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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.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — February 25, 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]!

Buying a light bulb used to be a no-brainer. Now it’s a brain teaser — the transition to more energy-efficient lighting means choosing from a dazzling array of products. There are many options, many symbols, and trade vernacular that can be hard to decipher (LED, CFL, halogen, lumens, Kelvin, CRI), not to mention all of the various brands.

The Rethink Energy Program in partnership with Arlington Public Library is making it easier for Arlingtonians to switch to LED bulbs. 

Now, with your Arlington County Library card you can borrow a case of various LED bulbs to test at home to find the ones that work best for you. The box includes 10 different lights. All of the bulbs in the box are dimmable.

Lights include:

  • Standard bulbs of different brightness levels and colors
  • Track lighting or recessed can fixture bulbs
  • Chandelier bulbs (small and regular base)
  • Outdoor flood light bulb
  • Bathroom vanity bulb
  • Three-Way bulb
  • Night light

If you are looking for the “Cliffs Notes” for LED bulbs, check out our LED Lighting guide.  This guide will give you all the info you need to know about LED brightness, color, energy use, and more. 

Use this link to place a hold on the LED bulb sampler kit today.

Want a free LED? Mark you calendar for the Home Show and Garden Expo on April 22 at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center for a free LED bulb. Bulbs will be given out at the main stage at 3:45 p.m., during the Green Home Choice awards ceremony.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — February 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]!

Valentine’s day is almost upon us. To celebrate, we’re sharing a thermal camera video of fresh strawberries dipped into hot melty chocolate. 

A year ago the Energy Lending Library was created by the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy (AIRE) in partnership with Arlington Public Library. The lending library included 4 thermal cameras. Was anyone interested? The answer was a resounding YES! There was an immediate 7-month backlog to use the cameras. 

The Rethink Energy Program added 7 more cameras to help ease demand but the backlog persisted. Residents expressed that the wait list was still too long to use the cameras. WE HEARD YOU!  Later this month we are again doubling (12 more) the number of thermal cameras in the library system (23 total).

Thermal imaging cameras are a great tool because they can see what your eyes can’t. You’ll see hot and cold spots where insulation is missing, identify where air is getting in or out of your house, and more.

Show your home some love and reserve a thermal camera today. Once the new cameras are put into the Library inventory you’ll be able to use them shortly.

If you spot energy opportunities in your home, don’t forget to take advantage of Arlington’s Home Energy Rebate Program!

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — January 28, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

New Administration 5 FINAL

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]!

Working for Arlington County on energy saving programs is an inherently optimistic, can-do experience. Arlingtonians take actions every day that create a positive future and more sustainable community. Together with residents, the Rethink Energy team works to develop programs that save both energy and money.

So, what does the new administration mean for Arlington’s energy future?

One week ago, a new administration took office in Washington, D.C. The White House outlines a fossil-fuel-focused energy platform, has questioned climate change, and has threatened to cancel US participation in the Paris Climate Agreement. As of yet, there are few specifics on a long-term energy policy or clean energy tax credit changes.

What we do know about energy in Arlington is that the County Board approved Arlington’s Community Energy Plan in 2013. This plan, created with residents, established a long-term vision to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Arlington by 75% by the year 2050. That goal transcends election and budget cycles. It sets the course for ongoing programs to help meet the goal. Planning for the future and then following through on our commitments is one of the things Arlington does best.

Over the past year, Arlingtonians led with the following energy-focused actions:

  • 50+ homeowners installed solar panels on their roofs
  • 200 homeowners received Home Energy Rebates for installing insulation, energy efficient heating/cooling systems, and water heaters
  • 50+ Homes earned Green Home Choice certification (bringing the total up to 250+ Green Home Choice certified projects in Arlington)
  • Thousands of residents took countless actions — big and small – to reduce energy use and save money

At the New Year’s Board meeting, the County Board emphasized many of the ideals that make Arlington great. Jay Fisette, Arlington County Board Chair, outlined his commitment to encourage net-zero energy in new public buildings, large solar arrays on public buildings, and to be the first locality in Virginia to establish a PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) program to assist commercial property owners in financing energy and water retrofits.

At this time of great change, Arlingtonians have never had so many opportunities to act and make a difference.

Here are some things that you can do right now:

  1. Connect on Facebook and via our eNewsletter to get updates on programs, events, and tips
  2. Apply for a Home Energy Rebate of up to $575 per household
  3. Renovate or build your home with our Green Home Choice Program
  4. Install Solar with our upcoming 2017 solar co-op
  5. Use the Energy Lending Library’s tools (thermal cameras and box of bulbs)
  6. Listen to our Rethink Energy Podcast

There’s so much to do and Arlingtonians continue to lead the way. The Rethink Energy team is here to assist and we’ll keep working to help you to create a positive climate of change in Arlington. 

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — January 14, 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]!

The Rethink Energy Program is rolling out new programs this year, hosting exciting events, and serving you up with tips and info to save energy, save money, and be more comfortable in your home.

If you take only two action today, we ask that you:

Be the first to know! In February, we’ll launch via our newsletter and Facebook page, new events and tools that residents can use to save

This New Year we resolve to help you save money, be more comfortable in your home, and leave a lighter footprint on the environment. We hope you will resolve to let us help you make it cheaper and easier than ever to save energy by taking two simple actions today, like and sign up.

*We dislike spam too. We promise to send no more than one email per month.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — December 17, 2016 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]!

Snow cometh! 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 of snow is best to identify issues. Fast-melting roof snow can be a symptom of inadequate insulation.

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.

Take advantage of Arlington’s Home Energy Rebates to help make your home more comfortable and save money. Arlington homeowners can receive a rebate up to $575 to add insulation, air seal, or install an efficient furnace or water heater.

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

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — December 3, 2016 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]!

Building experts are on the leading edge of energy innovation. The Rethink Energy podcast gets up close and personal with some of our local trendsetters to learn what makes them tick.

In episode one, guest Chris Conway confesses his challenge breaking into the construction market at the height of the Great Recession, “Boy, that was a bad time to do that!” forcing his switch to energy.

Episode three guest Patty Shields shares her experience building ultra-efficient homes, and when asked what it’s like be a woman in the primarily male construction biz she reveals, “People are surprised at my level of knowledge… and you just have to not let that phase you and just plow on through.”

In episode four, Guest Aaron Sutch from VASUN, a nonprofit that organizes solar co-ops around the state, talks about why he thinks people are so in love with solar, “I think the garden analogy is great. I remember the first time that I ate the tomatoes that I had sprouted from seed right in my own backyard. There’s just something special about that.” He expressed that electricity produced at home with solar panels has the same feeling.

Host Jessica Abralind, Green Building Planner for Arlington, breaks down technical subjects to keep the quick 10 minute episodes engaging and accessible, “These really smart and charming people that I meet through my work have some hilarious stories and fascinating insights into the world we all live in. I’m excited to share that with the community.”

Take a few minutes and (binge) listen to all episodes from our entire first season:

Season One Trailer

Episode 1 – Warrior

Episode 2 – Hoodwinked

Episode 3 – Construction, Moms (…and Machine Guns)

Episode 4 – Power to the People

Episode 5 – This is What the Future Looks Like

Episode 6 – Care and Feeding

Episode 7 – Feedback Episode

Episode 8 – The Unexpected Benefits of Energy Efficiency

Episode 9 – The Gadget Guy

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — November 19, 2016 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]!

December is just around the corner, and so is the expiration for some of the federal tax credits for energy efficiency. In fact, December 31, 2016 will be the last day you can use federal tax credits to make your home more energy efficient — and save yourself some hard-earned cash by reducing your monthly energy costs this winter.

Products must be installed in an existing home or your principal residence on or before December 31, 2016 — so don’t delay.

If you upgrade your heating/cooling system, install insulation, seal air leaks and/or replace your water heater, you can double your savings by combining the Federal Tax Credits with Arlington’s Home Energy Rebates.

Federal Tax Credits + Arlington’s Home Energy Rebates + Lower Utility Bills + Better Home Comfort = No Brainer

So, what are you waiting for? Contact an insulation specialist, HVAC installer or contractor to take action today and ring in the New Year with comfort and savings.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — November 5, 2016 at 12:00 pm 0

Lighten Up Arlington via Rethink Energy

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 no secret that fall is starting to surrender itself to winter. Not only have temperatures dropped, but thanks to Daylight Saving Time the sun is setting earlier and earlier. (Reminder – set your clocks back on 11/6!)  If you ride your bike, walk or run after 5 p.m., you will be doing it in the dark.

Don’t worry, BikeArlington, WalkArlington, and the Rethink Energy Program have your back! Two pop-up events are coming up to give you free LED bike lights, LED light bulbs, and reflective vests. Help us help you to be seen by other road and trail users and to light your home. LED lighting info will also be provided to help you make a switch to more efficient lighting at home.

Lighten Up Arlington will take place from 4:30-7 p.m.:

November 7 — Rosslyn Bike-o-Meter (Intersection of the Custis Trail & Lynn Street)

November 9 — Columbia Pike (Intersection of the W&OD Trail & Columbia Pike)

Stop by, get lit, don some snazzy gear to see and be seen, and make a switch to LED lighting at home.

Did you know?

  • Daylight saving time was an idea to conserve energy by using the sun’s light instead of candles or oil.
  • Benjamin Franklin takes the honor (blame?) for the idea.
  • In 1918 the United States adopted daylight saving time.
  • Hawaii, Arizona and parts of Indiana don’t observe daylight saving time.
  • Parents dread time changes because the shift messes with their children’s sleep cycle.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — October 22, 2016 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]!

  1. Energy vampires are in all of our homes.
  2. They suck (energy), not just on Oct. 31, but year round.
  3. Easily identify and stop them (no garlic or wooden stake necessary).

Halloween is just around the corner. Do you have vampires lurking in your home?

YES! Energy vampires exist in all of our homes! Believe it or not, many electronics use energy while they are switched off or are in standby mode. They’re called “energy vampires” because they suck energy, the lifeblood of your home, year round.

The typical American home has 40 devices that are continuously sucking power. It’s only a small amount of power per house but it adds up. Some of the main energy-sucking culprits in the home are your computer printer, DVD player, laptop, coffee maker, TV, stereo system, game console, microwave oven, or cell phone charger. Many culprits have lights that continue to operate after the appliance is turned off.

Arlington County Library can help! They have Kill-A-Watt devices available for checkout. These devices show what is sucking energy at your house, how much, and what it is costing you. This is fun for kids and adults (school science experiment — hint hint).

How to stop energy vampires:

  • Unplug devices when not in use.
  • Plug your devices into a power strip and turn the strip off when not in use.
  • Buy ENERGYSTAR appliances.
  • Activate sleep mode instead of a screen saver on your computer.

Saving energy and money is a treat you can enjoy all year long. If you’re interested in achieving deeper energy savings, check out our Home Energy Rebates. You can receive up to $575 to reduce your energy use.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — October 8, 2016 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]!

Sustainability through storytelling. That is what you can expect from Rethink Energy’s new podcast. Energy is invisible. But then again, it can be seen almost everywhere. Rethink Energy makes the invisible visible with stories from the people who take on some of our greatest energy challenges, right here in Arlington. 

These podcasts are packaged in 8-10 minute bits. Listen while riding the metro, bus, or while walking home from work.

Some highlights:

  • In episode 5, we learn why Arlington Public Schools went through the trouble of building a net-zero energy school. Take a behind-the-scenes tour of Discovery Elementary School. “Our electric bills are basically zero,” says APS construction manager, Steve Stricker.
  • In episode three, Patty Shields explains what a novelty she is being a woman in the home builder arena, “It is fairly unique. There are not a lot of women home builders. I can count them on one hand not using a lot of those fingers. I really only know two.” When asked if she was one of those two she replies, “I am. I want to beef up the numbers so that other women will get into it!” She opens up about her experiences building the first LEED Platinum house in Arlington, and the first Passive House.
  • Other episodes look into Arlington’s solar co-op, home insulation and air sealing, heating and cooling, and more!

Each podcast episode opens a door to new ideas, new jokes, and new ways of seeing Arlington. Take a few minutes to (binge) listen and check out the episodes from our first season:

Podcast Teaser – LINK

All episodes – LINK

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