Join us for a Solar Happy Hour or Solar House Party to learn more about the 4th Solar Co-op!

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Montgomery Energy Connection

Network of customized education on the benefits of energy efficiency, availability of programs, and opportunities for assistance for residents in Montgomery County, MD

Brought to you by DEP Energy

Wednesday, May 13, 2020 | Department of Environmental Protection

Leaver family

The 4th Solar Co-op is OPEN

RESIDENTIAL: Solar panels and electric vehicles make a natural pair. That’s why this year, we are hosting a solar and Electric Vehicle (EV) charger co-op. As with traditional solar co-ops, participants will work together to learn about solar technology and choose an installer through an open and competitive bidding process. They will also be able to purchase a level 2 EV charger either with their system or as a stand-alone installation. Learn more about the Co-op and join us for our Digital Solar Happy Hour this Thursday!

What Uses the Most Energy in Your Home?


RESIDENTIAL: This guest blog post includes an infographic from Connect4Climate shows the breakdown in the energy use of a typical home. It highlights the average cost per year of different appliances, while also showing what uses the most energy over the course of the year. One of the easiest ways to reduce wasted energy and money? Shut off “vampire electronics”, or devices that suck power even when they are turned off. You can learn more by watching “To Plug or not to Plug” with Residential Energy Manager, Larissa Johnson. And take a moment to find out what uses the most energy in your home here.

Make Hot Water the Energy Efficient Way

hot water

RESIDENTIAL: Water heating represents a big slice of the home energy use pie. As the housing industry moves away from fossil methane (natural gas), it’s essential to heat water as efficiently and economically as possible. This guest blog post gives a step by step on how to select, locate, install and operate for getting the best water heating choice for getting your home on the path to becoming an energy efficient home, find out more here.

Benchmarking Deadline: June 1st


COMMERCIAL: Calendar year 2019 energy use data for non-residential buildings 50,000 square feet and greater must be reported by June 1st, 2020. The reporting link 2019 reporting link is now online and open. You must use this link to submit your completed report to the County: **Calendar Year 2019 Reporting Link for All Covered Buildings 50,000 Square Feet and Greater**

Clean Energy is Here to Stay

clean business

BUSINESS: More and more people realize the environmental benefits of renewable energy, which produces no fossil fuel emissions.  In the past, switching to clean energy sources meant putting solar panels on your roof.  But what if you have a shady roof, or you own or rent an apartment?  What are your options?  Two local Montgomery County Certified Green Businesses, CleanChoice Energy and Neighborhood Sun, are providing solutions to residents and businesses of Montgomery County and beyond that are both sensible and innovative.  Read more here.

New Video from the Green Bank

green bank

BUSINESS: The Montgomery County Green Bank was created to help building owners achieve efficiency, comfort, and health for their properties and tenants. Find out more about how the Montgomery County Green Bank can help. Watch the new video 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.

Alcohol:  Synthetic bioluminescence from bacteria could make lighting wineries more sustainable and distillers may be able to use solar power to create vodka out of thin air and water, find out more about the green future of booze,  

Biomass: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will soon issue a regulation governing how carbon dioxide emissions from wood burned for energy (“biomass”) will be regulated under the Clean Air Act,

Buy Nothing: This worldwide network of hyper-local gift economies in which the true wealth is the web of connections formed between people who are real-life neighbors,

Cleaner Cars: Strong clean car and fuel economy standards are an essential and effective strategy for reducing carbon pollution—they have already avoided emissions of over 467 million metric tons of CO2 since 2012 according to EPA’s own calculations,

Clean Energy: By a margin of 80% to 20%, Marylanders said they would prefer any government stimulus money be spent on helping the clean energy industry rather than oil, gas and coal companies,

Climate Change: The past few months have shown that individuals have an absolutely gobsmackingly critical role to play in confronting a global crisis,

Economy: The biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions is energy production for electricity and heat, countries can accelerate this transition by reallocating the subsidies that are given to the fossil fuel industry to the development of renewable energy,

Education: Dominion Energy has collaborated with the National Energy Education Development Project (NEED) to bring solar energy arrays and renewable energy lesson plans to 34 educational institutions across Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina through the Solar for Students program,

Electricity: On May 5th, renewable energy has now produced more electricity in the U.S. than coal for 40 days straight and that number is projected to continue,

Foods: Climate change threatens many of the world's favorite foods. Here are four crops that we can definitely see change: coffee, bananas, wine, and olives,            

Grid: Analysts, engineers and meteorologists tasked with predicting power use for every hour, every day but with the stay at home orders, forecasters struggle to find grid's 'new normal',

Net Zero Buildings: Much of our greenhouse gas, especially in cities, comes from buildings. To fight climate change, cities are pushing for buildings that don’t pollute. In the Washington region, a few are showing the path forward in urban and suburban areas,

Nuclear: Confronted with the conundrum of no longer profitable nuclear plants, ambitious environmental goals, and the grid’s inherent need for reliable baseload power, which creates an atomic catch 22,

Renewable Energy: Renewable energy comes from the forces of nature - sun, water, air and earth. It is endlessly available and, in the energy sector, it's the only choice to save the planet from climate change. Watch how green energy projects in four continents, supported by the EU bank, are paving the way towards a more sustainable future,

Solar: Spotsylvania Solar Energy Center, in Virginia, will be the largest solar plant east of the Rockies and it is scheduled to be completed in 2021,

Water Heaters: Heat pump water heaters (HPWH) hold tons of promise for getting us out of the heating conundrum and becoming the water heating method of the 21st century, 

Virtual Events: May & June 2020

solar happy hour

Event Spotlight: Solar Happy Hour Grab a drink and join us online to learn about solar energy!  At this Digital Happy Hour, you'll learn about solar's benefits for your home or small business. Find out more with no obligations and from the comfort of home. This will be a live conversation so bring your questions about solar and we'll answer them. Register here.

May 15, 2020 from 8:00 - 9:00 am
Thrive Montgomery 2050 Ask Me Anything with Planning Director Gwen Wright

May 18, 2020 from 12:00 - 1:00 pm
Thrive Montgomery 2050 Ask Me Anything with Planning Director Gwen Wright

May 20, 2020 from 11:00 - 12:00 pm 
Senior Planet Montgomery: Online Bill Pay for Utilities  

May 20, 2020 from 2:00 – 3:00 pm
Exploring the Economic Impacts of COVID-19 on Electric & Natural Gas Utilities

May 21, 2020 from 2:00 - 3:00 pm
USGBC: Make Energy Cents – Residential Energy Tips to Help Lower Costs

May 21, 2020 from 2:00 – 3:00 pm
EPA Renewable Energy Options for Small Businesses and Congregations Webinar

May 23, 2020 from 2:00 - 3:00 pm
Thrive Montgomery 2050 Ask Me Anything with Planning Director Gwen Wright

May 26, 2020 from 12:00 – 1:00 pm
Mid-Atlantic PACE Alliance Webinar: C-PACE for Solar

May 27, 2020 from 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Maryland Commission on Climate Change's Education Communication Outreach Work Group

May 28, 2020 from 2:00 - 3:00 pm 
Senior Planet Montgomery: Lighting & Smart Bulbs

May 28, 2020 from 6:00 - 7:30 pm 
One Montgomery Green Solar Co-op Happy Hour

May 30, 2020 from 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Virtual Solar Co-op House Party

June 5, 2020 from 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake - Learning Lab: How to Raise $50,000 for your project!

June 8 -10, 2020  
Better Buildings Summit A Virtual Leadership Summit

June 9, 2020 from 4:30 – 5:30 pm
Takoma Park Solar Co-op Info Session

June 16, 2020 from 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Gaithersburg Solar Co-op Info Session

June 24, 2020 from 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Rockville Solar Co-op Info Session