LaGrange SOUL program receives Inaugural Energy Matters Award

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, May 11, 2022

On Tuesday, May 10, Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols visited LaGrange to present the LaGrange Save On Utilities Long-term program, or SOUL, with an inaugural Energy Matters Award for Best Sustainability in an Underserved Community. The award was presented to the LaGrange SOUL team, including local nonprofit organizations Groundswell, the LaGrange Housing Authority, and West Georgia Star.

“As a Public Service Commissioner and creator of the Energy Matters Awards, I look for great sustainability programs around the state,” Echolis said. “Local nonprofit partners like Groundswell and the LaGrange Housing Authority are helping communities like LaGrange serve their citizens to deliver energy efficiency upgrades to 60 income-qualified residents.”

The LaGrange SOUL program serves income-qualified LaGrange residents with energy efficiency improvements that reduce household electricity bills and improve home comfort. Energy efficiency improvements are paid for over time through energy savings. Currently in pilot, LaGrange SOUL is on track to deliver energy efficiency upgrades to 60 income-qualified residents, according to a press release from Groundswell.

“I appreciate Commissioner Echols recognizing these efforts to improve the energy efficiency of homes in LaGrange, and I thank all the partners who came together to support this pilot project,” said LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton in a press release. “We will continue to look for innovative and creative ways to improve housing in our community, particularly for our underserved residents.”

“As LaGrange’s municipally owned utility provider, we are always looking for creative ways to help our customers save on their utility bills,” said Patrick Bowie, Director of the City of LaGrange Utilities Department. “The SOUL program makes weatherization improvements to low-income housing in a way that reduces customer bills and returns a portion of the savings back to the City to pay for the program – a win-win scenario.”

The LaGrange SOUL program is being recognized for Best Sustainability in an Underserved Community, which is one of 16 award categories for the inaugural Energy Matters Award.

The award presentation was held on Tuesday, May 10, in the community room of LaGrange Housing Authority’s The Phoenix at 201 Chatham Street in LaGrange.