Climate Technical Workgroups

About the Climate Technical Workgroups

The County convened five technical workgroups through February 2020 to help in the climate planning effort. Download the presentation from the technical workgroups kick-off meeting held on July 24, 2019 at the Silver Spring Civic Building.

The workgroups reviewed past climate reports and plans developed by the County as well as best practices from other jurisdictions. The workgroups recommended strategies that have high potential to meet the County’s GHG emission reduction goals in an equitable manner. The workgroups also identified data and knowledge gaps that could benefit from additional technical analysis.

See the overview of recommendations, the complete list of all 850 recommendations, and the reports and supplementary materials developed by each climate workgroup here. View images from the February 2020 Climate Action Plan Town Hall and Open House here.

  • Buildings Technical Workgroup
    Roughly half of all measured GHG emissions in Montgomery County come from energy use in buildings. Increasing the energy efficiency of new and existing buildings is critical to meeting the County’s climate goals. However, this is unlikely to occur without requirements for, and incentives to encourage, buildings to reduce energy use. This workgroup identified innovative strategies and developed recommendations related to building codes, benchmarking, energy efficiency, building energy performance standards, auditing, and retrocommissioning.

    Meeting notes and other public Buildings Workgroup documents are available here.

    Learn more about the Workgroup members here.

  • Clean Energy Technical Workgroup
    While energy efficiency and conservation are the first step in reducing GHG emissions from homes and buildings, installing renewable energy in Montgomery County is the next step towards reducing fossil-fuel-based energy use. Opportunities exist in the County for expanded use of solar photovoltaic, solar hot water heating, and geoexchange energy systems. Opportunities also exist for greening the energy that is supplied through the electrical grid by utilities. This workgroup developed recommendations for greening the energy supply and expanding the use of distributed renewable energy in the County.

    Meeting notes and other public Clean Energy Workgroup documents are available here.

    Learn more about the Workgroup members here.

  • Transportation Technical Workgroup
    The transportation sector accounts for 41% of all greenhouse gas emissions generated in Montgomery County. While the overall fuel efficiency of the vehicle fleet has increased in recent years, the adoption of hybrid electric and all electric vehicles is still relatively small. This Workgroup identified opportunities to increase the use of electric vehicles in the County, as well as the availability of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. This Workgroup also reviewed ongoing County initiatives underway to increase the amount of personal travel accomplished by public transit and other low/no emissions modes, and identified other innovative strategies to reduce emissions in the transportation sector.

    Meeting notes and other public Transportation Workgroup documents are available here.

    Learn more about the Workgroup members here.

  • Climate Adaptation and Sequestration Workgroup
    Climate change has created new weather patterns. In Montgomery County, this is most evident in the frequency of rainfall events that, coupled with historical development patterns, create flooding and drainage issues. This workgroup developed recommendations for reducing the County’s climate change vulnerability and strengthening the County’s ability to prepare for and withstand threats (known as hazard mitigation). Other topics for exploration include the effect of periods of high heat on vulnerable populations, the reliability of the electric grid and the reliability of public infrastructure. The workgroup also developed recommendations for carbon sequestration, which is the process of removing carbon from the atmosphere and storing it (such as in soil through tree planting or regenerative agriculture).

    Meeting notes and other public Climate Adaptation and Sequestration Workgroup documents are available here.

    Learn more about the Workgroup members  here.

  • Public Engagement/Education Workgroup
    Engaging the public regarding climate change and the County’s aggressive climate goals is vital to the success of all other County efforts. If the public does not understand the issues the County is trying to address, and the policies and programs that may be put in place, the County’s GHG reduction efforts will not reach their full potential. This workgroup identified opportunities to communicate with and educate residents about the urgency of taking climate action; advised on effective communications strategies for engagement with diverse audiences; identified partners and linkages to other issues that people care about (such as public health); identified and promoted resources that people can use to reduce GHG emissions and adapt to a changing climate at the household level; and identified mechanisms to conduct on-going “climate conversations” with residents.

    Meeting notes and other public Engagement/Education Workgroup documents are available here.

    Learn more about the Workgroup members  here.

  • Climate Cross-Workgroup Meetings
    From time to time, the County may host forums for Climate Workgroup members to share information about issues and recommendations that cross multiple workgroup topics. 

    Meeting notes from the cross-workgroup meetings are available here.

Upcoming Climate Events: