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by ARLnow.com Sponsor April 21, 2018 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.   

Would you believe that energy and water use in Arlington has actually decreased in the past decade?!

This is despite 22,000 new residents and 20 million additional square feet of office and residential space in Arlington since 2007. Through smart planning and valuing sustainability, Arlington is demonstrating that growth can come without further impacting the environment.  

The LEED for Communities Platinum certification is validation that Arlington residents, businesses and government are committed to the community’s long-term economic, environmental and social sustainability.

Residents continue to lead on environmental-related actions. You can join the Arlingtonians that have already installed solar, completed a home retrofit project, or certified their green home. Learn more in the links below.

Managing growth is not a destination but a journey — one that Arlington County and Arlingtonians are committed to daily.

Learn more: https://environment.arlingtonva.us/earthday/

by ARLnow.com Sponsor April 14, 2018 at 12:15 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 Arlington Solar + EV Charging Co-op, currently open for Arlington and other Northern Virginia residents interested in purchasing solar or an electric vehicle charger at a discount. Got a question? Email us at [email protected]

Installing solar or purchasing an electric vehicle are both great ways to slash your carbon footprint and energy bill. 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 purchase a solar system or an electric vehicle charger for your home at a discount through the Arlington Solar + EV Charging Co-op. You’ll also have the support of experts to guide you through the process.

Solar systems cost less than half of what they would have just five years ago and you can make use of the 30% federal tax credit in addition to the co-op discount. Solar panels are becoming increasingly common place in Arlington. Over 100 residents have purchased panels through co-ops like these and a Solar Foundation study found Arlington was home to more solar jobs than any other county in the state.

Get started by providing some basic information on the website. Folks interested in solar will receive a no-obligation roof screening.

Attend the upcoming information session to learn more on May 2 at 6:30 pm in the Navy League building 2300 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA — RSVP here.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor April 7, 2018 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. 

Home renovations are almost a rite of passage in Arlington. Well, 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 14.

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?
  • 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
  • Edible landscaping and home gardening
  • Energy smart landscaping lighting solutions

Stop by and check it out. Arlington’s Rethink Energy team will be there all day. We’ll have info on LED lighting, home energy rebates, green home renovation or new construction, solar 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 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 14, at the Kenmore Middle School, 200 S. Carling Springs Road.

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

by ARLnow.com April 7, 2018 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. 

Home renovations are almost a rite of passage in Arlington. Well, 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 14.

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?
  • 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
  • Edible landscaping and home gardening
  • Energy smart landscaping lighting solutions

Stop by and check it out. Arlington’s Rethink Energy team will be there all day. We’ll have info on LED lighting, home energy rebates, green home renovation or new construction, solar 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 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 14, at the Kenmore Middle School, 200 S. Carling Springs Road.

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

by ARLnow.com Sponsor April 1, 2018 at 12:00 am 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. 

Arlingtonians are often on the leading edge of emerging technologies and trends. Early adopters, so to speak.

Starting this spring we are excited to announce the launch of our new Lunar Power Co-op. Previously, solar panels were only able to harness the power of the sun, meaning moon light was being wasted.

Now, new solar panel technology that incorporates solar capture and lunar capture technology will be able to capture sun AND moonlight. That’s right, you can now power your home at night with lunar energy. These panels will be 137% more efficient than any other panels on the market. We’re pretty excited and we think you will be too.

Kidding aside, happy April Fools! Our real solar co-op launches today! We’ll be posting more info as this 4th co-op round is rolled out over the next week.

To be notified about upcoming co-op info sessions and receive more info, please email: [email protected].

by ARLnow.com Sponsor March 24, 2018 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. 

More than 320 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 sustainability consulting and certification for renovation projects and new home construction.

This year the County honored the homeowners, architects and builders of 65 Green Home Choice certified homes. Green Home Choice projects go beyond creating just an energy efficient home. They include water efficiency, indoor air quality, waste reduction, stormwater management, tree and site preservation and more.

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.

CONGRATULATIONS to all of the new projects that achieved Green Home Choice certification. Thank you for helping to build a more sustainable Arlington one project at a time!

Are you planning to renovate or build a new home or renovate your kitchen or bath in Arlington?

Visit www.greenhomechoice.us for a full list of builders, architects and other Green Home Choice service providers.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor March 17, 2018 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. 

Arlington’s Home Energy Rebates will be available through June 18. Time is limited to insulate your home or upgrade to a more efficient water heater, heating or cooling system!

Nothing motivates like a deadline, right?

Follow these simple steps to claim your rebate:

1. Make energy upgrades to your home. The following items are eligible:

  • Central air conditioners, heat pumps, furnaces and boilers and water heaters that meet the program’s minimum efficiency levels.
  • Duct sealing, air sealing and insulation projects.

2. Download, complete and submit your application, including your receipts or other proof of payment. Applications must be emailed or postmarked by the June 18 deadline to be eligible.

3. Receive your rebate check and enjoy your lower energy bills! It’s that easy.

Visit the rebate website for details.

You can also send your questions to us at [email protected]. We’re here to help!

by ARLnow.com Sponsor March 3, 2018 at 12:15 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. 

We can help save you money.

Arlington County recently launched C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy), a green financing program for Arlington buildings. C-PACE provides long-term financing for projects that improve the energy or water efficiency of existing or new commercial buildings in the county. 

Existing Buildings

The program makes it easier and cheaper for existing commercial properties to undertake efficiency-enhancing projects, such as:

  • Lighting retrofits
  • New heating and cooling systems
  • Added insulation and new windows
  • Water pump and electric motor upgrades
  • Solar panels and other retrofits…

Projects can be designed to be profitable from day one by providing long-term financing for up to 25 years. This is possible because the work lowers utility bills below the monthly repayment cost. The program was created by the County through a public-private partnership, and no County funds are used to facilitate building upgrades and energy reductions.

New Development

Commercial property developers can finance up to 20 percent of the total construction cost of their new buildings, provided the building exceeds minimum energy efficiency standards.

Learn more

If you own, manage or develop commercial property in Arlington learn more at: www.arlington-pace.us

Contractors can learn more at the upcoming workshop on March 8 at 8 a.m. Space is limited. Learn more and RSVP here: https://arlington-pace.us/event/c-pace-contractor-workshop-030818/

by ARLnow.com Sponsor February 17, 2018 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. 

Do you own an electric vehicle, or have you thought of purchasing one?

Electric vehicles, or EVs, offer a number of benefits over their gas-guzzling cousins: they’re cheaper to operate, easier on the environment and come flush with exciting new technologies. But if you live in a multifamily building, finding a place to charge your EV can be a challenge.

Enter Electrify America. As part of the Volkswagen settlement, Electrify America is installing $40 million worth of electric vehicle charging stations across the country. They’re specifically looking for suggestions of multifamily buildings and workplaces that could benefit from an EV charger.

That’s right, your multifamily building or workplace could have an electric vehicle charging station installed for free. Here’s how it works:

  1. Visit electrifyamerica.com/submissions before March 1.
  2. Select “Specific Site Location” from the first dropdown menu, where it says “Submission Type.”
  3. Fill in the rest of the form. This should only take a few minutes.
  4. Electrify America will weigh these suggestions over the coming months. If your site is selected, they’ll reach back out to you.

Make sure you submit your building or workplace before the March 1 deadline. If you would like assistance filling out the form or have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected].

by ARLnow.com Sponsor February 3, 2018 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. 

Solar has been booming in Arlington.

Through Arlington Solar Co-ops, Arlingtonians have more than doubled the amount of solar on homes in just 2 years. The co-op helps residents buy solar panels in bulk to drive down the cost by as much as 20%.

This month the federal government announced a 30% tariff on solar equipment manufactured outside of the U.S. But what does this really mean for Arlingtonians who want to go solar?

The short answer is that the 30% tariff will add approximately 10-15 cents per watt, or about 6% to a system’s total cost. This is because solar panels are only a portion of the cost of going solar.

The tariff does not apply to the “soft costs” associated with going solar. The increased cost of panels would add about $1,050 to the total cost of an average solar installation. If you apply for the 30% federal solar tax credit available to residents, the additional tariff amounts to approximately $735 per home system.

We will launch another solar co-op this spring to support residents who want to lead on going solar, take their energy future into their own hands and help create a more sustainable Arlington.

If you would like to receive information about the co-op when it opens, please email [email protected].

by ARLnow.com Sponsor January 20, 2018 at 12:00 pm 0

When we spot a great opportunity for Arlingtonians to save energy, we share it.

Washington Gas has a new Online Home Energy Profile tool. It takes less than five minutes and there is no sign up or personal information required.

The tool will give you an energy ranking, savings estimate and upgrade recommendations that make the most sense for your home.

Above all, if you are a Washington Gas customer, you can submit your address and have a FREE energy conservation kit sent to your home.

Free Energy Kits Include:

  • Two 1.5 GPM Shower Heads
  • Three 1 GPM Faucet Aerators
  • Self Adhesive Door Sweeps
  • One 17 ft. Roll of Weather Stripping

Sealing air leaks, lowering water and sewer bills and reducing the amount of hot water used at home for free is a no brainer. Don’t delay, get yours before they run out!

Washington Gas Online Home Energy Profile Tool
>>FREE Energy Conservation Kit<<

by ARLnow.com Sponsor January 6, 2018 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. 

More than 200 Arlington homeowners prepared for the cold by air sealing or insulating their homes with Arlington’s Home Energy Rebates. You, too, can apply for up to $575 in rebates for added insulation and air sealing. The rebate covers 30% of the cost up to $575. You are eligible for the rebate if you spend a minimum of $200.

Insulation and air sealing photos generally aren’t the most glamourous. Nevertheless, we picked out some insulation photos from the 200+ rebate projects and placed them in the photo slider above. These will give you a sense of the types of projects that your neighbors have completed.

Do you have uneven temperatures throughout your home? Can you feel the bitter wind blowing even when to doors and windows are closed? Is your floor freezing cold? 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.

In most cases, the fixes aren’t complex and the cost will likely be less than you expect. In one day you can have your home insulated and be comfortable year after year.

Doesn’t my home already have insulation?

It probably has some, but 9 out of 10 homes don’t have enough. Older homes are even more likely to be deficient. Signs of inadequate insulation or air leaks include drafts, rooms that are uncomfortably cold or high energy bills.

In most houses, the attic is the easiest and most effective place to air seal and insulate.

How do I get started?

To find a contractor that specializes in this type of work, visit the list of contractors that have participated in this program or try this searchable directory.

If you are handy and ready to take matters into your own hands, an insulation or air sealing project is as simple as a trip to your local store and an afternoon in your attic. ENERGY STAR has great resources to help you identify inadequate insulation, install insulation and air seal your home.

It’s that easy. Just make a decision to be comfortable and reduce your utility bills. Install insulation and/or air sealing. Apply for a rebate!

by ARLnow.com Sponsor December 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. 

The Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy has many programs that serve residents. We don’t talk much about our programs that serve other sectors, such as our Green Building Incentive Program that serves large-scale builders. While you may not hear much about it, arguably it is our must successful program.

This voluntary program guides large-scale commercial building development using the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Certification Program. Projects are designed and built using LEED in ways that use significantly less energy, water and sit more lightly on the land than they would otherwise.

Despite adding 22,000 new residents and 20+ million sq. ft. of commercial office and residential space over the past 10 years in Arlington, energy and water use have actually Decreased! That’s right, tons more people and buildings without so much as a drop of additional water or energy used. The Incentive Program isn’t solely responsible for this change, but it is a big piece that has guided 20 million square feet of development in Arlington to maintain this trend.

How much energy and water are saved as part of the Green Building Incentive Program? I’m glad you asked. Take a few minutes to read the newly released Green Building Report. We think you’ll agree; the results are pretty impressive.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor December 9, 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. 

Two weeks ago the Rethink Energy program had the honor of partnering with Arlington’s Department of Technology services for a panel discussion on the Future of Energy in Arlington. This Digital Destiny series has taken Arlington on a conversational journey to look at the past, present and future of aging independently, mobility, learning and now energy.

Two questions immediately struck us at the event:

  1. How will we generate, store and use energy?
  2.  Can you predict the future of energy in Arlington?

How will we create, store and use energy?

Arlington’s electrical energy is generated far outside the Beltway, sent through transmission and distribution lines and arrives to power the device that you are presently using. More than half of the raw energy used to create electricity is lost during electrical generation.

Conversely, Arlington’s Discovery Elementary school generates as much solar power as it uses over the course of a year. This is a net zero energy school and it shows what is possible. APS is looking at how other schools may harness solar power and use it as a learning resource for students.

By mid-century, 2 of every 3 people on the planet will live in cities, or counties that resemble cities. Since cities are where people are and so much economic activity takes place, they are also the perfect place to generate and use energy. Renewable energy like solar power is an increasingly preferred power source. No fuel must be brought in, fewer additional long distance transmission lines will need to be built and the cost to install solar panels is dropping quickly.

In the past 24 months more than 120 Arlingtonians have participated in the solar co-op which has more than doubled the amount of solar on homes in Arlington. As electric vehicles increase in prevalence and are connected to homes with a solar array, opportunities exist to store solar power and even use a car to power your home.

We could go on and on about other emerging technologies, but folks, what you need to know is that things are changing quickly and the future of energy generation, storage and use is unfolding before our eyes.

Can you predict the future of energy in Arlington?

Not exactly, but here are a few things we see that may be in Arlington’s energy future.

  • Home values will increasingly be tied to energy efficiency and solar exposure
  • Electric vehicles (and eventually autonomous vehicles) will rule our streets
  • Time-of-use utility charges are likely coming, but will require the utility to expand the use of smart meters throughout the state. Energy is more expensive and dirty to produce when demand is highest, such as the middle of the day and especially during the dog days of summer.
  • Your home’s devices (e.g. dishwasher, washing machine, refrigerator, thermostat, air conditioner, lighting) will increasingly include microchips connected to the internet, turn things off when you leave, adjust their operation to run when energy is cheaper (as noted in tie-of-use item above), order things for you and notify you when they need service.
  • Smart grids or micro grids will become a critical piece of community infrastructure. Right now when your home’s energy goes out, you likely have no other choice for power unless you have a generator. Micro grids are small electrical grids that can be separate and isolated from the overall grid. This could afford Arlington more control to operate in the event of a power interruption (e.g. derecho, snowmageddon, the great earthquake of 8/23/11).

We had a great time discussing Arlington’s energy past, present and future! If you are interested in attending or watching future Digital Destiny events in 2018 on Place and Livelihood, stop by the Digital Destiny page as more information is firmed up.  Also, take a look at the archived event videos while you’re at it.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor November 11, 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. 

If you thought you missed your last chance to plant trees in your yard this year, think again.

Hands down, fall is the best time of year to plant trees. It gives roots a chance to set and grow before the heat of the following summer arrives. Now is still a great time to get trees into the ground.

Trees are under-appreciate heroes. They clean the air, create wildlife habitat, soak up stormwater, provide food and even save energy.

When planted strategically, trees cast shade on buildings and pavement, lowering the temperatures and thus reducing demand for power to cool these buildings during summer. Planting the right trees in the right places can also create a wind break and keep your home warmer in the winter.

Here are some tips to help you select the right tree for the right spot:

Arlington’s TreeStewards can also lend a hand. Visit their website to learn about classes, upcoming events, and other resources.

Don’t delay, now is the time to drop a shade tree in the ground for future energy savings!

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