Celebrate Montgomery County's Climate Activities during this Energy Action Month!

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Climate News

Covering the latest climate news in Montgomery County, MD

“Energy Action Month is one more time to note Montgomery County’s declaration of a climate emergency and our resolve to reduce communitywide greenhouse gas emissions.”
-County Executive Marc Elrich

Thursday, October 21, 2021 | Department of Environmental Protection

Montgomery College’s Multi-Campus Submetering Project

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To help implement the Montgomery County Climate Action Plan, Montgomery College is renewing its efforts to advance a multi-campus submetering project. Tracking the amount of thermal energy going into the three main campuses will allow for efficient data collection of patterns, trends, and excessive energy usage. The College hopes this effort will drive low-cost solutions to decrease energy consumption. Germantown and Takoma Park have already completed submetering, and the Rockville campus is currently in the process. Read more about theproject, submetering,and its ability to save energy here.

Montgomery Parks Undertakes LED Retrofits at South Germantown Recreational Park

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Montgomery Parks recently converted from high-pressure sodium lamps to LEDs at the South Germantown Recreational Park. Not only is this more efficient and requires less maintenance, but this transition leads to a 90% reduction in energy compared to the original power level. The park has grown immensely over the years as one of the most equipped recreation areas in the county, and this switch to more efficient energy is a huge step in the right direction for supporting the effort to combat climate change. Discover more about the project here.

Celebrate Energy Action Month!

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October is Energy Action MonthMontgomery Energy Connection and Montgomery Public Libraries are offering the opportunity to exchange inefficient light bulbs for more energy efficient ones. Learn more about Energy Action Month here to find out how you can use less energy and save money!

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Poolesville Drive Electric Event

On Saturday September 18, one of the largest National Drive Electric Week events took place in Poolesville to raise awareness about switching to electric vehicles. More than 200 electric vehicles were featured, along with celebrations with parades and entertainment to promote the climate, clean air, and cost-saving benefits of driving electric cars. View the news coverage of the event here. 

Construction Begins on Integrated Microgrid and Bus Charging Infrastructure Project

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In alignment with Montgomery County’s resilience goals, the County is making immense strides with a new, integrated microgrid and electric bus charging infrastructure project that will be built and operational by mid-2022. This project for Montgomery County Department of Transportation’s RideOn Electric Bus Fleet at Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot aims to reduce dependence on fossil fuels while also making sure public facilities are resilient. The project is being completed in partnership with AlphaStruxure, a leader in Energy as a Service solutions. This brings the county closer to electrifying buses and is a step toward reaching the 2035 goal to reduce all carbon emissions. Read about this project here. 

Officials Begin Work on Community Choice Energy Program

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A state law passed earlier this year will allow Montgomery County to establish a Community choice energy program, a key strategy outlined in the Climate Action Plan. Community choice energy is a program that will allow counties to combine the “electric loads” of residents and small businesses, to help negotiate for better rates when buying power from renewable sources, like solar or wind. Read the news coverage on the community choice energy program here.

‘Healthy Competition’ Can Drive Local Policies on Climate Change

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County Executives from four Maryland jurisdictions came together to discuss how to plan for and respond to climate disasters and encourage residents to educate themselves on climate issues. This took place less than a month after the remnants of Hurricane Ida made its way through Annapolis and overwhelmed parts of Maryland with floods. The County Executives shared actions their jurisdictions are taking to combat the climate emergencyCounty Executive Elrich suggests updating stormwater systems and finding a governor committed to funding the county’s climate action plans, Anne Arundel will develop a way to make public transportation more accessible, Baltimore County intends to introduce a tree equity program, and Howard County has already designed an anaerobic machine that digests waste. For the news coverage of this event, read more here.

Conversation with County Climate Leaders: Sandra L. Brecher

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Sandra L. Brecher who represents the Montgomery County Department of Transportation as a member of the Climate Planning Team talks about her experience on the team, recent progress, and shares advice on how people can get involved with the cause. This article outlines how Montgomery County has recently tackled climate change, her favorite parts of working with the Climate Team, and helpful resources and ways to participate to help make a difference. Read the full interview here. 

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Green Jobs Board

If you are looking for open positions in climate and sustainability related jobs, check out DEP’s Green Jobs Portal! New listings include positions with Montgomery CountyWorld Wildlife FundDC Green BankNational Wildlife Federationand many more!  

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Climate News Round-Up

To read 

Regional Climate News 

Green construction code, tax credit changes advance county’s climate goals (Bethesda Beat)

Universities at Shady Grove Facility Garners Awards for Sustainable Design (My Green Montgomery) 

Bethesda Green Wins Small Business Administration’s Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (Bethesda Green) 

A multimillion-dollar project to prevent South Baltimore flooding could help prove new strategies in climate resiliency (The Baltimore Sun) 

National/International Climate News 

EPA Finalizes Rule Cutting Use of Potent Greenhouse Gas Used in Refrigeration (The Hill) 

Enough With The Climate Jargon: Scientists Aim For Clearer Messages On Global Warming (NPR) 

Cities Have Firefighters and Trash Collectors. As the Climate Breaks Down, Do They Also Need Resilience Corps? (Time) 

Desperate For Hope? Linking Human Well-Being and Climate Solutions Is A Way Forward (New Security Beat 

Biden Vows To Double Aid On Climate Change, One Of The Key Issues Facing Leaders (The New York Times) 

Mortgage Market is Unprepared for Climate Risk (CNBC) 

At least 85 percent of the world’s population has been affected by human-induced climate change (The Washington Post) 

To listen

From Information to Action - Building National Climate Resilience  (The Climate Conversation) 

The Power of Resiliency (Beyond the Meter) 

Is Your Carbon Footprint BS?: How to Save a Planet takes over Ologies (Ologies Podcast on Listen Notes) 

To watch 

Years of Living Dangerously Premiere (The YEARS Project) 

Climate Change: Earth’s Giant Game Of Tetris (Climate Change Ted-Ed 

Is The Weather Actually Becoming More Extreme? (Weather and Climate Ted-Ed 

Cities Are Driving Climate Change. Here’s How They Can Fix It (Cities Are Driving Ted-Ed 

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Upcoming Events

October 21st | Webinar 
NRDC Building Performance Standards Framework  

October 21st - November 4th | Virtual Conference  
Gender and Climate Security 

October 25th | Webinar 
EPA: Get Pumped!  

October 27th - 29th | In-person Event, NYC or Virtual
NBI: 2021 Getting to Zero Forum 

October 28th | Virtual Meeting
T&E Committee Work Session on BEPS Legislation

November 2nd | Webinar
DEP: You've Benchmarked, Now What?!