🌎 EARTH MONTH 🌍 – An Opportunity to Use Less Energy and Swap some 💡

Power line header

This monthly newsletter delivered on the 3rd Wednesday of the month is a way to distribute and transmit all things energy-related to our community.

Montgomery Energy Connection is a network of County Government and community partners. Created to provide customized education on the benefits of energy efficiency, availability of programs, and opportunities for assistance.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022 | Montgomery Energy Connection


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How Do You Use Less Energy?

RESIDENTIAL: We are two days away from Earth Day – and this year, the national theme is “Invest in Our Planet.” One way that we encourage Montgomery County residents to invest in the planet is by using less energy. Here are our recommended top three ways to keep money in your pocket:

  1. Schedule a Quick Home Energy Checkup – If you pay your electricity bill, this is available at no additional cost. A contractor will provide you with energy efficient products such as: LED light bulbs, high efficiency showerheads, advanced powerstrips, and more
  2. Monitor Your Thermostat  - Make sure your home is set at the optimal temperature, 78°  in the summer and 68°  in the winter for all creatures – note that pets may have different temperature needs.  
  3. Switch to LEDs – Lighting accounts for 10% of your total home energy costs, we host light bulb exchanges throughout the County to help you switch to LEDs. Go to our event calendar and look for the 💡 to find out which events have an exchange.

Have You Joined the Solar Co-op Yet?

Leo Solar

RESIDENTIAL: With Round 2 underway you can join neighbors in DC, Maryland, and Virginia in the quest to lower your energy costs, become energy independent, and participate in the renewable revolution. There are multiple virtual sessions available to help you learn more about going solar as part of the Capital Area Solar Co-op, please make sure you sign up to learn more about the process. 


Basic HVAC Troubleshooting Tips Every Homeowner Should Know

HVAC

RESIDENTIAL: Katelyn Brinn, Content Marketing Strategist for A-One Refrigeration & Heating, a family-owned and operated business that has been happily providing homes and businesses with quality HVAC services since 1980 shared her six common HVAC troubleshooting tips every homeowner should know. Most of these basic HVAC troubleshooting tips are easy enough to perform. But if you’re not sure what to do, you can always call your local HVAC company for help.


Learn more about Community Solar

community solar

RESIDENTIAL: Live Q&A with experts who play a crucial role in serving more than 5,000 income-qualified subscribers with more than $1.85 million in clean energy savings on Thursday, April 21, 2022 at 7:00 pm. Join Groundswell and our partners in Montgomery County for a conversation on how your community solar participation can help households in Montgomery County access cheaper, cleaner electricity, register for the zoom event here.


Meet an EV Owner Series

EV owner

RESIDENTIAL: The Montgomery County EV Purchasing Cooperative Pilot Program, is featuring Montgomery County residents who have electrified their personal transportation. So far, two EV drivers have shared their stories, find out why Marc and Jennifer have gone electric. They take the time to share their experiences with you to help you make decisions about your car needs and don’t forget to pledge to help “Lead the EV Charge” by supporting the Montgomery County EV Purchasing Cooperative (MontgomeryCountyMD.gov/ZEV) and the County's goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2027 and 100% by 2035.


access solar

New “Access Solar” Financing Program

RESIDENTIAL: The Montgomery County Green Bank launched Access Solar to for income-qualified households in Montgomery County, to find flexible financing options for solar PV installed on their home. Access Solar is initially being offered in conjunction with those households participating in the 2022 Capital Area Co-Op through Solar United Neighbors (SUN). If you are interested in learning more about the Access Solar program, join the May session for more information.


Hybrid Energy Summit was a Success

summit

COMMERCIAL: Over 270 attendees participated in-person and virtually during the two-day Energy Summit. This was the 9th year of the Energy Summit, and DEP offers this energy educational conference in partnership with USGBC National Capital Region. Watch the recap here.


Calling All Creative Minds!

thoughts

COUNTY: Do you have great ideas to help protect our environment? Through the Climate Action Plan, the County is hoping to lower the impact of climate change. Please send us words, phrases or a sentence that will inspire your neighbors to take action on simple climate solutions. Learn more! Some of your ideas will be used for a local campaign and will make  an impact on climate action in our community. Send us your ideas: DEP.contests@montgomerycountymd.gov


Grant Opportunity

earthshare

STATE: EarthShare is supporting the transition to clean energy through a second-year grants program, The Energy of One, The Power of Many, that will continue to establish community-level initiatives in Maryland. Grantee organizations’ programs will be dedicated to educating community members about the impact their energy choices can have in supporting a cleaner energy future that improves lives and the health of our planet. Grant applications are due by close of business, May 3, 2022, and funding levels range from $5,000–$50,000 and will be awarded at the national, regional, and local project levels.


Join AR Girls Virtual Camp This Summer

AR Girls

STATE: Augmented reality (AR) is changing the way science is accessed, understood, and shared with and by the public. As such, AR Girls was created to attract young women (ages 12-16) to science and computer science by focusing on communication aspects of scientific work. During this weeklong FREE AR Girls Maryland virtual camp,  students will learn to use a cool and simple AR app called Metaverse to overlay graphics, videos, audio—even your own art and photos—on the real world. Apply here, there are limited spots available. 


Job Board

Current Jobs

The My Green Montgomery Green Jobs Board will help you find green jobs in our region.  We post jobs for free that are green jobs based in DC or Baltimore areas and are focused on energy, water, sustainability, trees, community greening, environmental education, etc.

Here are some current openings to get you started:

  • Frederick County Grants Manager - Sustainability: This professional and managerial position in the Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources (OSER) in the Office of the County Executive is responsible for seeking grant opportunities, providing fiscal services, writing, coordinating, and monitoring submissions of grant applications and required periodic reports for Federal, State, local organizations. 
  • Vote Solar: Managing Director, Access and Equity: As Vote Solar advocates for energy policies and programs that address the barriers faced by historically underinvested and marginalized communities, the voices of those communities must be heard directly. 

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

The News Roundup

Energy is all around us and there is a lot happening in the world. We have compiled some interesting stories and articles to share with you. These stories will LINK you to what energy stories are happening in the world.

Batteries: Lithium-ion batteries are at the heart of nearly every electric vehicle, laptop and smartphone, and there is evidence that recycled lithium-ion batteries can perform better than the new ones, www.scientificamerican.com

Cargo Ships: One startup plans to soon begin crossing the Pacific with smaller electric ships that swap batteries at ports along the way, in a system that it says could prove cheaper than shipping with fossil fuels, www.fastcompany.com

Cheese: The French Alpine town of Albertville sits in the southeast of the country, near the border of Italy, is home to only about 10,000 people and is home to a cheese-fueled power plant, www.nowiknow.com

Electric Vehicles:  As gas prices surge, here are some tips for shopping for electric vehicles, www.nytimes.com/2022/03/23/us/electric-car-buying-guide.html

Food Waste: Biomass gasification uses heat, oxygen, steam, or a mixture of those, to convert biomass — food and agricultural waste or other biological materials — into a mixture of gases that can be used as fuel, www.theconversation.com

Renewable Energy: According to the latest expectations of the Energy Information Administration (EIA), by the year 2050, nearly 50 percent of United States power generation – 44 percent – will be sourced from renewable generation, largely thanks to increases and wind and solar power deployment, www.dailyenergyinsider.com

Poop: When it comes to renewable energy, solar panels, wind turbines, and hydropower keep coming up as number 1, but what about number 2? This video explains how we can turn human waste into renewable energy, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6CF-umWLZg

Smart Devices: Smart devices have a role to play in the move from dirty to clean energy, people need tools that help them better understand where their energy comes from, see how much they’re using, and pitch in to make a more resilient power grid, www.theverge.com

Solar Cars: The new hybrid Hyundai Sonata has solar cells built into its roof. After baking in the sun all day, the car can add 3-4 miles to its range, www.finance.yahoo.com

Solar Panels: Because the water footprint of the solar industry is “mind boggling,” researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed a method for cleaning solar panels that could potentially save billions of gallons of water, www.renewableenergyworld.com

Vampire Loads: According to Life Hacker, Unplugging electronics when not in use may actually be worthwhile, www.lifehacker.com

Water Heater: Heat pump water heaters move heat instead of creating it, using similar technology to a fridge or air conditioner, and are much more efficient than 20th century gas and electric resistant water heaters, the energy saving equivalent of seven (7) solar panels and costs one sixth of the price, www.cleantechnica.com

Wind Turbine: A fully recyclable 2-meter wind turbine blade using thermoplastic resin has been created and is ready to be tested, www.renewableenergyworld.com


upcoming events

Watts Up?

greenfest

Montgomery County Greenfest 2022
Saturday, April 23, 2022
11:00 am - 5:00 pm 
Brookside Gardens

This free event is one of the county's largest Earth Day festivals and is a chance for residents, businesses, and nonprofits to share ideas, learn together, and have fun! And there will be an opportunity to swap your 💡 at the Montgomery Energy Connection table! 

OTHER PLACES TO SWAP YOUR 💡 THIS MONTH

Gaithersburg Fix It Fair
Saturday, April 23, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm 

Earth Day Market at True Respite
Saturday, April 23, 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm 

Earth Festival! Fairhaven United Methodist Church
Sunday, April 24, 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm 

Town of Chevy Chase Trash and Treasures
Saturday, April 30, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm