Arlington, VA

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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Climate change reports and impacts are serious.

While global leaders differ on what to do, homeowners in the U.S. are taking advantage of the last big solar federal tax credit to act. You can too.

If you’ve been thinking about solar, now is the time to take action.

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 and in 2022 and beyond, it won’t be available for homeowners at all.

More than 160 homeowners have participated 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.

Get started by providing some basic information on the website. Folks interested in solar will receive a no-obligation roof screening.

Attend an info session to ask questions, get answers and learn about the process:

  • Thursday, June 27
    6:30 p.m.
    Arlington Central Library
    1015 N. Quincy Street
    Click here to RSVP
  • Wednesday, July 24
    7:30 p.m.
    Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church
    2700 South 19th Street
    Click here to RSVP
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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 need your input to help refine the draft Community Energy Plan.

Ask questions, get answers and make your voice heard. If you care about climate action and Arlington’s sustainability journey, this event is for you! Snacks will be provided.

Please join use at Central Library this Tuesday!

Community Energy Plan Open House:

Date: June 4
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Location: Central Library Auditorium

Our lives are increasingly reliant on ever more energy. Air conditioning and heating, lighting, electric cars, tablets and smart phones, TVs and game consoles, and so much more. Energy is a key enabler of humanity’s progress.

It is also linked to global greenhouse gas increases and associated impacts that were recently detailed in the latest UN Climate Report.

The Rethink Energy program is Arlington’s climate action program and is moving the needle on energy efficiency, solar power, green building and more.

Why do we need a Community Energy Plan?

Arlington’s Community Energy Plan was first adopted in 2013. In the same way that Arlington’s smart growth journey was built upon land-use planning and transit, energy planning is the critical next layer to support Arlington’s evolution as a sustainable community.

Arlington County is updating the Community’s Energy Plan. This Plan is ambitious in its scope, but practical in its aims. Residents and businesses can expect a variety of benefits as we work to finalize this long-term plan:

  • Reducing energy costs that will save residents and businesses money
  • Generating energy locally with the use of renewables and other technologies
  • Reaching our carbon reduction goals by 2050

Please join us on June 4 at the Community Energy Plan Open House!

The draft Community Energy Plan update can be found here. An executive summary of the proposed changes can be found here.

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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.

Spring has sprung!

Mark your calendar for the 2019 Green Home & Garden Tour to get inspiration from some of Arlington’s most beautiful and environmentally-friendly homes and gardens.

The tour is sponsored by Arlington County’s Office of Sustainability and Environmental Management, EcoAction Arlington and the Virginia Cooperative Extension.

Many of these homes have participated in Arlington’s Green Home ChoiceStormwaterWise and Solar Co-op programs.

This 17th annual tour offers ideas to go green in your own home and includes a mixture of new green homes, green renovations and watershed-friendly gardens. See homes featuring energy efficient technologies, solar energy, water-saving technologies, native plants, wildlife habitat and more.

The tour booklet with addresses and descriptions of homes will be emailed to registrants starting on Wednesday, May 29.

What: The 17th Annual Green Home and Garden Tour

When: June 2, 1-5 p.m., rain or shine

Where: Various sites throughout the County.

The fee to register for the tour is $5. Please register online by noon on Friday, May 31 for the tour. After that, you can register onsite at Arlington Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy Street, Arlington on Sunday, June 2 from 12:30-3 p.m.

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