new fluorescent bulb called a CLE bulb.

Educating residents on the benefits of energy efficiency is one part of the property's extensive effort to go green. 

"To bring this advantage, the advantage of lower utility costs and healthier homes, to a community that most needs it is a tremendous advance," said Dede Smith, Charlottesville city councilor.

The Department of Energy kicked in over $150,000 through the Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP) as an incentive to go green.

"It allows us to help renters and specifically low-income folk who typically get left out of the energy efficiency community because it's harder for them to afford to make those kinds of improvements," said Cynthia Adams, LEAP executive director.

The funds were just part of the total $500,000 that the property spent on energy-efficient upgrades.

Betty Swingler has been a tenant for more than 10 years.

"I've got my best electric bill I've had since I've been here," said Swingler.  

Battery Plus donated over 100 compact fluorescent light bulbs and says they will recycle them, although the bulbs should last more than 10 years.

"Regardless of how old we are or how young we may be we still have something to give so this is my way of giving," said Diana Souza-Castro, another tenant.

The light bulb exchange is part of the last phase of the project.    

A small group of tenants called the Green Team will continue to pass along energy-efficient strategies to others in the building. 

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