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

Energy Efficiency

Montgomery County uses the latest technology, innovative financing, and data analysis to maximize energy efficiency of its buildings.

Energy Data Management and Analysis

Montgomery County closely monitors utility bill data of more than 400 buildings to identify opportunities to improve energy efficiency. To maximize financial resources, the County developed a methodology and new analytical tools to identify facilities with the best opportunities for energy savings and approach to completing the projects. This methodology merges energy consumption data, utility costs, maintenance logs, and other information to identify and plan key energy project opportunities. Additionally, 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.

Efficient Lighting

Montgomery County incorporates highly efficient light-emitting diodes (LED) lights into new buildings and building renovations. LEDs use at least 75% less power than incandescent bulbs, produce very little heat, and last significantly longer than less efficient bulbs, resulting in significant cost savings. Additionally, daylight harvesting uses windows and skylights to maximize natural light and uses light sensors to adjust the electric light as daylight levels change throughout the day.

The County is currently planning and implementing lighting upgrades at several facilities, parking garages and in County streetlights. All 21 County parking garages are being upgraded with LED lighting and programmed to dim when no motion is detected and utilize daylight harvesting where possible. The garage upgrades are expected to save the County more than $750,000 per year. The first few garages completed in summer 2018 are showing more than 40% reduction in electricity costs (see the graph). The retrofit of over 25,000 streetlights is expected to yield energy savings of more than $900,000 per year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 4,500 annually.

Montgomery County incorporates highly efficient light-emitting diodes (LED) lights into new buildings and building renovations. LEDs use at least 75% less power than incandescent bulbs, produce very little heat, and last significantly longer than less efficient bulbs, resulting in significant cost savings. Additionally, daylight harvesting uses windows and skylights to maximize natural light and uses light sensors to adjust the electric light as daylight levels change throughout the day.

The County is currently planning and implementing lighting upgrades at several facilities, parking garages and in County streetlights. All 21 County parking garages are being upgraded with LED lighting and programmed to dim when no motion is detected and utilize daylight harvesting where possible. The garage upgrades are expected to save the County more than $750,000 per year. The first few garages completed in summer 2018 are showing more than 40% reduction in electricity costs (see the graph). The retrofit of over 25,000 streetlights is expected to yield energy savings of more than $900,000 per year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 4,500 annually.

Efficient Heating and Cooling

Heating and cooling systems alone can account for a quarter of a building’s energy use. Highly efficient chillers and boilers combined with properly sealing and insulating the building have an immense impact on energy efficiency. In addition to installing new efficient equipment where needed, the County also regularly maintains heating and cooling systems, which dramatically improves system performance and saves energy. Innovative technologies such as geothermal heating and cooling in County facilities reduce energy use even further. The White Oak Community Recreation Center in Silver Spring harnesses the steady 55-degree temperature underground with a system that combines underground pipes with electric heat pumps, eliminating the need for chillers or boilers and reducing energy consumption.

Energy Saving Performance Contracting

Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC) is an approach and funding mechanism to make building improvements that reduce energy and water use and increase operational efficiency without up-front capital costs. Montgomery County partners with ESPC companies to pay for facility upgrades with future energy savings. The company conducts an energy audit of the targeted facilities and develops recommendations for energy conservation measures. 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.

Montgomery County is currently implementing a six-year plan to invest $120 million in facilities through energy performance contracting. The first project, the Health and Human Services Headquarters renovation completed in 2013, shows a dramatic decrease in energy use. From fiscal years 2013 through 2018, energy use has dropped approximately 19%.

To learn more about what you can do visit https://mygreenmontgomery.org/projects/energy/.

One of the easiest things you can do to improve the energy efficiency of your home is to replace the air filter frequently – every one to three months. A dirty filter slows air flow and makes the system work harder to keep you warm or cool. Replacing inefficient light bulbs with highly efficient LEDs, using EnergyStar rated appliances, and weatherizing your home can reduce your energy use dramatically. More…

 
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