CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A project to help people in central Virginia is trying to save both the environment and some extra cash.

The Solarize Piedmont campaign is halfway through, and right on track with its goals.

The campaign kicked off in April, with a goal of installing solar panels on 150 homes.

Now, as of Friday May 10, thanks to the Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP) and its partners, 86 homes are now soaking up the sun and their owners are enjoying some savings.

The team at LEAP is connecting property owners in nine counties with contractors to put solar panels on homes and businesses.

While people in those areas may be interested in getting a form of clean energy, it can be hard to find the resources needed to set solar panels up on their homes.

Chris Meyer, the executive director at LEAP, says making the switch can also save a big portion of money that’s normally allocated to utility costs.

“People are very surprised about when they see their utility bill, and it actually goes from $100 a month down to like $7 or $8 a month,” Meyer said. “They're really happy about that. They're very happy to know that, of course, they're creating some clean energy by themselves.”

The Solarize Piedmont campaign also helps people sign up to get a 30% federal tax credit for installing solar panels.

On June 1, the Local Energy Alliance Program and the city of Charlottesville will be holding a "Tour de Solar," where people can ride their bikes to homes that have already had solar panels installed.

Home and business owners interested in exploring solar panel options can click here for more information.