LaGrange SOUL Program Receives Inaugural Energy Matters Award

Above, (from left) LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton, Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols, LaGrange Housing Authority President Zsa Zsa Heard, and Groundswell CEO Michelle Moore gathered together on Tuesday morning to celebrate the inaugural Energy Matters Award for Best Project in an Underserved Community.

LaGRANGE, GEORGIA - On Tuesday, May 10, Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols will visit 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 will be 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,” said Echols. “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.

“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,” added LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton. “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,” commented Patrick Bowie, Director of the City of LaGrange Utility. “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.

About Energy Matters Awards

The Energy Matters Awards were created in 2021 to support the vision of Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols and recognize environmental excellence from individuals, businesses, and communities throughout the State of Georgia. These awards encourage individuals and organizations to share innovative and sustainable projects and promote a spirit of collaboration and knowledge sharing. 

About LaGrange SOUL

The LaGrange SOUL Program, which stands for Save On Utilities Long-term, is a pilot program to help low and moderate-income residents with higher-than-average utility bills by improving energy efficiency. While the City of LaGrange has low utility costs, some residents have much higher-than-average utility bills because their homes are older and less energy efficient. SOUL™ improves home energy efficiency and uses the resulting energy savings to reduce resident utility bills and pay for the cost of installations. Both renters and homeowners are eligible. The LaGrange SOUL program is implemented through a collaboration including the City of LaGrange, Groundswell, the LaGrange Housing Authority, and West Georgia Star.

About Groundswell

Groundswell is a 501c3 nonprofit that builds community power through equitable community solar projects and resilience centers, clean energy programs that reduce energy burdens, and pioneering research initiatives that help light the way to clean energy futures for all. Groundswell leads clean energy programs and projects in five states, serving more than 5,500 income-qualified customers with more than $2.75 million per year in clean energy savings. Learn more at or @grndswell.

# # #