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.

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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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.

Arlingtonians are passionate about their trees and many are concerned about our tree canopy. We are, too!

Trees help our community in myriad ways. They keep us cool and shaded, soak up stormwater, support local wildlife and much more. We aren’t going out on a limb when we say there is a direct connection between trees and energy. Planting the right trees in the right places can keep your house and community cooler in the summer and reduce your energy bills.

Trees cast shade on buildings and pavement, lowering the temperatures and reducing the need for electricity to cool buildings during the summer.

Get a free shade tree planted in your yard without lifting a finger.

In 2009 the Tree Canopy Fund (TCF), was launched after Arlington County Board approval in 2007 with the goals of arresting the decline and restoring and increasing the County’s tree cover over time.

Administered by EcoAction Arlington and the Arlington County Urban Forestry Commission (UFC), the fund provides grants to individuals and community groups to plant trees on private property. More than 1,200 trees have been planted since the program started.

Click to learn more about the trees available and to fill out the application.

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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 renovations are almost a rite of passage in Arlington.

There’s no better way to get started on your home project than visiting Arlington’s Home Show and Garden Expo. Arlington’s largest Home Show & Garden Expo will return this month on April 27.

The Home Show will feature dozens of home builders, contractors, vendors, architects, inspectors, real estate agents, gardeners, lenders and nonprofits, as well as housing, zoning and inspection representatives from Arlington County.

Classes and seminars at the Home Show cover many topics including:

  • Green kitchen and bath remodeling
  • Move or remodel? Which is right for me?
  • Green remodeling, solar co-op, green home certification
  • How to choose and work with contractors
  • How to finance your remodeling project
  • Downsizing and aging in place
  • Edible landscaping and home gardening
  • Energy smart landscaping lighting solutions

Arlington’s Rethink Energy team will be there all day. We’ll have info on our green home renovation or new constructionsolar co-op and more.

Stop by with your energy questions. We’re here to help you save energy and money.

The Expo is being held from 10-4 p.m. on Saturday, April 27, at the Kenmore Middle School, 200 S. Carling Springs Road.

For more info, visit: http://arlingtonhomeshow.org/

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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.

Congratulations to the homeowners, architects and builders who were honored at the recent Green Home Choice certification ceremony. Thank you for helping to create a more sustainable Arlington one project at a time!

More than 335 Arlingtonians have used Green Home Choice to make their homes energy efficient, healthy and comfortable. Green Home Choice is a county program that offers free sustainability consulting and certification for renovation projects and new home construction.

Green Home Choice projects go beyond just creating an energy efficient home. They include water efficiency, indoor air quality, waste reduction, stormwater management, tree and site preservation and more, resulting in a more cost efficient, environmentally friendly and comfortable place to live

Homeowners living in new Green Home Choice homes save about $1,600 per year on their utility bills compared to other Arlington homes of the same size. Green Home Choice renovation projects save approximately $600 per year.

Have you been thinking about a home renovation, expansion or new construction in 2019? A full list of builders, architects and other Green Home Choice service providers is available online.

For more information about the program, visit the Green Home Choice website or contact the program manager at [email protected].

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