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Energy Education

Community Groups and Organizations

The Department of Environmental Protection is fortunate to have several community organizations interested in building awareness of energy and environmental issues in Montgomery County. Visit their Web sites to see how you can get involved in your community.

 

Montgomery County Government

 

Montgomery County Municipalities

 

Energy and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) is made up of representatives from 21 local governments in the capitol region. COG is an independent, nonprofit association supported by participating local governments, federal and state grants and contracts, and donations from foundations and the private sector.

Policies are set by the full membership acting through the board of directors, which meets monthly to discuss area issues. Committees are formed to address specific issues affecting the region, such as the environment, affordable housing, economic development, health and family concerns, human services, population growth, public safety, and transportation.

Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection staff members serve on committees that deal with energy issues along with the ones listed below:

 

Energy Fact Sheets

The Department of Environmental Protection produces fact sheets on a variety of issues to distribute at festivals and events. The fact sheets listed below provide information to help you save energy, use clean renewable energy sources, and protect the environment. Read these fact sheets online, download and print them for distribution at local events, or share them with your friends, neighbors, and community organizations.

 

Image of an EnergyStar label on a water heaterAppliance Shopping (PDF, 10.42MB)
When shopping for new home appliances, there's more to consider than price, color, and features. The operating cost of an appliance over time is largely determined by its energy consumption. Use the EnergyGuide label and the ENERGY STAR logo to identify the most energy-efficient products.

Energy-Efficient Landscaping - Summer Edition (PDF, 120KB)
Properly positioning trees around your home to reduce the amount of sunlight striking rooftops, walls, and windows can lower cooling costs by up to 25 percent.

Energy-Efficient Landscaping - Winter Edition (PDF, 128KB)
Long-term and attractive landscaping solutions can reduce high heating costs by deflecting cold winds and drafts while providing indoor comfort and increasing property values.

Energy-Efficient Washers and Dryers (PDF, 13.29MB)
A typical household spends about $150 every year on energy for laundry. This fact sheet offers tips on doing laundry with lower costs and reduced environmental impacts.

Solar Hot Water (PDF, 13.14MB)
Solar energy is a clean, renewable source of light, heat, and electricity. It can be harnessed to heat water for your home.  Grants available through the Maryland Energy Administration and federal tax incentives make installing a solar hot water heater an easy decision for homeowners and businesses.

Solar Power (PDF, 12.84MB)
Solar energy can be used to generate electricity for your home or business. The Maryland Energy Administration Solar Grant Program and federal tax incentives make solar energy more affordable and a wise investment.

Summer Cooling Tips (PDF, 29.8MB)
Energy costs often spike in the summer due to the additional electricity needed to run air conditioners. This fact sheet offers a few simple steps to save energy (and money) while cooling your home.

Wind Energy  (PDF, 128KB)
Wind is considered one of the more viable sources of large-scale renewable energy. Wind energy can be delivered to your home through an alternative energy supplier. Where zoning permits it, small wind systems can also be installed in areas with consistent high wind speeds.

Winter Heating Tips (PDF, 34MB)
Use these energy-saving tips to stay warm while keeping your heating costs down.

 

Energy Education for Kids

Kids can get involved in saving energy, too! Explore the websites below with your children to learn more about energy together. Who knows? Maybe your child will be inspired to turn off the lights!

 

Image of a child learning about wind turbines.

 

Energy Policy and Laws

Learn about how the County regulates energy usage and works to save energy.

 

2007

29-07 Environmental Sustainability - Climate Protection - Motor Vehicles (PDF, 360KB) Mandates that certain County fleet vehicles must use biodiesel instead of regular diesel.

30-07 Buildings - Energy Efficiency (PDF, 485KB) Outlines the need for the Sustainability Working Group to develop a cost-saving plan for County facilities and to assess the energy-efficiency requirements for homes.

31-07 Real Property - Energy Performance Audits (PDF, 120KB) Requires home sellers to release information about the energy use of a home and opportunities for energy improvements to potential buyers.

32-07 Environmental Sustainability - Climate Protection Plan (PDF, 380KB)Establishes the Sustainability Working Group and requests the development of a climate change action plan.

33-07 Renewable Energy (PDF, 383KB) Requires the Sustainability Working Group to develop a Renewable Energy Plan for the County, removes homeowner association covenants against the installation of solar photovoltaic and other renewable energy devices, and establishes a property tax credit for the installation of renewable energy generation technologies on residential properties. Visit the Financial Incentives Web page for more information about this and other incentives.

34-07 Planning Procedures - Greenhouse Gas Emissions (PDF, 88KB) Requires the Montgomery County Planning Board to assess projects for their greenhouse gas emissions and to consider ways to reduce environmental impacts.

35-07 Consumer Protection - Energy and Environmental Advocacy (PDF, 108KB) Requires the Office of Consumer Protection to advocate for the lowest possible rates for energy. This is consistent with environmental stewardship, when dealing with state or federal matters.

 

2006

17-06 Buildings - Energy Efficiency and Environmental Design (PDF, 348KB) Mandates that any new County government building must be built to meet the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standard; any other new building must be LEED-certified.

37-06 Property Tax Credits - Green Buildings (PDF, 151KB) Provides a property tax credit for buildings that meet various levels of the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED standard.