It's that time of year again - time to upgrade your thermostat and #giftgreener

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Montgomery County Energy News

Covering energy information and events for residents and businesses in Montgomery County, MD

Brought to you by DEP Energy

Thursday, December 12, 2019 | Department of Environmental Protection

gift green

#GiftGreener: Gift Energy Savings

RESIDENTIAL: The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection and our partners challenge you to reduce waste by thinking differently about how you shop for and give gifts. Together, we can reduce waste, lower our energy usage and costs, and build a strong local economy. We encourage you to Gift Outside the Box and to #GiftGreener! And, if you are looking for a new appliance, check out the year’s best of ENERGY STAR© Energy Efficiency and Innovation for clothes washer, refrigerator, dishwashers, dryers, ventilating fans, and heating and cooling.

Take this Survey - PLEASE!


RESIDENTIAL: Starting in the new year, we will be partnering with Senior Planet on a host of different workshops and lectures titled, Energy and the Internet of Things. Senior Planet helps seniors learn new skills, save money, get in shape, and make new friends. If you could take 5 minutes to fill out THIS SURVEY it would help us tremendously.

C3E Award for Residential Energy Program Manager


RESIDENTIAL:  On November 14th, Larissa Johnson, DEP’s Residential Energy Program Manager, was recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as one of nine accomplished women for achievements and leadership in clean energy as part of the U.S. Clean Energy Education & Empowerment (C3E) Initiative. Over the last several years, Larissa has hosted more than 300 events around the County and interacted with more than 22,000 residents in public libraries, faith-based institutions, breweries, grocery stores, and a variety of other settings. We were also recognized as a finalist for the Route 50 Navigator Awards.

Upgrading to a Smart Thermostat Can Help You Save This Winter


RESIDENTIAL:  For the average household, almost half of their annual energy cost goes to heating and cooling—more than $900 a year. Being smart about how you control your temperature settings can help you save money and stay comfortable in your home. And thanks to Pepco, and its support of the EmPOWER Maryland Energy Efficiency Act, now there are many ways to save when you choose and use ENERGY STAR® certified smart thermostats. Read more about the program.

Meet Montgomery County’s New Commercial Energy Program Manager


COMMERCIAL: This month we welcomed Emily Curley as DEP's new Commercial Energy Program Manager. Emily will be providing technical support to help commercial property owners and managers comply with the County’s Building Energy Benchmarking requirements, conducting outreach and sharing resources for commercial properties to improve energy efficiency. Learn more about Emily or contact her at her email address: 

Call for Proposals: 2020 Montgomery Energy Summit


COUNTY: The deadline to submit a proposal for the 2020 Montgomery County Energy Summit is TOMORROW!! The theme this year is “A Path to Zero” and we will have an entire day dedicated to residential sector. We are looking for strategies, technologies and case studies so send them our way! The dates for the summit are Wednesday, April 1 & Thursday, April 2, 2020 in Silver Spring.

County Delegation Visits Net Zero Plus School in Virginia

net zero

CLIMATE: On November 14, a delegation consisting of staff from MCPS, County Executive’s Office, Councilmember Hucker’s office, and State Delegate Solomon’s office participated in an inspiring site visit to Discovery Elementary in Arlington, Virginia. Discovery Elementary is the first building in the DMV region that is ‘Net Zero Plus,’ – generating more energy on-site than it consumes. The school relies on an extensive solar array as well as geothermal to meet its energy needs. The school also embeds sustainability education into its culture—from a butterfly garden and community garden to encouraging students to walk and bike to school. Learn more about the school’s features here.

My Green Montgomery Green Jobs Board

My Green Montgomery

The My Green Montgomery Green Jobs Board will help you find green jobs in our region.  We post jobs for free, if they:

  • are green jobs (focused on energy, sustainability, water, trees, community greening, environmental ed, etc.)
  • based in the DC or Baltimore regions. Jobs in Montgomery County or easy for our residents to commute to work!

We pre-approve each job before posting, but we do not guarantee the length of time jobs will be posted. To look for new job opportunities, click here.

Energy News Roundup


The Montgomery County Energy Team receives tons of newsletters and articles every day, and these are a few articles that we wanted to share this month. These articles range from county, state, national and international stories, we hope you find them as interesting as we did. 

100% Clean Energy:  More than 100 cities have committed to 100% renewable electricity transitions, with most hoping to get there by 2030 or 2050. Burlington, Vt., already achieved this goal — five years ago, and now their target is net zero,

Appliances: If you’re not sure which machines in your home use the most energy, this appliance energy calculator on the Department of Energy website can probably help.

Apple Maps: iPhone users can finally view real-time Metro information in Apple Maps, the app will show train and bus schedules, departure and arrival times, vehicles’ current locations, and transfer points,

Battery Storage: When connected to a renewable energy source such as solar panels or wind turbines, batteries can store any excess clean energy generated to be used as needed,

Clean Energy: A new survey from the Sierra Club was conducted by the bipartisan polling team of Hart Research Associates (D) and Ferguson Research (R) states that 70 percent of people in Maryland want a transition from dirty coal to clean energy,

Coffee: Ford has tapped McDonald's to help it turn coffee parts into car parts, they will start incorporating coffee chaff — coffee bean skin that comes off during the roasting process — into the plastic headlamp housing used in some cars,

Community Solar: 16 states have passed legislation enabling community shared solar gardens, but only four have active programs with multiple installations. This post will be updated quarterly with the number of projects and megawatts of installed capacity in each state with a formal community solar program that allows non-utility ownership,

Dunkin’: Dunkin', which dropped the "Donuts" part of its name last year, announced plans in February 2018 to eliminate polystyrene foam cups by 2020, a full transition to be complete by April 2020,

Electricity: Companies promise Maryland residents free electricity, but lock them into expensive contracts, advocate says,

Emails: Research from McKinsey showed high-skill knowledge workers spend some 28 percent of their working week managing their emails, “ Pointless emails do not just waste our time, they are killing the planet,”

EV Batteries: U.S. automaker General Motors and Korean chemical giant LG Chem will invest $2.3 billion by 2023 in a new joint venture to create battery cells for electric cars in Lordstown, Ohio,

Floating Wind Farms: The floating turbines off Maine’s coast could be operational by 2022. The technology could be a model for other states with deep waters, and deep local opposition,

Greenhouse Gas: Heliogen, a little-known Los Angeles-based clean energy company backed by Bill Gates and Los Angeles Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong, announced that it has discovered a groundbreaking method to generate extreme heat from solar energy that, if fully scaled, could help reduce the world’s greenhouse gas emissions by 20%,

Power Grid: A fundamental power sector transformation is underway as states and utilities increasingly adopt renewable energy and climate targets while wind and solar prices keep tumbling,

Renewable Energy: Renewable energy provides a chance to curb greenhouse gas emissions, lower the cost of electricity, and empower communities. It’s also better for public health,

Solar Car: Hyundai Motor Company has launched its first ever car with a solar roof charging system. The business said that the technology would be used on the latest version of its Sonata Hybrid and then introduced to other vehicles over the coming years,

Tesla: Tesla CEO Elon Musk just unveiled the company’s first electric pickup truck, also known as Cybertruck. The truck will come in three versions with 250 miles, 300 miles, and 500 miles of range, respectively. And it will start at $39,900,

Zero Waste: Montgomery County has set the ambitious target of having zero waste by 2035 by eliminating emissions, restoring watershed areas, increasing recycling compliance and adding more items to the list of what can be recycled,

Events: December 2019 & January 2020

December 13 | Gaithersburg
LEDs and Libations

December 14 | Bethesda
#GiftGreener Event

December 14 | Clarksburg
LEDs and Libations

December 17 | Silver Spring
Light Up the Holidays

December 17 | White Oak
Light Up the Holidays

January 17 | Clarksburg
Whiskey Rocks

January 22 | Halethorpe
USGBC Maryland Wintergreen Leadership Awards Celebration