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.

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.

You can also take advantage of the tax credit for insulation before the end of the year!

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 who participated in previous County programs. Give an insulation contractor a call today to get an estimate.

The sooner you act the more comfortable your home will be.

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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.

Arlington County government relies on the hard work of its many civic-minded volunteers. More than 50 County Commissions and Advisory groups advise the County Board on decisions that affect and benefit our community.

We don’t say it enough, but we really mean it — THANK YOU to each commissioner for your service.

The Environment and Energy Conservation Commission — often abbreviated E2C2 — advises the County Board on a wide range of energy and environmental matters, from climate change to natural resource management. Several openings are expected in the next few months and we invite you to apply online.

Diverse voices are needed!  E2C2 is looking for applicants from various professional backgrounds, age ranges, ethnicities, geographic locations in Arlington, and all  walks of life to represent Arlington. A strong interest or background in environmental justice issues would be helpful.

Are you interested in energy, environment and climate change-related issues? Are you looking for a way to get involved in your community? This may be just the opportunity you are looking for.

There are several other commissions with openings, too. Visit the County’s Commission page to learn more and apply.

Thank you again to all the Commission and volunteers that continue to help shape Arlington, especially during the weird times we are living through.

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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.

Arlington’s Solar Co-op is still open to new members — but only for two more weeks!

The sign-up deadline is August 21!

You’re invited to our last free webinar to learn about going solar with the co-op.

You’ll get the scoop on:

  • Things to consider when putting solar panels on your home
  • Ways to finance your new solar system
  • How to add a charger for your electric vehicle
  • What it means to go solar with the Arlington Solar Co-op. (Spoiler alert: going solar at a discounted group rate, with expert guidance throughout the process.)

You’ll get answers to these questions and more:

  • Is my roof good for solar?
  • How does solar technology even work?
  • What are the benefits of going solar?
  • What local and federal laws do I need to know about?
  • How can the solar co-op save me money?
  • How can I get an electric vehicle charger for my home?

Take advantage of one of the last big federal solar tax credits. This year the solar tax credit will be 26 percent. In 2021, it will be 22 percent and in 2022 and beyond, it won’t be available for homeowners at all.

Please RSVP and join us to learn more:

August 11 at 12 p.m. — Solar and Electric Vehicle Charger Info Session

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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.

A major storm has hit our area and your neighborhood just lost power. Your refrigerator stopped humming, your air conditioner ceased and the clock on your stove just went black.

What’s more, you don’t know when the power will be restored. An hour? Tomorrow? What if it’s longer? When the power goes out nothing works (unless you have solar and batteries from Arlington’s Solar Co-op).

If these questions make you uncomfortable, chances are that you don’t have an emergency plan or kit on hand.

This scenario is only hypothetical but we’ve seen it here in Arlington time and time again. Hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes — all natural disasters are inevitable. This weekend hurricane Fay is going to narrowly miss Arlington. The key is being prepared. Having an emergency plan and kit can make all the difference.

Since COVID-19 appeared we can’t necessarily bunk up with family, neighbors, or even in a hotel during an emergency without risk.

Below are links to a family-friendly emergency scavenger hunt from Dominion Virginia Power, additional preparedness tips, a link to Arlington’s Solar Co-op and emergency planning resources from Arlington County.

Make a plan and kit today — they could be a real life saver.

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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.

As we move into Phase 2 opening, we will continue our virtual solar and electric vehicle (EV) co-op sessions.

More than 200 homeowners have already installed solar panels as part of our Solar and Electric Vehicle Charger Co-op.

This spring, we’ve already had more than 280 homeowners attend virtual co-op sessions. Sixty-nine families have already had their roofs screened, verified as viable for solar, and they have joined the Co-op.

This June, we’ll continue with 3 additional information sessions. Please RSVP and join us to learn more:

  • June 23 — 6 p.m. Info Session link
  • June 26 — 12 p.m. Info Session link
  • June 30 — 12 p.m. Battery Storage 101 link

For those who  may not be familiar, the Co-op  helps Arlingtonians buy solar panels and EV chargers at a discounted price through bulk purchasing. The Co-op also provides support to participants to make the purchasing process easy. This year we will also provide information about storing your solar power at home in battery systems.

You can also take advantage of one of the last big federal solar tax credits. This year the solar tax credit will be 26 percent. In 2021, it will be 22 percent and in 2022 and beyond, it won’t be available for homeowners at all.

As you quarantine at home, use this opportunity to learn more about solar power, electric vehicle charging and solar battery storage. Take action today to help our community be carbon neutral 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.

Air pollution is down across Virginia and the rest of the country, due to much lower personal traffic on roadways. You have undoubtedly noticed lighter traffic in Arlington.

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments recently reported that traffic in the region had decreased by over 50 percent in late April, and VDOT data shows similar results. The same VDOT site shows even greater reductions during rush hour along Route 29 and I-66 in Arlington.

Similarly, energy use in buildings is down overall in the past two months, with many commercial and institutional properties closed or operating at a fraction of their usual use. Natural gas use is down with the mild spring, and electricity use is down sharply with lower occupancy and mild weather.

Savvy property managers have adjusted accordingly to control costs, shutting off unneeded equipment and setting thermostats back to “unoccupied” settings. As you might expect, Arlington County government has also seen sharp reductions in energy use in community centers and libraries.

Care is taken to not completely shut the buildings off — it is important to maintain proper humidity levels to avoid indoor air quality problems. Emergency lighting and other essential equipment prevent energy use from truly “flat-lining”, but curves like the one below warm the heart of an energy analyst.

Energy managers and planners are seeking insights into how we might maintain some of the energy and cost savings — and reduced pollutant emissions — once society resumes full operation after the COVID pandemic.

Meanwhile, many residents have seen an increase in energy and water bills from staying at home. More cooking, more heating or cooling may be driving household bills up. It may be difficult to assess because COVID hit as winter ended, and the need for air conditioning has been slight thus far. What have you seen in your home energy bills since March?

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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.

In a time of great change, Arlingtonians are empowered to plug into solar.

Over the past few weeks, 280 Arlingtonians have attended 3 info sessions on Arlington’s Solar and EV Charger Co-op. Forty one families have already had their roofs screened, verified as viable for solar, and they have joined the Co-op.

In the 5+ years of the Co-op we’ve never seen interest this strong nor had the Co-op launch so quickly. Thank you!

The Co-op is moving toward the next step, the Request-for-Proposal (RFP) process in which the solar vendors are selected.

Arlingtonians can still join the Co-op to have their roofs screened at no cost or obligation. There are 3 months left to join the co-op as it will close in August 2020.

You can also take advantage of one of the last big federal solar tax credits. This year the solar tax credit will be 26 percent. In 2021, it will be 22 percent and in 2022 and beyond, it won’t be available for homeowners at all.

Thank you Arlington for your interest and action. For others that are still interested, click below to learn more and join the co-op:

Join the co-op to have your roof screened

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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.

April 22 is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. There is something sadly poetic about all of us locked inside during this milestone at the peak of spring.

The pandemic has taken so many lives and left countless others seriously ill. It’s triggered a major economic downturn that may linger beyond medical cures. It’s upended the way we work, learn, shop, eat, travel and connect.

Yet, undeniably, it’s also resulted in clean air on a scale most of us have never seen. Noise pollution from cars and planes has plummeted. Nature seems more vibrant even during a quick walk around the block.

Life can change faster than we imagine. How we adapt is the test.

COVID-19 reminds us that global action is possible to address and mitigate dire threats once they’re acknowledged. It also shows how quickly governments — including Arlington’s — can act given the urgency. The conversation shifts from what should be done to what must be done.

Earthday.org declares that Wednesday’s anniversary “must be a historic moment when citizens of the world rise up in a united call for the creativity, innovation, ambition, and bravery that we need to meet our climate crisis and seize the enormous opportunities of a zero-carbon future.”

We’re experiencing the possibilities of collective action right now.

Working with residents and businesses, the Rethink Energy team remains even more committed to addressing — and defeating — climate change with the help of a carbon-neutral Arlington and similar efforts around the world.

Together let’s keep working toward that healthy and sustainable future. We can do it. There really isn’t a choice.

Some quick steps to take action now.

Happy Earth Day — and many more.

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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.

We hope you are safe and well at home. To learn more about protecting yourself from COVID-19, please visit the County’s COVID-19 page.

Due to the need to remain at home, we are announcing our first virtual solar and electric vehicle (EV) co-op session.

More than 200 homeowners have already participated in our Solar and Electric Vehicle Charger Co-op. The cooperative helps Arlingtonians buy solar and EV chargers at a discounted price through bulk purchasing. The cooperative also provides support to participants to make the purchasing process easy. This year we will also provide information about storing your solar power at home in battery systems.

You can also take advantage of one of the last big federal solar tax credits. This year the solar tax credit will be 26 percent. In 2021, it will be 22 percent and in 2022 and beyond, it won’t be available for homeowners at all.

Being stuck at home is an opportune time to learn more about solar, electric vehicle charging and solar battery storage. Help our community reach carbon neutral by 2050.

Please RSVP and join us for an information session to learn more:

April 27: 12 p.m. Info Session link
Facebook event link

April 2812 p.m. Battery Storage 101 link
Facebook event link

April 30: 6 p.m. Info Session link
Facebook event link

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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.

We hope that everyone is hunkering down safely and practicing appropriate social distancing as detailed on the County COVID-19 webpage.

Given the rapidly unfolding events, the Rethink Energy team wanted to provide an update on our programs and events:

March 25 Community Celebration and Community Kickoff to 2050

The event has been cancelled until COVID-19 has run its course. If you previously RSVP’d for the event we will notify you once we set a new date. Thank you to the more than 100 Arlingtonians that RSVP’d for the event. If others are interested in the rescheduled event — please RSVP here.

Solar and Electric Vehicle Co-Op

The Co-op plans to launch again given strong community interest and participation. A virtual information session will be held in April. We will announce the info session and kickoff here on ARLnow in our April 4th post.

Green Home Certification Program

Despite COVID-19, we know that many are already looking to the future. Are you thinking of renovating your home? Please take a look at our free Green Home Choice Certification program page to learn more.

Stay safe, take care of each other, and let’s take it one day at a time. We’re all in this together!

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