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.

Here on the Rethink Energy team, we are big fans of all modes of transit that eliminate single occupant vehicles. Walking, biking, scooting and public transit are all amazing.

Still, we’ve got to get from where we are to where we need to go sometimes with kids, to pick something up or otherwise — and we need a car to do it.

More and more electric cars are popping up in Arlington. The electrification of transportation is a key piece of reaching Arlington’s goal of carbon neutrality.

Electric cars now drive farther, charge faster and come in nearly every price range. Maintenance is simpler and cheaper. Just imagine no oil changes — ever! “Refueling” is as simple as plugging into an electrical outlet, and you’ll spend less than you do on gasoline to charge your vehicle.

Charging stations continue to pop up in Arlington, and incentives are available to help reduce the cost of your electric vehicle (EV) purchase.

Learn about charging, incentives, and more on our Drive Electric Arlington webpage.

EV Fun Facts:

  • The first electric vehicle was created in 1832, and Thomas Edison worked on an electric car battery in 1899. In the early 1900s, New York City taxis were primarily electric.
  • The longer you own your EV, the cleaner it is to use. Unlike gasoline vehicles that degrade in fuel efficiency over time, EVs use electricity from the electric grid that is getting cleaner all of the time with the addition of renewable energy sources of power like solar and wind.
  • If you install solar on your home, you essentially own a “gas station” for your EV. You’ll be driving on sunshine!
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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.

On Earth Day — April 22, the Biden administration is holding a global climate summit as more than 300 corporate leaders ask the Biden administration to take additional actions to address climate change.

As our schools, businesses, restaurants and the world head toward a “return to normal,” there is no going back to business-as usual.

COVID-19 reminds us that global action is possible to address and mitigate dire threats. 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.

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

Working with residents and businesses, the Rethink Energy team remains committed to addressing climate change to create a carbon-neutral Arlington along with 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.

Happy Earth Day, Arlington!

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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.

If COVID has shown us anything, it’s that collective action is possible to address a global issue. As the COVID vaccine rolls out, we are watching history being made in so many ways.

On the topic of global collaboration, for the first time, Arlington County is joining a group of other D.C. area local governments to form the Capital Area Solar Co-op.

Launched on April 1, 2021 (no joke), this regional Solar Co-op opportunity will be available from now until the end of August 2021 for residents all over the Capital Area!

It can be hard to find positives amid the chaos of COVID-19, but there is one silver lining. The lockdown has slowed climate change: cutting fossil fuel use, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Unfortunately, this decline in emissions is already reversing.

We as a community and a region have an opportunity to take action now to change the trajectory of the future. Installing solar is one way to directly decarbonize or clean the electric grid, eliminate your dependence on fossil fuels, and even turn your house into a ‘gas station’ if you own or buy an electric car.

More than 230 Arlington homeowners have already participated in the County’s Solar and Electric Vehicle Charger Co-op. The cooperative helps residents, small businesses and non-profit organizations buy solar and electric vehicle (EV) chargers at a discounted price through bulk purchasing. The cooperative 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.

Take advantage of the federal residential solar and electric vehicle charger tax credits. This year the residential tax credits are 26% for solar and 30% (up to $1,000) for electric vehicle chargers. Business tax credits are also available.

This is a great time to learn more about solar, electric vehicle charging and solar battery storage and help our community reach carbon neutral by 2050.

Below are dates for the upcoming virtual info sessions. Click below to RSVP for the date and time that works best for you:

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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 real estate market is very tight. A recent Ask Eli column about housing supply notes, “Single-family homes in Arlington hit an all-time low for Months of Supply in December and January.” 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?
More than 350 Arlingtonians have already used Green Home Choice, a FREE county program to help you make their 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 $1,600 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.

Do you live and breathe renewable energy and energy efficiency? Do you have a keen community commitment, a brain for scaled sustainability programs and the experience that proves it?

Does the idea of completely transforming the way energy is generated, transported and stored (with an expert team that loves this, too) excite you? If so, we have the perfect job for you!

Come join our dedicated and fun-loving team to create a carbon-neutral Arlington.

The Office of Sustainability and Environmental Management (OSEM) within the Department of Environmental Services is seeking a highly skilled technical and programmatic Energy Program Manager with an entrepreneurial sense of emerging energy markets and technologies to strategically lead climate and energy efficiency renewable programs.

The OSEM operates as Arlington County’s core agency for climate mitigation and adaptation programs and a growing portfolio of cross-departmental and community-facing energy programs. Additionally, Arlington County adopted and updated the Community Energy Plan (CEP) 2019, which reflects the climate, energy and social will of its citizens and businesses. The CEP sets defined goals for renewable energy resourcing and arriving at a carbon-neutral community, integrates emerging technologies in the transportation and storage sectors, creates a pathway toward energy resilience, and introduces energy equity into policy and program design.

Specific duties include:

  • Providing technical assistance and strategic planning to the climate and energy programs, which address the broader community greenhouse gas reduction goals
  • Leading strategic design and development of energy efficiency and renewable energy programs and projects with an emphasis on performance and cost-effectiveness
  • Planning and implementing strategies for county operations to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2025
  • Organizing utility contract specifications, developing work scopes for energy efficiency projects, and participating in negotiations related to energy efficiency, clean transportation and renewable energy projects
  • Determining and assessing opportunities for on-site renewable installations at government sites and facilities
  • Developing, managing, and implementing energy programs and initiatives to reduce the county’s energy consumption
  • Developing scopes of work for energy efficiency projects, including energy performance contracts, budgets, and timelines for projects, and performing return on investment analyses
  • Conducting regular reviews of energy monitoring, including utility bill payments, account review activities, and providing energy-related input into the design and operation of county facilities
  • Supporting or leading grant project development application and execution
  • Communicating and improving complex energy concepts to staff, elected officials, and the public through verbal presentations, written memos, position papers, and board reports
  • Representing the county on regional and state-wide committees and participating in regional, interdepartmental, and community work groups on energy and sustainability issues
  • Addressing VA Assembly proposals and legislation and statewide utilities commission initiatives
  • Maintaining relationships with Dominion Energy and other utilities to enhance potential partnerships and future negotiations
  • Performing other duties as assigned

The successful candidate will possess:

Read 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.

More and more Arlingtonians are buying electric vehicles.

We know the majority of electric vehicle (EV) charging happens at home or work. But where do you charge when traveling around town?

If you have an electric vehicle or are considering an EV, the number of locations to charge continues to grow. Below is a map that shows areas around town that you can charge.

Bus, rail, bike and walking are always the preferred choice for travel around town, but if you have to use a car, electric vehicles are the way to go. Electric vehicles are the future (and present) of transportation.

Arlington is also striving to be carbon neutral by 2050, including using renewable electricity for the entire community by 2035. We’re shifting gears to renewable energy coupled with electric vehicles — a win-win.

Are you considering an EV? The apps below will steer you in the right direction to find EV charging stations. They are popping up faster than we can keep track of…

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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.

Snow may be falling again tonight and into tomorrow. Snow can be a useful tool. What can you know with snow? Try this!

As snow falls, keep an eye on your roof and the roofs of surrounding homes. A light snow can tell a lot about the efficiency of a home. About an inch or two of snow is best to identify issues. Fast-melting roof snow can be a symptom of inadequate insulation or poor air sealing.

Not all areas of missing snow are indications of energy issues. Hone your eye by taking note of tree limbs over a home, high winds and areas where direct sun may create funky patterns on a roof. Nevertheless, this is a quick way to take inventory of what might be happening in your home.

It isn’t a shock, though — 9 out of 10 homes in the U.S. are under-insulated. In homes across Arlington, poorly sealed and under-insulated attics are taking money out of homeowners’ pockets in the form of high utility bills.

Don’t suffer year after year with uncomfortable spaces in your home. In most cases, the fixes aren’t complex, and the cost will likely be less than you expect. You can also take advantage of the tax credit for insulation!

Are you unsure where to start? Do you have technical questions? Our Green Home Choice staff can help answer your questions and point you in the right direction.

For more information about how to insulate and air seal or about Green Home Choice, visit the Green Home Choice website at www.greenhomechoice.us or contact [email protected].

Stay warm, stay safe, and keep an eye on your roof. It might be trying to tell you something.

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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.

Community is the first and most important word in the Community Energy Plan.

We welcome your input on the draft Community Energy Plan Implementation Framework. This Framework will be used to implement the updated Community Energy Plan.

Join either of the two upcoming virtual public forums to have a conversation with staff and others in our community about the Community Energy Plan Goal Areas.

We want to hear your concerns, interests, reflections and perspective during these discussions. Your input will help shape Arlington’s energy future.

Goal areas include:

  • Buildings
  • Resilience
  • Renewables energy
  • Transportation
  • County government activities
  • Education and human behavior

Please RSVP below, and thank you in advance for joining us and for providing your input.

Monday, Jan. 25, 12-1 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 26, 7-8 p.m.

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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.

Late last year, the Arlington County Board 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 (CEP) include:

  • Set 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
  • Consider energy equity during implementation

County staff are working to finalize the Implementation Plan to reach CEP goals. We need your input on the draft Community Energy Plan Implementation Framework.

Visit the Implementation Framework engage page to provide your feedback. There, you’ll find background videos, additional information and a button at the bottom to provide input directly on the draft Implementation Framework.

Comments are being accepted until February 1, 2021.

Thank you for all of the community effort to update the Community Energy Plan.

We look forward to finalizing the Implementation Framework to help reach Arlington’s ambitious goals in the coming years.

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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.

Late last year, the Arlington County Board 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 (CEP) include:

  • Set 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
  • Consider energy equity during implementation

County staff are working hard to finalize the Implementation Plan to reach CEP goals. We need your input!

County staff seek your input on the draft Community Energy Plan Implementation Framework. This holiday break, take a few minutes to help shape Arlington’s energy future.

Visit the Implementation Framework engage page to provide your feedback.

There, you’ll find background videos, additional information and a button at the bottom to provide input directly on the draft Implementation Framework.

Thank you for all of the community effort to update the Community Energy Plan and create a climate of change in Arlington.

We look forward to finalizing the Implementation Framework to help reach Arlington’s ambitious goals in the coming years.

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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.

If you cool or heat your home with forced air through vents and duct returns, keep reading…

Duct sealing is a great way to improve home comfort, save money and improve indoor air quality. How much of a difference in-home heating and cooling efficiency do you think duct sealing makes? According to the EPA, it’s as much as 20 percent.

What’s the big issue with duct sealing? 

For starters, your air ducts are a vital part of your cooling and heating system. Metal on metal ductwork connections are never a perfect fit, and over time ductwork can separate, creating holes and cracks.

These holes and cracks mean your air conditioning or heating is likely blowing into your walls, crawl space and attic and are creating uneven temperatures in your home. It also means air may be pulled from your crawl space or attic into your home in your air duct returns. That isn’t the healthiest air to breathe.

What’s the fix? 

A technician can seal your ductwork where it is visible using an adhesive called mastic, coupled with professional-grade foil tape. Believe it or not, duct tape is never recommended. The technician will also check for disconnected or poorly connected ducts and reattach them.

Most ductwork isn’t visible because it’s behind your walls, in your attic and crawl space, or beneath floors. Sealing that part of your ductwork requires an aerosol-based product. This process seals your ducts from the inside out. It is the most effective way to seal your ducts. This video helps to detail the process.

Take the next step to home comfort and seal your ducts. It’ll ensure your air is healthier, your home is more evenly cooled and heated, and your HVAC system won’t have to work as hard.

Check out the contractors that participated previously in Arlington’s Home Energy Rebate Program and see who has done work in Arlington.

Have questions? Feel free to email us at [email protected].

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