Frederick County Office Of Sustainability and Environmental Resources

Quarterly Newsletter Blog

Apr 14

149 Home Owners Served & Saving with 2016 Power Saver Retrofits. $750,000 awarded for 2017!

Posted on April 14, 2017 at 3:18 PM by Lisa Orr

PSRIn April, the implementation of the 2016 Power Saver Retrofits program wraps up. In total, 149 moderate- and low-income households received Home Performance with Energy Star Audits, and 145 of them obtained energy saving home improvements valued at up to $8,000 -- all at no cost! These improvements included air sealing and insulation, energy efficient lighting, heating and cooling system servicing and upgrades to Energy Star® models, as well as Energy Star® upgrades of appliances and water heaters. Estimates of the annual utility bill savings for these households range from $300 to $2,489 with the average being $700.

On April 6, OSER was notified by the Maryland Energy Administration that we will be awarded a $750,000 Clean Energy Communities grant to implement our 2017 PSR program! We will be allocating about 20 spots for homes served by the Rebuilding Together Frederick County program, but all together we hope to serve 90 - 100 homes in 2017 and early 2018. We are accepting applications on a first come - first served basis for the 2017 program which will likely begin in July. Interested households can learn about the program and download an application here.

Apr 14

Frederick County Solar Co-op Extends Sign-Up Deadline

Posted on April 14, 2017 at 1:40 PM by Lisa Orr

solarDue to increased interest, the Frederick County Solar Co-op is extending its sign-up deadline. The co-op is now open to new residential and small business members until May 31, 2017. By forming a group of interested buyers and selecting a single solar install that best meets the interest of the group, co-op members can receive lower prices as a result of economies of scale and reduced labor costs for business development and marketing. The co-op has grown to 129 participants, and it is expected to grow throughout the next few months due to co-op promotion at several spring events, including the Green Neighbor Festival on May 20 and 21.

Co-op members Boe Walker and Mary Lou Reidy recently signed their contract to have their solar array installed on their home. When asked why they decided to join the co-op, they stated:

“Solar panels make sense in both an environmental and fiscal sense.  Lowering our carbon footprint is important for the environment.  Financially, the solar panels generate an approximately 9% to 10% return on investment.  A third benefit is the increase of jobs in the green energy segment of the economy that benefits all of us.  The solar co-op allows us to install the panels with a great savings and from a company that has been vetted by the co-op panel.  The co-op seemed the best way to go about getting solar panels installed.”

Frederick County residents, small businesses, or organizations such as churches can learn more about the co-op, watch a video of a Solar Co-op Information Session, and join the co-op by visiting mdsun.org/frederick. A webinar describing the co-op process will be also available for viewing on March 21, 2017 at 7 p.m. Visit the co-op website for more details and to register. Questions about the program can be directed to CCC Member Bonnie Griesemer, at BGriesemer@FrederickCountyMD.gov.

Apr 11

6th Annual Green Homes Challenge Recognition Event

Posted on April 11, 2017 at 10:52 AM by Lisa Orr

HenzeFrederick County officials and OSER staff recognized Certified Households at the 6th annual Green Homes Challenge Recognition event on Thursday, March 23, 2017 at the Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center.  

Since Frederick County launched its Green Homes Challenge in January 2011, more than 650 households have met one or more of the three Green Homes Challenges: Be a Power Saver, Be a Green Leader, or Be a Renewable Star.  County Council Member Jerry Donald, Myersville Mayor Wayne Creadick were in attendance and Frederick County Communications Director Vivian Laxton spoke on behalf of County Executive Jan Gardner.   Music for the evening was 
provided by "The Biscuit Warmers" and 24 prizes from event sponsors were awarded to Challenge participants.  

The Henze Household won the grand prize, an Aeroseal Air Duct Sealing from Atlas Home Energy Solutions valued at $1,950.  OSER initiatives were also highlighted including the Solar Co-op, Neighborhood Green Program, the Power Saver Retrofit grant and a new volunteer effort called the Green Leader Brigade.  Additional event pictures can be found here.
Congratulations to our Certified Households!   If you would like to get started on the Challenge, please visit www.FrederickGreenChallenge.org