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.

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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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’ve posted before about how to check if your attic insulation needs attention.

Home insulation and air sealing have 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. Plug into these ENERGY STAR how-to videos. This series provides attic insulation tips such as how to measure attic insulation, how to seal air leaks and learn why insulation is important.

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 before the end of the year!

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 Rule Your Attic or Green Home Choice, visit the Green Home Choice Website at www.greenhomechoice.us or contact [email protected]. Please contact us so we can help you take action today.

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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. Replace Your HVAC Filter (And Wear a Mask in Public): Your air filter is the access point for your HVAC system’s air flow, and the place that filters your home from allergens and dirt particles. If you don’t replace your air filter, it clogs up with excess dust. This reduces airflow, or increases resistance, which puts strain on your heating and cooling system. Replace your filter at least quarterly to make sure it’s not too dirty, or subscribe to a filter delivery service for a monthly reminder.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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. 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.

As we said in our last post, 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.

Now is a good time to double-check your rafters and attic space to ensure they are properly insulated against energy leakage.

To encourage Arlingtonians to take control over their high utility bills this heating season, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR program is promoting its annual “Rule Your Attic!” campaign.

Adding insulation and sealing air leaks in your attic can help you save up to $200 per year on your home’s annual energy bills and keep you more comfortable. You can also take advantage of the tax credit for insulation before the end of the year!

In addition to energy savings, other benefits to sealing and insulating include: reduced noise from outside; less pollen, dust and pests entering the home; and better humidity control.

Measure Your Insulation

This fall, take the first step to savings by measuring your attic’s insulation. This infographic from the EPA is a good guide to how much insulation your attic should have. If you can see the ceiling joists, you definitely don’t have enough insulation in your attic.

Seal and Insulate

If you determine your attic needs more insulation, install unfaced rolls or batts over the existing insulation; or rent a blower from a home center to blow loose fill insulation into the space.

While you’re in the attic, check for any leaks. Even if you have adequate attic insulation, sealing attic air leaks will enhance its performance and make your home more comfortable.

Common sources of air leaks:

  • Behind kneewalls
  • Attic entry hatch
  • Wiring holes
  • Plumbing vents
  • Open soffit (the boxes that house recessed lighting)
  • Recessed lights
  • Furnace flue or duct chaseways (the hollow box or wall feature that hides ducts)
  • Basement rim joists (where the foundation meets the wood framing)
  • Windows and doors

 

Additional Resources

Have more questions about insulation, air sealing or home renovations? Contact us at [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.

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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