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Office of Energy and SustainabilitySuperior government service with the smallest possible environmental footprint

Energy & Climate

Goal:
Reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2027 and 100% by 2035.
Progress:
Achieved carbon neutrality for County government facilities and fleet vehicle operations.

About Energy & Climate

Industrial activities, deforestation, and the burning of fossil fuels release high concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere. These high concentrations of GHG are leading to rising temperatures, rising sea levels, and more extreme storms across the globe.

Montgomery County has been a national leader in responding to the challenge of climate change. In addition to setting aggressive GHG emissions reduction targets, Montgomery County government builds energy efficient green buildings, reduces fuel consumption through green fleet operations, generates clean solar power on County facilities, and continually improves energy efficiency of existing buildings. Montgomery County monitors and analyzes energy and water use data to identify and prioritize opportunities to save energy, save money, and reduce pollution. As of FY2016, Montgomery County achieved carbon neutrality for County government buildings and fleet operations.

Solar

Solar panels

Montgomery County is has installed 7.6 megawatts (MW) solar on roofs, grounds, and over parking lots on County facilities. The solar panels generate enough electricity to power more than 800 single family homes each year. This clean solar energy will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 7,400 metric tons; that is equivalent to planting 192,000 new trees! The County’s overall goal is to install a total of 11 MW of solar and future projects are being evaluated. More...

Green Fleet

Electrical vehicle

Montgomery County is on track to reduce fleet petroleum fuel consumption 20% below 2014 levels by 2020. The County now has 39 electric vehicles and 193 hybrid vehicles in its fleet, installed idle technology on 57 vehicles, converted 28% of Ride On buses to run on compressed natural gas, and uses telematics and driver education to shorten routes and maximize fuel efficiency. More...

Green Buildings

White Oak Recreation Center

Heating, cooling, and powering buildings accounts for 40% of greenhouse gas emissions. Montgomery County designs new buildings to achieve a minimum LEED Silver certification, with many achieving LEED Gold. Existing buildings are retrofitted with energy efficiency improvements whenever possible reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. More...

Combined Heat and Power and Microgrids

Combined heat and power (CHP) saves energy by using waste heat from on-site power generation to heat buildings. The County’s first combined heat and power system was installed at the Pre-Release Center in June 2016, saving energy and reducing pollution. Microgrids are on-site clean power generation systems that can run independent of utilities using solar panels, CHP systems, batteries, and advanced controllers. The County is installing microgrids, many of which may also include combined heat and power systems, at key facilities to allow critical operations to run uninterrupted during prolonged power outages. The County’s first two microgrid projects were completed in 2018 at Public Safety Headquarters and Montgomery County Correctional Facility, both incorporating CHP systems. More...

Improving Energy Efficiency in Existing Buildings

Upgrades to older buildings can result in vast energy savings, also reducing pollution and lowering utility bill costs. Upgrades include replacing outdated lighting fixtures with energy efficient LED lighting, installing automatic shut off switches for lights, installing water conservation measures such as low flow faucets and toilets, replacing heating and air conditioning systems with more energy efficient models, and improving insulation and ventilation. The County continuously identifies buildings with high potential for energy savings and plans the most cost-effective energy efficiency improvements. Montgomery County builds energy efficiency improvements into building refresh projects such as painting and replacing carpeting. In addition, the County is implementing a six-year plan to invest $120 million in facilities through energy performance contracting. The County works with Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPC) companies which recommend upgrades and guarantee energy efficiency. More...

Using Data to Manage Building Energy Wisely

More than 80 County buildings have automated building controls that allow technicians to monitor and adjust building temperature, humidity levels, lighting, and more to save energy while keeping staff and building users comfortable and safe. We also closely monitor utility bill data of more than 425 buildings to identify opportunities to improve energy efficiency. Using EnergyCAP software, staff pulls data directly from utilities and investigates and resolves billing issues, along with tracking and analyzing long term trends. More...

Climate and Energy Policy

Montgomery County enhances sustainability by enacting and implementing progressive policies and by advocating for state and federal policies that promote sustainability and resiliency. This includes policy initiatives to secure more reliable, cleaner, and cost-effective energy and programs that reduce energy consumption in public and private buildings. More...

What You Can Do

Looking for ways to save energy at home? Visit MyGreenMontgomery for energy-saving ideas and information on rebates, tax incentives and other assistance implementing energy efficiency at home.

Interested in solar? You have options, even if your roof is shaded or you’re a renter. More...

Employee Engagement

Employment engagement

Employee behavior has a significant impact on energy use, water use, and waste reduction. We’re educating employees about how to conserve resources and reduce pollution at work – and at home – through training and events. We’re also encouraging employee participation in pilot telework programs, providing incentives for employees to use public transit, commute by bicycle, or ride share. Check back for more information as we pilot new programs to further engage employees in energy conservation and pollution protection. More...

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