Big Montgomery County Building and Transportation Climate Announcements!

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Climate News

Covering the latest climate news in Montgomery County, MD

“Earth Day is yet another reminder of our climate emergency. As we move forward on climate action, we will need continued collaboration with everyone in the community. There is a role for each of us to play in combatting climate change.” - County Executive Marc Elrich

Tuesday, May 25, 2021 | Department of Environmental Protection

Building Energy Performance Standard Bill Transmitted to Council; Public Hearing Scheduled for June 15

Office building

IAprilthe County Executive transmitted the Building Energy Performance Standard (BEPS) bill to Council. (BEPS) legislation (Bill 16-21) was introduced during the May 4 County Council session. A public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, June 15, 2021 at 1:30 pm. Sign up to testify here or submit verbal or written testimony here no later than Thursday, June 10, 2021. 

BEPS will expand the number of buildings covered by benchmarking requirements and will establish energy performance standards for existing commercial and multi-family buildings. BEPS is a foundational policy for reducing GHG emissions in the County as the building sector contributes 50% to the County’s total GHG emissions. Read more here 

Montgomery County Executive Announces Public-Private Partnership Agreement to Transition More Than 40 Buses from Diesel to Electric Power

Brookville Bus Depot Solar

Montgomery County will install a microgrid and electric bus charging at the Brookville Bus Depot in Silver Spring. This will enable the County to transition 40+ Ride On buses to electric while enhancing resilience. More details here 

Climate Planning Update

Montgomery County CAP Logo

The County received over 500 pages of public comments on the Draft Climate Action Plan. Review of public comments is underway. The final Climate Action Plan is anticipated to be released in June 2021.

Climate Art Contest Entry

Climate Change Art Contest Winners Announced

In April 2021, the County announced 13 winners of the Climate Change Art ContestNearly 200 across all age groups entries were received in the form of paintings, drawings, sculpture, digital art and spoken word. These art pieces will be showcased in the Montgomery County Climate Action Plan and the Virtual Info Room to communicate the urgency of climate action by local residents. Check out the press release here and the art pieces hereThank you to everyone who submitted entries! 

Earth Day Event Highlights Actions to Combat Climate Change

County Executive Elrich at Earth Day Event

County Executive Elrich and County Council President Hucker participated in an Earth Day event to highlight actions the County is taking to combat climate change. The County Executive unveiled his climate legislative agenda for the upcoming year and emphasized the need for continued collaboration to achieve the County’s climate goals. Council President Tom Hucker called for focused attention on the existential threat of climate change while addressing the economic and public health crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was held at the Glen Manor Condominium in Silver Spring and speakers included Wendy Howard, executive director of One Montgomery Green; Adam Roberts, executive director of Bethesda Green; and Brian Haaser, president of the Glen Manor Condominium association board. To learn more about current Montgomery County climate initiatives and upcoming climate legislative and regulatory efforts, click here 

A Guide to Climate-Friendly Living in Montgomery County

food compost pile

Taking personal climate action is one of the effective ways individuals can contribute to reducing GHG emissions and addressing climate change. Check out the story map to climate-friendly living created by Climate Fellow Camille Wejnert-Depue and Climate Intern Tenzin Yangkey 

2021 Energy Summit Recap

2021 Energy Summit logo

This year’s Montgomery County Energy Summit was held virtually from May 4-6. The theme for this year’s summit, Resiliency, from Building to Community, struck a chord with attendees as it explored strategies, technologies, and case studies focused on enhancing the resiliency of the commercial, multifamily and residential built environment. County Executive Marc Elrich, Council President Tom Hucker, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen, and Rep. John Sarbanes spoke during the opening sessions, followed by keynote paneleducation sessions, and interactive brown bag lunch. Stay tuned for details on the 2022 Energy Summit coming soon to the website here 

Climate Playlist

Want to listen to climate change and environment-related music? Check out the climate playlist curated by the Climate Planning Team at Montgomery County here 

Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Launches New Site to Highlight Climate Action

DMV Climate Partners Logo

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments has launched a new climate webpage where you can learn more about local, regional, national and international efforts to address climate change. The website also creates a space to connect people to valuable resources. Check out the new website here. 

Green Jobs Board

Job Opportunities

Lots of exciting opportunities available for job seekers. Check out DEP’s Green Job Portal for climate and sustainability jobs, including open positions with the Montgomery County Green Bank, Spectrum Energy, and Compost Crew.

Climate News Round-Up


To read:

Maryland General Assembly Passes Community Choice Energy Pilot Program Enabling Montgomery County Residents More Affordable and Equitable Access to Renewable Energy (Montgomery County Press Release) 

Interstate water wars are heating up along with the climate (Route-Fifty) 

As utilities match CCAs on price, aggregators increase climate action, grow economies of scale to compete (Utility Dive) 

Montgomery County names winners of the climate change art contest (WDVM)  

Biden administration announces new Energy Star standards, plans for emissions targets for federal buildings (Washington Post) 

Scope 1, 2 and 3 Emissions: What to Address First in Your GHG Reduction Journey (Smart Energy Decisions) 

Climate study eyes major cooling costs for MD school buildings (Conduit Street) 

Montgomery County becomes first in the US to recognize BREEAM for building tax credits (BRE Press Release) 

Maryland eyes expansion of geothermal industry (Maryland Matters) 

To listen:  

April 20 is #FUBPday (Hot Take) 

Is your Carbon Footprint BS? (How to Save a Planet) 

To watch: 

Astrid Caldas Addresses Climate Change Misinformation (AAAS website) 

Montgomery County celebrates Earth Day April 22, 2021 (YouTube) 

Upcoming Events

May 25-26 | Online Forum 
2021 Energy Efficiency Finance Forum  

June 24 | Webinar  
Local Government Leadership Panel

Throughout June 2021 | Virtual Info Sessions 
Learn about the Capital Area Solar and EV Charging Co-op