19 days left to join the Capital Area 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

Thursday, August 12, 2021 | Department of Environmental Protection

Solar Coop 2021

Last Month to Join the Solar Co-op

RESIDENTIAL: The Capital Area Solar Co-op is closing at the end of the month - do not miss this opportunity to learn more about the solar process and join your fellow residents in being part of the clean energy revolution!!! When you join the Solar Co-op, you’ll join over 500 other residents who have already signed up to get solar panels at a lower cost. Once you join, you’ll have a built-in network of support and inspiration from others who, like you, are taking a stand for energy freedom and advancing the clean energy economy. And there is NO COST to join - just an opportunity to get more information!

A Fun Back to School Sing-A-Long

all tasks

RESIDENTIAL: Back to school is approaching! Did you know that a typical, 200-square foot dorm room can generate as much greenhouse gas pollution as the tailpipe emissions of a car driven more than 2,000 miles? As college students return to campus and younger kids return to school, we have created the Montgomery Energy Connection Sing-A-Long video to teach kids (of all ages) several ways they can help save money and energy at home and at school this year! Be careful, this song is an earworm! 

Maryland’s Energy Supply Reform Bill Explained


RESIDENTIAL: Susannah Auderset, Montgomery County Climate Planning Team Intern took the time to research Maryland's Energy Supply Reform Bill. This bill protects low-income families from predatory suppliers and exorbitant prices by ensuring that third-party suppliers cannot charge more than regulated utility rates. This protection — effective January 2023 — is vital, considering the abundance of scams currently found within Maryland’s energy market.

30 Million Solar Homes

solar home

RESIDENTIAL: Solar United Neighbors released the 30 Million Solar Homes (30MSH) impact analysis. In the first five years of the program, the 30MSH plan would: Create 1.77 million new jobs, reduce electricity bills by $69 billion, eliminate CO2 emissions equivalent to closing 48 coal-burning power plants, power 20 million households in marginalized communities with local solar. In addition, the ongoing, ANNUAL benefits would include $30 billion in electricity bill savings, and more than three-quarters of total federal investment benefits marginalized communities, including low- and moderate-income and environmental justice communities.

New Pilot to Streamline Residential Solar Permitting

solar app

RESIDENTIAL: This new streamlined residential solar permitting process will make Montgomery County one of the first jurisdictions in the nation to pilot Solar Automated Permit Processing (SolarAPP+), developed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. By offering standardized plan review software to run compliance checks and process building permit approvals for eligible rooftop solar systems, SolarAPP+ reduces install times, reduces project cancellations, and expands access to renewable energy.

Choose Who You Use


RESIDENTIAL: As a Maryland resident, you have the option to choose who supplies your electricity. Maryland is an energy choice state where customers can choose their electricity and natural gas providers. Some suppliers regularly offer rates and service that are 10% or more cheaper than the utility company. Choose Who You Use is a coalition to ensure Marylanders get a real choice when it comes to electricity. This state-wide coalition works to deliver true electricity choice to Maryland, giving consumers the power to make the best electricity choices for themselves and their families.

Olney Ale House Re-Opening Supported by Green Bank and Sandy Spring Bank

olney ale house

COMMERCIAL: The Olney Ale House in Olney is re-opening with the help of the Montgomery County Green Bank (“Green Bank”) and Sandy Spring Bank to provide flexible financing through the Commercial Loan for Energy Efficiency and Renewables ("CLEER") program. The financing will help Olney Ale House introduce improvements to recover from a 2019 fire and from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic while reducing operating costs and energy consumption.

Scavenger Hunt ends October 31, 2021


COUNTY: Take advantage of the warm weather while you still can and explore Montgomery County by participating in our Energy Scavenger Hunt! It is easy to play, but you only have until the end of October to win! Simply visit a Scavenger Hunt location, hunt for the sign onsite, and text the customized code for steps to authenticate your visit. 

Are You Following us on Instagram?


COUNTY: Take this moment, right now to follow us on Instagram, it is very easy:
1. Open the App
2. Search @mcenergyconnection
3. Follow Us 
4. Learn fun things EVERY DAY!!!

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.

Battery: The chief scientist for the U.S. Department of Energy at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Esther Takeuchi says that they are focusing on water for their batteries, www.wskg.org

Clean Energy: From poo to jellyfish: 10 alternative sources of renewable energy most likely to be powering our homes in the near future and where are they pioneered, www.euronews.com

Electric Boilers: A growing number of industrial facilities are installing new or retrofitting high-voltage electrode boilers that are compact, economical, and produce no emissions, www.environmentalleader.com

Electric Cars: Biden calls for half of new cars to be electric or plug-in hybrids by 2030. The executive order comes as part of a suite of new goals and mandates to cut climate-warming emissions from the auto sector, www.washingtonpost.com

Electric Charging: The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) is installing 42 electric vehicle (EV) charging station wayfinding signs in Bethesda, Silver Spring and Wheaton to make drivers aware that they can easily find opportunities to charge their environmentally friendly vehicles, www.montgomerycountymd.gov

Fitness: The fitness app Strava, along with the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), believe they have an answer. From August 16 to 31, Strava and UNOCHA want those who are able and willing to get out there, burn some calories, and focus on how climate change risks will wreak the most havoc on those who day-to-day manage to get by with the fewest resources at hand, www.triplepundit.com

Geothermal: Geothermal energy comes from harnessing heat from beneath the Earth’s surface, which can be used to run power plants, heat buildings and provide heat for industry. The opportunity ahead is for researchers and entrepreneurs to develop ways to affordably use geothermal energy at a larger scale and in many more places, www.insideclimatenews.org

HVAC:  Heat pump technology is the future of cooling and heating, but it’s been expensive to install. Now you get a small heat pump for your window and pay less, www.fastcompany.com

Offshore Wind: There is a plan to build a wind farm in Maryland on an 88,000-acre parcel of land US Wind acquired in 2014. The steel for the wind turbines will be built at Sparrows Point, formerly the home of Bethlehem Steel. In total, the project is expected to generate 1,200 megawatts of electricity, www.marylandreporter.com

Pepco: They filed a "Climate Solutions Plan" with District of Columbia regulators sketching out a high-level approach to providing clean energy in the nation's capital that includes a focus on electric vehicles, building decarbonization and a variety of grid modernization technologies, www.utilitydive.com

Scooters: Montgomery County is just one of the many jurisdictions in the US and worldwide to embrace e-scooters. Micro mobility transit use has skyrocketed across the country in recent years, www.ggwash.org

Smart Power Strips: The majority of us these days are conscious of the amount of energy we use in our homes and now many people are using smart power strips to lower consumption, www.the-eco-market.com

Solar: Solar Power World has recognized regional residential solar installer, Solar Energy World, for its 2020 installation success on their 2021 Top 400 Solar Contractors list.

Sustainable Finance: Many zero waste swaps will save you a lot of money. Learn more about savings through sustainable swaps as well as ethical banking and sustainable investments, www.goingzerowaste.com

Waste Heat to Energy: New material offers ecofriendly solution to converting waste heat into energy, purified tin selenide has extraordinarily high thermoelectric performance, www.news.northwestern.edu

Events: August & September 2021


5th Annual Wheaton Arts Parade & Festival
Sunday, September 19, 2021
10:00 am - 5:00 pm 
An afternoon of continuous performances by MoCo's top talent, including The Nighthawks, Strathmore artists, The Olney Theatre National Players, local dance companies, choral groups, musicians, and showcases by area high schools. More than 45 artists & galleries exhibiting and selling their original art. Plus this is an opportunity to swap out your old bulbs for LEDs! 

TODAY!! August 12, 12:00 – 2:00 pm   
Lighten Up: Lemons and LED Light bulb Exchange

August 13, 12:00 – 2:00 pm   
Lighten Up: Lemons and LED Light bulb Exchange

August 16, 1:00 – 3:00 pm  
Lighten Up: Lemons and LED Light bulb Exchange

August 17, 12:00 – 2:00 pm   
Lighten Up: Lemons and LED Light bulb Exchange

August 17, 3:00 – 4:00 pm   
Going from a Green Home to a Smart Home

Aug 19-20, University of Maryland
Environmental Justice and Health Disparities Symposium

August 20, 12:00 – 2:00 pm   
Lighten Up: Lemons and LED Light bulb Exchange

August 23, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm  
Lighten Up: Lemons and LED Light bulb Exchange

August 24, 3:00 – 4:00 pm   
Make Energy Cents

Aug 25 - 27, Resilient Virginia
2021 Resilient Virginia Conference

August 26, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm  
Lighten Up: Lemons and LED Light bulb Exchange

August 30, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm  
Cómo entender la elección de energía

September 13, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm  
Yendo de un hogar verde a un hogar inteligente