Have you heard about the Thermostat Pledge??? It could lower your cost by 6%

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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

Thursday, February 11, 2021 | Department of Environmental Protection

sixty eight degrees

Take the Thermostat Pledge!

RESIDENTIAL: We are thrilled to announce a NEW Montgomery Energy Connection initiative: Thermostat Pledge! Making a two-degree temperature change in the setting on your home thermostat can save over 6% annually on your home utility bills and prevent 2,000lbs of greenhouse gas emissions from entering our atmosphere. Simply adjust your thermostat 2 degrees each season – in winter, set your thermostat 2 degrees lower, and in summer, set your thermostat 2 degrees higher – set it and forget it!

Tonight! Virtual Climate Youth Town Hall


The Climate Youth Town Hall, hosted by the County Executive, Montgomery College, and Montgomery County Public Schools, happening tonight, February 11th is an opportunity for students to connect with each other on climate action and provide feedback on the Draft Climate Action Plan. This virtual event is open to all but is primarily geared to high school and college students from both public and private schools. Local students will be featured panelists and there will be multiple breakout sessions for students to learn from each other and provide input and perspective on climate action. REGISTER TODAY!!!

Upgrade Your Appliance THIS WEEKEND!


RESIDENTIAL: This weekend is Shop Maryland Energy Tax Free Weekend, February 13-15, 2021. This is an opportunity to replace or upgrade your appliances with qualifying ENERGY STAR products without paying sales tax! Not sure if you need a new appliance? Houselogic by Realtors has written a blog post that talks about the lifespan of appliances and they provide you with an easy worksheet to help you determine what the cost is to replace that appliance. 

Apply for Energy Assistance Today

Aplique por Asistencia de Energía hoy Mismo


RESIDENTIAL: The Maryland Department of Human Services’ Office of Home Energy Programs -- also known as Energy Assistance -- is here to help. Each year the Office of Home Energy programs helps thousands of Marylanders avoid utility disconnections and afford their energy bills through its programs. La Oficina de Programas de Energía en Hogares del Departamento de Servicios Humanos de Maryland — también conocida como la Asistencia de Energía — está aquí para ayudarle. Cada año, la Oficina de Programas de Energía en Hogares ayuda a miles de residentes de Maryland a evitar la desconexión de sus servicios públicos y a pagar sus cuentas de energía a través de sus programas. 

Home Comfort is Calling!


RESIDENTIAL: Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland’s Weatherization Program is provided to income-qualified homeowners in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, and is entirely free to those homeowners. The program is designed to improve the energy efficiency, overall indoor air quality, and comfort of your home. An easy way to think about weatherization is that it helps keep in heat during the winter and cool air during the summer.

Call for Proposals: 2021 Energy Summit


COMMERCIAL: The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Montgomery County Committee (MCC) of USGBC National Capital Region (USGBC NCR) invite proposals for educational presentations at their 2021 Montgomery County Energy Summit. The theme for this year’s Summit is "Resiliency, from Building to Community." We will explore strategies, technologies, and case studies focused on enhancing the resiliency of commercial, multifamily, and residential built environment in the context of local climate, energy, and carbon policies. Apply here. 

Affordable Solar Financing Program for Small Businesses and Nonprofits

solar nonprofit

COUNTY: The Montgomery County Green Bank has launched a Commercial Solar Power Purchase Agreement financing program to offer small businesses and nonprofits an option to take advantage of solar energy to reduce operating costs.  The financing program supports installing solar PV at no out-of-pocket costs and at a monthly kWh price to help manage operating costs of the organization over the long-term. Find out more here.

Green Bank Annual Report Marks Gains Made Amid Challenges

green bank

COUNTY: The Montgomery County Green Bank’s new 2020 Annual Report highlights how the Green Bank’s low-cost financing programs helped businesses, condominium associations and nonprofit groups make needed energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements that saved money and energy. Read about the Green Bank’s progress during a challenging, tumultuous 2020 by clicking 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.

Amazon: The company and the county agreed through a virtual power purchase agreement to offtake generation from Dominion Energy’s upcoming 120 MW solar facility in Virginia, www.pv-magazine-usa.com

Bricks: Nzambi Matee set up her factory making bricks from plastic waste after she ran out of patience waiting for the government to solve the problem of plastic pollution, www.news.trust.org

Carbon: Net-zero, carbon-neutral, carbon-negative … confused by all the carbon jargon? Then read this, www.theconversation.com

Coal: Coal is on track to disappear from the U.S. power grid altogether by 2033, according to a report from the multinational investment bank Morgan Stanley.

Electric Vehicles: Electric vehicles are better for the climate than gas-powered cars, but many Americans are still reluctant to buy them. One reason: The larger upfront cost, www.nytimes.com

EV Charging: Potomac Edison, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy, has completed installation of four electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging stations in Hancock and McHenry, the first such units the company has installed in its Maryland service area, www.environmentalleader.com

Energy Justice:  Maryland is now one of 26 states with such policies requiring a certain percentage of energy to be saved through smarter energy use in buildings. Unfortunately, these standards are flawed and incomplete unless they drive energy efficiency performance for income qualifying communities too, www.nrdc.org

General Motors: General Motors has set a goal of making the vast majority of the vehicles it produces electric by 2035, and the entire company carbon neutral, including operations, five years after that, www.cheddar.com and check out these ads from the Super Bowl.

House: The Sunflower House was commissioned by Bloomberg Green in order to meet the standards of a greener future for Europe, www.mymodernmet.com

Oysters: Two Maryland companies have teamed up to design a solar-powered barge that could bring oyster farming into deeper parts of the Chesapeake Bay, improving the estuary’s oyster output and perhaps easing conflicts with watermen and waterfront landowners, www.baltimoresun.com

Refrigerators:  Over the next 15 years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is supposed to oversee an 85 percent phasedown of HFC production and consumption, although Americans who own older appliances may continue using high-HFC products,  www.theregreview.org

Residential Solar: “Are solar panels worth it for my home?” the first thing you need to do is get a free estimate and consultation from the experts at Understand Solar, www.futurism.com?

Scientists: President Joe Biden, who must rebuild a work force to make good on promises to tackle climate change, protect the environment and reduce pollution that disproportionately affects poor and minority communities and he needs scientists, www.wral.com

Solar: Solar is the fastest growing form of energy, and as more companies and governments turn to solar as a clean and affordable source of power, they often don’t realize that there can be significant carbon emissions in some elements of the PV supply chain, including the use of coal-fired electricity, www.greenbiz.com

Video Game: Follow three teenagers as they race against time and travel through it to find a solution to the GROW – a disease that has spread across the world and cut life-expectancy to less than 30 years in the game Reset Earth, www.ozone.unep.org

Waste to Wardrobe: ALT TEX, a startup working out of the University of Toronto Mississauga’s ICUBE accelerator are learning to convert food waste into a biodegradable bio-plastic fiber that can be used in textile manufacturing, www.utoronto.ca

Whales: The world's largest animals are unusually good at taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, www.bbc.com

Events: February & March 2021

Tax Free

Tax Free ENERGY Star Weekend
Saturday, February 13 – Monday, February 15

Every President’s Day weekend, shoppers across Montgomery County can participate in the state’s Shop Maryland Energy Tax Free Weekend which gives residents a break on the six percent sales tax for qualifying ENERGY STAR products.

Friday, February 11, 2021
Climate Youth Town Hall 

Friday, February 19, 2021
Montgomery County’s Draft Climate Action Plan: Diving Deeper with the Business Community  

Saturday, February 20, 2021
FeBREWary Brews and Bulbs at Elder Pine Brewing and Blending

Tuesday, February 23 – Saturday, February 27, 2021
Taking Nature Black Virtual Conference  

Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Draft Climate Action Plan Presentation hosted by Sustainable Barnesville and the Montgomery Countryside Alliance  

Saturday, February 27, 2021
FeBREWary Brews and Bulbs at Lone Oak Brewing Company

Monday, March 8, 2021
Energy Efficiency for Equity & Inclusion 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Funding Clean Energy Projects