Arlington, VA

This regularly-scheduled sponsored column is written by the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy team (AIRE). This county program helps you make smart energy decisions that save you money and leaves a lighter footprint on the environment.

Arlington’s real estate market is very tight. Ask Eli‘s posts shed light on this with his analytical insights. Because of this short supply of housing, more and more Arlingtonians are staying in their homes and renovating or expanding them to accommodate growing families.

Have you been thinking about a home renovation, expansion or new construction in 2020?

350 Arlingtonians have already used Green Home Choice, a FREE County program, to help you make your renovations, additions and new home projects healthier and more sustainable.

When buying a car, fuel efficiency and a comfortable ride are central considerations. Given the investment you make when renovating or building a new home, comfort and efficiency should be equally if not more important.

On average, a Green Home Choice home uses 50% less energy than Arlington homes of the same size and saves between $600 and $1600 per year on utility bills.

Green Home Choice also helps homeowners renovate their kitchens and bathrooms in a more sustainable way and offers a certification for participation.

Whether you are a homeowner, developer, architect or builder, Green Home Choice can help you rethink your next construction project to enhance the quality, value and overall sustainability of your home.

For more information about the program, visit the Green Home Choice Website at www.greenhomechoice.us or contact [email protected].

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This regularly-scheduled sponsored column is written by the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy team (AIRE). This county program helps you make smart energy decisions that save you money and leaves a lighter footprint on the environment.

The stuff we consume — from snacks to knick-knacks — are responsible for up to 60 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and between 50 and 80 percent of total land, material and water use.

New Zealand recently started a Gen Less campaign and this touching video has all the feels. It is a campaign focused on less = more. Gen Less is a decision to start getting more out of life by using less energy. It’s the first generation anyone can join, regardless of age. Interesting food for thought this holiday season.

Buildings and transportation often get the most focus when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. That said, 60-80 percent of the impacts on the planet come from household consumption. If we change our consumption habits, this would have a drastic effect on our environmental footprint as well.

As you swing into the holiday buying season, here are the Rethink Energy Team’s top shopping picks:

Massage or Spa Gift Certificates: Giving the gift of self-care is one of the most thoughtful. Consider a gift certificate for a massage, facial, manicure or other relaxing treatment. Particularly after the rush of the holiday season, any means of stress relief is likely to be a very welcome gift!

Yoga or Workout Classes/Membership: Help your loved ones explore a new class or buy them a month at a gym they already belong to. Buy a punch card to a yoga class, golf lessons or tennis lessons. Even better, sign up for classes together!

A Class to Learn Something New: Turning interests into skills feels good, and whether the person on your list is interested in cooking, knitting, writing, ballroom dancing or juggling, there’s probably a class available to learn more about it.

Go Homemade: Whether or not you consider yourself crafty, you can make a variety or relatively simple homemade items to give as gifts. Everyone appreciates a creative homemade gift, and the possibilities are endless.

The Gift of Time: The gift of time is not only one of the most meaningful gifts, but it can be one of the most helpful. Everyone could use additional help in some area of their life — whether it’s a house cleaning, organizing, cleaning up the lawn or a special project.

Movie or Restaurant Gift Certificates: If gift cards are on your shopping list, consider local restaurants and movies. Dinner and a movie will always be a timeless gift.

Arlington’s Secret Santa Program: You can make the holiday season a little happier for some of Arlington’s most vulnerable residents by taking part in the Department of Human Services’ Secret Santa Program.

Start a Savings Account: For anyone with children in your family, consider starting a savings account. Instead of spending money on gifts, put a few dollars into a savings account to give them when they graduate high school.

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This regularly-scheduled sponsored column is written by the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy team (AIRE). This county program helps you make smart energy decisions that save you money and leaves a lighter footprint on the environment.

Nothing motivates like a deadline, right?  If you’ve been thinking about solar, today is the time to act.

Act now to join the Arlington Solar and EV Co-op before the end of tomorrow (November, 30). 

Homeowners don’t need to purchase a solar system or electric vehicle charger by November 30. Rather, this deadline is to sign up for a no-cost and no-obligation solar assessment of your home. Meeting the deadline also guarantees that you can purchase solar at the discount offered only to the co-op members by the installer.

Get started by providing some basic information on the Solar United Neighbors website. Folks interested in solar will receive a no-obligation roof screening and project proposal.

The Federal tax credit is gradually phasing out between now and 2022. Next year, the solar tax credit will be reduced to 26 percent. In 2021, it will be 22 percent and in 2022 and beyond, per the existing legislation, it will no longer be available to homeowners.

More than 160 Arlington  homeowners have previously installed solar in our Solar and Electric Vehicle Co-op. The cooperative helps Arlingtonians buy solar and EV chargers at a discounted price. The cooperative also provides support to participants to make the purchasing process easy.

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This regularly-scheduled sponsored column is written by the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy team (AIRE). This county program helps you make smart energy decisions that save you money and leaves a lighter footprint on the environment.

Nothing motivates like a deadline, right? If you’ve been thinking about solar, now is the time to act.

Act now to join the Arlington Solar and EV Co-op before the November 30 deadline.

Homeowners don’t need to purchase a solar system or electric vehicle charger by November 30. Rather, this deadline is to sign up for a no-cost and no-obligation solar assessment of your home. Meeting the deadline also guarantees that you can purchase solar at the discount offered only to the co-op members by the installer.

Get started by providing some basic information on the Solar United Neighbors website. Folks interested in solar will receive a no-obligation roof screening and project proposal.

The Federal tax credit is gradually phasing out between now and 2022. Next year, the solar tax credit will be reduced to 26 percent. In 2021, it will be 22 percent and in 2022 and beyond, per the existing legislation, it will no longer be available to homeowners.

More than 160 Arlington homeowners have previously installed solar in our Solar and Electric Vehicle Co-op. The cooperative helps Arlingtonians buy solar and EV chargers at a discounted price. The cooperative also provides support to participants to make the purchasing process easy.

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This regularly-scheduled sponsored column is written by the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy team (AIRE). This county program helps you make smart energy decisions that save you money and leaves a lighter footprint on the environment.

1. Let the Sun In
Leave south-facing blinds open during sunny days and close them at night to lock the heat in. The sun will give you free heating during the day.

2. Thermostat Setting
You can save energy and money by only running your furnace when you are home. Turn your thermostat down when you leave or get a motion sensing thermostat that automatically changes the temperature.

3. Air Flow
If your couch or other items are positioned to block your heating unit or vent, it reduces the amount of air flow. This makes your mechanical system work harder and it takes longer to heat your home. Let the air flow and make sure the vents are clear.

4. Ceiling Fan Setting
Have you ever noticed the switch on your ceiling fan? Your fan should push air down during warm summer months of the year and draw it up during the winter to help create a more even temperature year-round. 

5. LED Light Bulbs
LED light bulbs are still the easiest way to save energy and the prices have come way down. They also last longer and use a fraction of the energy compared to incandescents. LED bulbs come in an array of colors and can be dimmed. Swap out your standard bulbs for LED ones to reduce energy costs.

6. High-Performance Showerhead
WaterSense rated showerheads are the way to go. They are tested for performance. They reduce energy used associated with hot water as well as water and sewer costs. If you can’t install one yourself, talk to your landlord or apartment manager about having one installed.

Disclaimer: Your utility savings depends on what is or is not included in your rental agreement or HOA dues. Results may vary. Batteries not included. Ask your doctor before using. Past performance no indication of future success. Every action makes a difference.

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This regularly-scheduled sponsored column is written by the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy team (AIRE). This county program helps you make smart energy decisions that save you money and leaves a lighter footprint on the environment.

Home insulation has a significantly greater impact on your home’s energy use and comfort than new windows or doors.

Believe it or not, 9 out of 10 homes in the U.S. are under-insulated. That means that you most likely live in one of them. Older Arlington homes were built when insulation was expensive and fuel was cheap. Many Arlington homes were built with no insulation and are uncomfortably hot in the summer, cold in the winter and have uneven temperatures room-to-room and floor-to-floor.

Do you have uneven temperatures throughout your home? What are you waiting for!? Join other Arlingtonians that already weatherized their homes and are enjoying the benefits of year-round comfort and lower utility bills.

In most cases, the fixes aren’t complex and the cost will likely be less than you expect. In just one day you can have your home insulated and be comfortable year after year.

Unsure where to start? Check out this list of contractors that participated in the our previously run Home Energy Rebate Program. Give an insulation contractor a call today to get an estimate. The sooner you act the more comfortable your home will be.

Tune in to our next post where we’ll post tips for renters and condo owners.

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This regularly-scheduled sponsored column is written by the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy team (AIRE). This county program helps you make smart energy decisions that save you money and leaves a lighter footprint on the environment.

The 2019 National Solar Tour is THIS WEEKEND — October 5 & 6.

This weekend is a fantastic opportunity to visit one of the 850+ solar open houses and 79 local solar tours across the country!

  • See solar installations on different homes
  • Ask homeowners questions about how their solar systems work
  • Learn why people in your community made the choice to go solar
  • Connect with other people in your community who support solar energy!

There’s still time to find and RSVP for solar homes in and around Arlington.

Already RSVP’ed? Invite a friend, colleague or family member to join you! The more people who learn about the benefits of solar power, the better!

The National Solar Tour is free and open to the public — Everyone is welcome to attend. Whether you are a solar owner, completely new to solar, or somewhere in between — this event is for you. Visit one or several. Stop by for a few minutes or stay for awhile!

Arlington Solar and EV Charger Co-op Happy Hour — October 22

Arlington Rooftop Bar and Grill, 5:30-8 p.m.

RSVP for the 10/22 Solar Co-op Happy TODAY!

Join us for a free meet up to learn about solar technology, how our co-op model simplifies the process, and how going solar can save you money.

Solar has never been easier or cheaper to install. The tax credit is gradually phasing out between now and 2022. Next year, the solar tax credit will be reduced to 26 percent. In 2021, it will be 22 percent in 2022 and beyond, it won’t be available for homeowners at all. If you’ve been thinking about solar, now is the time to take action.

You don’t need to attend the event to participate in the co-op. Visit the website and click “Join Our Co-op” by November 30, for a no-cost and no-obligation solar assessment of your home.

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This regularly-scheduled sponsored column is written by the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy team (AIRE). This county program helps you make smart energy decisions that save you money and leaves a lighter footprint on the environment.

Climate change is serious. Businesses, residents and governments must act.

Today, the Arlington County Board has adopted sweeping updates to the Community Energy Plan setting ambitious targets for transforming the County’s energy sector.

Some highlights of Arlington’s Community Energy Plan include:

  • Sets goal of a carbon neutral Arlington by 2050
  • Government operations to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2025
  • Community to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2035
  • Considering energy equity during implementation

“This plan is bold, because nothing less than a bold response from every community across this nation and across the globe is essential to address the dire threat to our planet posed by climate change,” Arlington County Board Chair Christian Dorsey said.

“Arlington’s updated Community Energy Plan is based on the latest climate science and views energy decisions through the lenses of energy security, economic competitiveness, environmental commitment and equity. It will maintain Arlington County’s position as a leader in America on climate change mitigation and adaptation.”

The plan incorporates goals for buildings; resilience; renewable energy; transportation, County government actions, and education and human behavior. It envisions an Arlington that by 2050 will be more resilient, where all electricity will come from renewable sources, where more residents will drive electric vehicles and more will use transit, and where homes and buildings will be more energy-efficient.

Just this week similar announcements were made by Governor Northam to achieve 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050 for all of Virginia as well as an announcement by Amazon to fight climate change by achieving carbon neutrality by 2040.

We are proud of the work we’ve done to date to save money and energy. We are equally energized about the work ahead to reach carbon neutrality in Arlington by 2050.

Some simple actions you can take today to act and stay connected:

Please join us as we move forward. Every action makes a difference.

Together we can create a carbon-neutral Arlington by 2050.

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This regularly-scheduled sponsored column is written by the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy team (AIRE). This county program helps you make smart energy decisions that save you money and leaves a lighter footprint on the environment.

The County Fair is only a few days away. Get excited!

Stop by and see us at the Rethink Energy booth. We’ll be there to answer your energy questions about saving energy at home, solar power, weatherization and more.

When you stop into the Thomas Jefferson gymnasium, take note; LED lights shine brightly from above. These LED lights save about $40,000 annually and have a payback of less than 4 years.

The use of LED lights isn’t the only way that the Fair is working to be more sustainable. Kudos to the Fair for all the small actions that continue to make a big difference. Here is what you can expect at the Fair to leave a lighter footprint on the environment:

The Arlington County Fair is working toward the goal of becoming a zero waste event!

  • Providing a water fill up station to encourage guests to use reusable water bottles.
  • Banning all single-use plastic straws and replacing them with compostable options or strawless cups.
  • Banning Styrofoam food service items such as cups and clamshell containers distributed at the fair.
  • Banning small condiment packets for mustard, ketchup and soy sauce, as well as small plastic Solo cups for sauces. Vendors will use bulk distribution in paper cups for these items.
  • Recycling all recyclable materials in a single-stream recycling system, including paper, cardboard, glass, aluminum and plastic materials.
  • Expanding our composting efforts to be available throughout the fair. This removes food waste, paper products and other biodegradable items out of the event waste stream, reducing greenhouse gas emissions resulting from waste generated at the fair.
  • Collecting food vendor grease that is taken to a plant for rendering. 40% of the processed grease is used to create bio fuel.
  • Collecting and distributing manure generated by livestock at the fair for use in neighborhood gardens.
  • Working with Arlington’s Car-Free Diet to promote transportation options to the fair, including biking and walking routes, nearby bike-share locations, bus and Metro options.
  • Providing valet parking for bicycles free of charge for guests who bike to the event.
  • Providing shuttle service for fair attendees from nearby parking facilities and Metro stops.
  • Using reusable signage throughout the fair to minimize printed signage waste.

We look forward to seeing you at the Fair. Please stop by with your energy questions!

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This regularly-scheduled sponsored column is written by the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy team (AIRE). This county program helps you make smart energy decisions that save you money and leaves a lighter footprint on the environment.

High utility bills disproportionately impact those with lower incomes.

On average, low-income households pay 7.2 percent of their income on utilities — more than three times the amount that higher income households pay (2.3 percent).

Families struggling to pay energy bills may sacrifice nutrition, medicine and other necessities, which compound the effects of inequality. Energy efficiency can make a noticeable difference.

The Income and Age-Qualifying Home Improvement program provides in-home energy assessments and installation of select energy-saving products. Single-family homes and multi-family homes (apartments or condos) all qualify.

To help save on energy costs, qualifying Dominion Energy customers can receive a free energy assessment and free energy-saving measures that may include:

  • ENERGY STAR qualified LED light bulbs
  • Efficient, low-flow showerheads
  • Efficient, low-flow faucet aerators
  • Pipe wrap insulation for hot water pipes
  • Attic insulation and air sealing

Eligible applicants must meet ONE of the following criteria:

  • Household income is less than 60% of the state median income
  • Household income is less than 120% of the state median income for residents over 60 years of age

These retrofits can make a big difference to some families, so please share this information.

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This regularly-scheduled sponsored column is written by the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy team (AIRE). This county program helps you make smart energy decisions that save you money and leaves a lighter footprint on the environment.

The July 4th holiday is a great time to relax, reflect and rethink energy.

Arlingtonians have more options than ever to declare their independence from high energy use this summer, and to save money all year.

Mark your calendar now for the upcoming Solar Co-op + EV Charger info session on July 24. To date, more than 150 Arlington families have installed solar with the Arlington Solar Co-op.

Here are a few of our previous posts that will save you money:

Enjoy the holiday, stay safe, thanks for all you do to save energy in Arlington, and mark your calendar to join us for the upcoming Solar info session on July 24!

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