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by ARLnow.com Sponsor September 16, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

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. This post focuses on the Greater Arlington Solar Co-op, open for Arlington and other Northern Virginia residents interested in purchasing solar at a discount by the October 1 deadline. Got a question? Email us at [email protected]!

More and more Arlingtonians are considering solar power for their home. It’s a great way to slash your energy bill, your carbon footprint and your dependence on the electric grid.

But like any major purchase it’s hard to know if you’re getting a good price or what questions to ask.

If that sounds like your experience, we can help! You can go solar at up to a 20 percent discount with the Greater Arlington Solar Co-op.

To get started, visit the co-op website by the October 1 deadline for a no-obligation roof screening. You can also attend the final information session to learn more.

  • Final info session: Thursday, September 21, 6:30 p.m., Key Elementary, 2300 Key Blvd, Arlington. RSVP here.
  • Sign-up deadline: October 1

Over 80 Arlingtonians have already gone solar using co-ops like this, and solar has never been cheaper. Systems cost less than half of what they would have just five years ago and the federal tax credit offers a 30 percent discount in addition to the co-op discount.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor September 2, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

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. Got a question? Email us at [email protected]!

Tuesday marks the official start to school here in Arlington for teachers and students.  Schools, sustainability, and learning go hand in hand. We want to celebrate APS’s commitment to sustainability and this new school year with a few energy fun facts.  How many of these did you know?

  1. Arlington built a Net Zero Energy school. That means that the building creates as much energy as it uses in a year. No joke! Discovery Elementary is very energy efficient and has rooftop solar to generate electricity.
  2. Energy is learning. Discover Elementary has an online energy dashboard that shows real-time energy generation of the solar array and building energy use, and is used as a learning tool.
  3. The Earth heats and cools Discovery, Wakefield and Taylor. Geothermal wells drilled hundreds of feet into the ground use the Earth’s constant temperature to reduce heating and cooling costs.
  4. Wakefield water is heated by the sun. Solar thermal panels on the roof heat water for school use. Feel the sun’s warmth the next time you wash your hands at Wakefield.
  5. New LED lights shine brightly in the Thomas Jefferson Gym. Next time you are at the TJ gymnasium, look up. The new LED lights save about $45,000 annually and will have a payback of less than 4 years.
  6. Arlington currently has 5 LEED certified schools (Langston-Brown, Reed-Westover, Wakefield, Washington-Lee and Yorktown). LEED Schools are more energy and water efficient, and create healthy environments for learning. Every high school in Arlington is LEED certified.
  7. Daylight is thoughtfully integrated into new schools. Daylight in classrooms saves energy. Daylight in classrooms has also been shown to improve test scores and reduce off-task behavior.
  8. White roofs and vegetated roofs create cooler school environments.  Many schools feature environmentally responsible “cool” roofs.  Think about the temperature difference of an asphalt parking lot and grassy field.
  9. An abundance of bike racks available at schools. Bike racks aren’t new, but the number of covered bike racks has increased significantly.  Biking to school reduces transportation energy use and is great exercise.
  10. Stormwater is captured for irrigation and toilet flushing. Have you noticed the large planted area at Wakefield’s front door? This area captures roof rainwater which is filtered and stored for use in toilet flushing and field irrigation. This saves water and reduces that amount of energy used to treat and pump water for school use.
  11. BYOWB — Bring Your Own Water Bottle. New water bottle filling stations minimize the need for single-use water bottles and reduce the energy needed to produce and transport bottled water.

Welcome back. Have a great year students and teachers!

by ARLnow.com Sponsor August 19, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

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. Got a question? Email us at [email protected]!

On Monday, August 21, a total eclipse of the sun will be visible across the entire continental United States for the first time in almost 40 years. When the sun isn’t blocked, it offers a terrific, carbon-free source of power. Here are two things to know about solar in Arlington:

  1. Join the Greater Arlington Solar Co-op. More than 80 homeowners have installed solar with this co-op over the past two years, more than doubling the number of systems in Arlington. You can start with a free, no-obligation roof screening by visiting the co-op website before the October 1 deadline. You’ll also learn how you can save around 20 percent on the cost of a system, reduce your energy bills and help make Arlington a more sustainable community.
  2. Discovery Elementary is Arlington’s first net-zero energy school. That means that it creates as much power as it uses on an annual basis. This is due to its energy-efficient design and their massive rooftop solar installation. We’ll be watching the Discovery Elementary Energy Dashboard during the eclipse. As you may know, even a partial eclipse causes a significant decrease in the amount of solar power generated by solar cells. The 80 percent totality will occur at 2:32 pm. Will we see an 80 percent correlated decrease in power generation? Check the dashboard to find out after the eclipse!

Here is a link to Discovery’s Live Energy Dashboard

by ARLnow.com Sponsor August 5, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

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. Got a question? Email us at [email protected]!

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.

As of July 2017, we’ve added duct sealing to Arlington’s Home Energy Rebate program.  That means that you can get up to $575 to seal your ducts.

How much of a difference in home heating and cooling efficiency do you think duct sealing makes? According to the EPA, 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.

All of these holes and cracks mean that 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 that air may be sucked 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 duct work isn’t visible because it is 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 will make sure that your air is healthier, your home is more evenly cooled and heated, and your HVAC system won’t have to work as hard.

Learn more about home energy rebates:  https://environment.arlingtonva.us/energy/rebates/

Have questions?  Email us at [email protected]

by ARLnow.com Sponsor July 22, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

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. Got a question? Email us at [email protected]!

You read that correctly, 9 out 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.

People don’t see insulation so they don’t think about it. They see windows and doors so they think about those items more. The reality is that insulation has a significantly greater impact on the average home’s energy use and comfort than windows or doors.

Arlington’s Home Energy Rebates have helped nearly 500 households save energy, money, and increase comfort over the past year. You can receive up to $575 to add insulation and air seal your home.

Unsure where to start? Check out this list of participating Program vendors. Give an insulation contractor a call today to get an estimate. The sooner you take action the more comfortable your home will be.

POLL: What would motivate you to insulate your home?

by ARLnow.com Sponsor July 1, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

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. Got a question? Email us at [email protected]!

Arlingtonians have more options than ever to declare their independence from high energy use this summer, and to save money all year. The July 4 holiday is a great time to relax, reflect and rethink.

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

Enjoy the holiday!

by ARLnow.com Sponsor June 17, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

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. This post focuses on the Greater Arlington Solar Co-op, currently open for Arlington and other Northern Virginia residents interested in purchasing solar at a discount.  Got a question? Email us at [email protected]!

Summer is just about here and all across Arlington, people have reemerged from winter hibernation.

Our neighborhoods and neighbors are the heart of what make Arlington such a great place to live. Every week, any given corner of Arlington will be abuzz with a block party.

A block party is an opportunity for neighbors to get together, play games, let kids run about, learn a bit about your community history and just connect.

As popular as block parties are, they provide more than a good time; personal recommendations from neighbors are coveted.  Who uses which home contractor? Painter? Auto body shop? Pest control? We would like to share some information with you as you connect this spring, summer and fall.

When you get a block party permit this year, ask for a free Block Party Go Pack. Each kit includes ~25 cozies (R-value for your beverage!), along with information about Arlington’s green home renovation program, solar co-op and home energy rebates.

If your upstairs is roasting hot in the summer, if your utility bills are very high, if someone on your block has solar panels, if you’ve seen a Green Home Choice sign in a neighbor’s yard – don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation. You too could be more comfortable and save money with a smart energy upgrade.

Kick your feet up, connect with neighbors and let us help you get the conversation started as you celebrate community, summer and great neighbors.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor June 10, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

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. This post focuses on the Greater Arlington Solar Co-op, currently open for Arlington and other Northern Virginia residents interested in purchasing solar at a discount.  Got a question? Email us at [email protected]!

The county’s commitment to address climate change is nothing short of a commitment to save money, do our part to leave a lighter footprint on the planet and care for Arlington’s future generations.

ARLnow previously reported on the county’s pledge to uphold the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. The Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy program helps our community make smart decisions about energy and supports individual actions that improve and sustain Arlington’s quality of life.

This year, the Rethink Energy team is celebrating 10 years of climate action. Over the past 10 years, this program has helped spur energy and money savings throughout the community, and the county government is now saving about $1 million a year from energy- and water-saving improvements in public facilities.

Big or small, every action makes a difference and we see Arlingtonians taking action every day. What can you do? Take advantage of these resources to reduce energy use and your carbon footprint, while saving a few bucks in the process:

by ARLnow.com Sponsor May 20, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

Have you been thinking about a home renovation, expansion, or new construction in 2017?  How about making it “green?”

More than 250 Arlingtonians have used Green Home Choice to help make their homes energy efficient, healthy, and comfortable. Green Home Choice is a county program that offers free consulting and certification for renovation projects and new home construction.

This year the county honored the homeowners, architects, and builders of 55 Green Home Choice certified homes. 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.

Congratulations to the homeowners, architects and builders that are helping to create more sustainable and healthy homes. Photos above note the projects that achieved certification this past year.

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]

by ARLnow.com Sponsor April 29, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A 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. This post focuses on the Greater Arlington Solar Co-op, currently open for Arlington and other Northern Virginia residents interested in purchasing solar at a discount.  Got a question? Email us at [email protected]!

Most of us have probably thought, or dreamed, about going solar. It’s a great way to slash your energy bill, your carbon footprint and your dependence on the electric grid. But like any major purchase it’s hard to know if you’re getting a good price or what questions to ask.

If that sounds like your experience, you’re in luck! For a limited time, you can go solar at a 20 percent discount through the Greater Arlington Solar Co-op. You’ll also have the support of the solar community to guide you through the process.

Solar has never been cheaper. Systems cost less than half of what they would have just five years ago and the federal tax credit offers an 30 percent discount in addition to the co-op discount.

Over 80 Arlingtonians have already gone solar using co-ops like this. To get started, visit the co-op website for a no-obligation roof screening (you’ll provide your information using a form near the bottom of the site), and/or attend an information session to learn more:

  • First info session: Wednesday, May 10, 7 p.m., Navy League Building, 2300 Wilson Blvd, Arlington. RSVP here.
  • Second info session: Thursday, May 11, 7 p.m., The Pavilion at Mark Center, 5708 Merton Court, Alexandria. RSVP here.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor April 22, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A 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. Got a question? Email us at [email protected]!

It’s Earth Day and this marks our 40th post on ARLnow.  The Rethink Energy Program is Arlington County’s energy management program. Saving energy means saving money.

We offer a number of program and resources to help you save energy and money:

Arlingtonians continue to lead on actions that leave a lighter footprint on our plant and your wallet. Please stop by and see us at the Home Show & Garden Expo with your energy questions or email us at [email protected].

Happy Earth Day!

by ARLnow.com Sponsor April 15, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

Arlington’s Home Show and Garden Expo will return this month on April 22. It’s a convenient way to learn about remodeling, greening, and improving your home.

One of the most popular features of every Home Show are the free classes and workshops offered to visitors. This year the Home Show and Garden Expo falls on Earth Day.  The Main Stage will feature talks about:

The Future of Personal Energy Use           11:30 a.m.

Arlington’s Solar Co-op                                  3:00 p.m.

Green Home Choice Awards                        3:45 p.m.

Attend the Expo and free events at the Main Stage.  We’ll be giving away free LED bulbs to attendees of the sessions noted above.  While you are at the Expo, look for the Rethink Energy booth.  We’ll have info on LED lighting, home energy rebates and more.  Stop by with your energy questions.  We’d love to help you save energy and money.

The Expo is being held from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center (3501 2nd Street S.).

A full list of classes and workshops is available online.

 

by ARLnow.com Sponsor April 8, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A 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. Got a question? Email us at [email protected]!

There is no better place in Arlington to get started on your home project or move it forward faster than at Arlington’s Home Show and Garden Expo. For many Arlingtonians, a home renovation is almost a rite of passage.

Arlington’s largest Home Show & Garden Expo will return this month on April 22. 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:

  • Move or remodel? Which is right for me?
  • Kitchen and bath remodeling
  • How to choose and work with contractors
  • How to finance your remodeling project
  • Green remodeling, solar co-op, green home certification
  • Downsizing and aging in place
  • Gardening and urban landscaping

Stop by and check it out.  Arlington’s Rethink Energy team will be there all day.  We’d love to see you and answer your energy questions!

The Expo is being held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center (3501 2nd Street S).

For more information, visit: www.arlingtonhomeshow.org

by ARLnow.com Sponsor March 25, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

Rethink Energy fridge recycle get paid

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A 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. Got a question? Email us at [email protected]!

If your old second fridge or freezer is putting a freeze on efficiency, why not get rid of it and receive a $50 rebate at the same time? Act now — applications for rebates must be submitted before May 31, 2017!

The way people save energy with air conditioning or heating, is by using it less, but that isn’t really an option with your refrigerator.

The best way to save money with your fridge or freezer is to get rid of an older model, particularly if you have a second appliance located in a basement or garage. This program targets second appliances to take them out of circulation. Commonly referred to as a ‘beer fridge’ these older units aren’t just a little less efficient, they are WAY LESS EFFICIENT. A 1986 vintage 18 cubic foot refrigerator uses 1400 kWh a year, while a new ENERGY STAR model uses only 350 kWh — a whopping 75% difference!

Dominion Virginia Power (DVP) is conducting a refrigerator and freezer roundup that will pay you to take away and recycle your old second appliance. You don’t have to lift a finger and they will pay you $50. Not a bad deal, right?

As with anything, terms and conditions apply. The appliances must be between 10-30 cubic feet in size, older than 10 years, and be in working order. Please visit the program website to review all information and to register.

Act now! The program will no longer accept applications after May 31, 2017. If you’ve been thinking of getting rid of your second fridge or freezer, there is no easier way to do it and get paid. They’ll even come and haul it out of your basement.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor March 11, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A 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. Got a question? Email us at [email protected]!

We often hear residents describe drafty rooms, high utility bills, temperature fluctuations from room to room, or other home energy headaches. If these issues sound familiar, an energy audit will be the best way to pinpoint opportunities to cut your energy bill and improve your home’s comfort.

Who should I call? We recommend that residents use a BPI certified auditor. These highly trained energy specialists ensure that your energy auditor will be knowledgeable and well trained. Search here for an auditor in the area.

How much money can I expect to save? Every home is unique. The audit will provide you with a detailed report that explains how much air leakage you have along with a prioritized list of actions you can take. Each proposed action will include an estimated financial payback. Payback also comes in less tangible ways like a more comfortable and safer home.

Remember, the home energy audit is only the first step to cutting your energy bills. Making the recommended energy efficiency upgrades is what leads to real energy savings.

You can pair your audit with our Home Energy Rebates, which gives you up to $575 to use for air seal, insulation, or to install high efficiency water heaters and heating & cooling equipment.

If you clicked anything but Just right, consider an energy audit or using the Home Energy Rebate program to insulate and air seal this spring. You’ll be thankful you did when the summer heat arrives.

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