Join

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.

Decarbonizing transportation, meaning the removal of fossil fuels from vehicles, is key to reach Arlington’s Community Energy Plan goals.

Arlington County is actively planning for electric vehicle charging throughout the County, evaluating Arlington Public School and ART buses for phasing out to electric models, and transitioning County fleet vehicles to EVs where appropriate.

If you are thinking of purchasing an EV or just want to learn more, stop by the Sierra Club’s EV event next Saturday, September 25. Arlington Drive Electric Day is an opportunity to see electric cars and speak with owners. Learn from owner experience what it is like to own and drive an electric car.

The event is located at Kenmore Middle School in central Arlington with ample parking. Kenmore Middle School can be reached via Metro Bus routes 25B, 4B and 75. All attendees and volunteers are required to wear face masks whenever they are within six feet of another person.

Register to attend.

Day: Saturday, September 25
Time: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Location: Kenmore Middle School
200 S. Carlin Springs Road
Arlington, VA 22204

0 Comments

As we’ve seen from recent floods and fires, climate change is an increasingly tangible emergency, and we have much to do in order to meet the moment.

The Rethink Energy team often talks about the need for more energy efficiency and to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy production, two key actions in reducing the carbon footprint of building operations.

But as crucial as energy efficiency and renewable energy are, they are not enough. We need to also focus on the greenhouse gases that are emitted from the construction of our buildings in the first place — their embodied carbon. Put simply, embodied carbon is the carbon footprint of a building or infrastructure project before it becomes operational.

Did you know that the manufacture of building materials makes up 11% of total global greenhouse gas emissions? More than half of that is from components of concrete, widely used for building foundations and structure.

That 11% might sound small, but similar to energy efficiency and renewable energy, it is important to consider embodied carbon. Sources estimate that between now and 2050, as operational efficiency improves, embodied carbon will grow to account for nearly 50% of the overall carbon footprint of new construction. And the carbon emissions we produce between now and 2050 will determine whether we mitigate further climate impacts and reach Arlington’s Community Energy Plan goals.

Preserving and adaptively reusing existing structures, renovating instead of tearing down, and reusing what materials you can: all these are good strategies to reduce the embodied energy associated with construction. Our Green Home Choice program has helped hundreds of Arlington homeowners preserve existing homes and renovate or add onto them in order to extend their useful life. Visit our webpage at www.greenhomechoice.us or email us at [email protected] to learn how you can take action today.

We want to spotlight a lovely public art project that implements the idea of low-carbon adaptive reuse. Instead of using new raw materials, artist Dane Winkler created his new work, Timepiece Mythos, out of materials from a 19th century barn he disassembled. Dane located a disused barn, deconstructed it and reused the materials to create a new work of art, which is being presented by Arlington Arts Center in partnership with Arlington Public Art. Thoughtful choices, resulting in a beautiful and whimsical rethinking of “new” construction. Stop by and see the art installation this September on the lawn of Arlington Arts Center.

In art or construction, awareness in making decisions and being conscious of the options available are the best way towards a more sustainable and low-carbon Arlington.

0 Comments

Over the past few months, 250+ Arlingtonians have joined the 2021 Solar and EV Charger Co-op. More than 40 families have already signed contracts to install solar and/or EV chargers. In the 5+ years of our co-op, we have never seen interest this strong.

Thank you, Arlington, for your interest and action to address the climate crisis.

The 2021 co-op will close on Aug. 31. Arlingtonians can still join the co-op to have their roofs screened at no cost or obligation.

Take advantage of the federal residential solar and electric vehicle charger tax credits. This year, the residential tax credits are 26% for solar and 30% (up to $1,000) for electric vehicle chargers. Business tax credits are also available.

Click below to learn more and join the co-op:

Join the co-op to have your roof screened before Aug. 31.

0 Comments

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 all love the Arlington Public Library, and we are excited to announce upgraded thermal cameras are now available to checkout.

Stop by the Arlington County Library or click here to borrow free energy efficiency tools, along with the information needed to identify and act on energy efficiency opportunities.

Use Knowledge to Take Action

  • Thermal imaging cameras see what your eyes can’t. They help identify hot and cold spots in your home, indicating where insulation is missing and where air leaks occur.
  • Energy meters show exactly how much electricity appliances and electronics consume. Understanding energy use in your home is the first step to taking action toward a “greener” home.
  • LED bulb sampler box lets you try various bulbs to find the right shape, color and brightness for each room in your home. All of the bulbs are dimmable and come with an informational guide.
  • The curated booklist offers energy saving tips and will help your complete “do-it-yourself” projects to save energy and money to make your home more comfortable. The list also includes Spanish titles.

The Energy Lending Library and other AIRE programs offer you energy-saving resources to rethink energy and help our community reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

Also, don’t forget that the last Solar and EV Charger Co-op info session will take place on July 28. Click here to register and join more than 200 other Arlington homeowners that have already signed up with the co-op this year.

0 Comments

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 is popping up everywhere. So far this year, we’ve had more than 175 households join our Solar and Electric Vehicle Charger Co-op. Thank you, Arlington!

The cooperative helps residents, small businesses and nonprofit organizations buy solar and electric vehicle (EV) chargers at a discounted price through bulk purchasing. The cooperative provides support to participants to make the purchasing process easy. This year, we also provide information about storing your solar power at home in battery systems.

Take advantage of the federal residential solar and electric vehicle charger tax credits. This year, the residential tax credits are 26% for solar and 30% (up to $1,000) for electric vehicle chargers. Business tax credits are also available.

There are two final information sessions this year. Please join us to learn more:

If you are a building owner, like Rocklands BBQ, you should know that you can obtain financing through an Arlington program for up to 100% of the hard and soft costs associated with improvements related to improving energy efficiency, switching to renewable energy and increasing water efficiency.

Developers can get up to 20% of a new building’s total eligible construction costs financed, provided the proposed building exceeds certain energy performance codes.

Congratulations again to Rocklands BBQ for becoming the first Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financed project in the entire Commonwealth of Virginia.

If you are a contractor, property owner or developer, learn more about how the Arlington C-PACE program can benefit you.

0 Comments

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.

Welcome to the 2021 Green Home and Garden Virtual Tour! This year, the tour will feature short videos of homes and gardens (below) together with an online meet-the-host event where you can ask the hosts your questions directly in small breakout rooms. Get ideas and inspiration for your own home and garden.

Green Home and Garden Tour Meet the Host Event
Friday, June 4, 12-1:30 p.m.
Register online to participate.

Learn more about these new green homes, green renovations and watershed-friendly gardens. See homes featuring energy-efficient technologies, solar energy, water-saving technologies, rain gardens, native plants, wildlife habitat and more. The tour is sponsored by Arlington County’s Office of Sustainability and Environmental Management, EcoAction Arlington, Virginia Cooperative Extension, and Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture.

Tour highlights include:

Arlington Green Home Choice — Bartell residence renovation, addition, solar

Arlington Green Home Choice — Stout residence renovation, addition, energy-efficient design, solar

Homeowner discusses his experience in adding new very modern space to a small Arlington home with Hambleton Construction. This addition and renovation feature a very energy-efficient design and solar system. This home is Green Home Choice certified.

Rain Garden, Native Plantings, and Dry Wells Improve Drainage and Transform a Garden

Homeowners discuss their modern sustainable Green Home Choice certified addition and renovation by Paola One Design and J and J Construction, This home features a solar system.

Read More

0 Comments

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.

Here on the Rethink Energy team, we are big fans of all modes of transit that eliminate single occupant vehicles. Walking, biking, scooting and public transit are all amazing.

Still, we’ve got to get from where we are to where we need to go sometimes with kids, to pick something up or otherwise — and we need a car to do it.

More and more electric cars are popping up in Arlington. The electrification of transportation is a key piece of reaching Arlington’s goal of carbon neutrality.

Electric cars now drive farther, charge faster and come in nearly every price range. Maintenance is simpler and cheaper. Just imagine no oil changes — ever! “Refueling” is as simple as plugging into an electrical outlet, and you’ll spend less than you do on gasoline to charge your vehicle.

Charging stations continue to pop up in Arlington, and incentives are available to help reduce the cost of your electric vehicle (EV) purchase.

Learn about charging, incentives, and more on our Drive Electric Arlington webpage.

EV Fun Facts:

  • The first electric vehicle was created in 1832, and Thomas Edison worked on an electric car battery in 1899. In the early 1900s, New York City taxis were primarily electric.
  • The longer you own your EV, the cleaner it is to use. Unlike gasoline vehicles that degrade in fuel efficiency over time, EVs use electricity from the electric grid that is getting cleaner all of the time with the addition of renewable energy sources of power like solar and wind.
  • If you install solar on your home, you essentially own a “gas station” for your EV. You’ll be driving on sunshine!
0 Comments

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.

On Earth Day — April 22, the Biden administration is holding a global climate summit as more than 300 corporate leaders ask the Biden administration to take additional actions to address climate change.

As our schools, businesses, restaurants and the world head toward a “return to normal,” there is no going back to business-as usual.

COVID-19 reminds us that global action is possible to address and mitigate dire threats. It also shows how quickly governments — including Arlington’s — can act given the urgency. The conversation shifts from what should be done to what must be done.

We’re experiencing the possibilities of collective action right now.

Working with residents and businesses, the Rethink Energy team remains committed to addressing climate change to create a carbon-neutral Arlington along with similar efforts around the world.

Together let’s keep working toward that healthy and sustainable future. We can do it. There really isn’t a choice.

Happy Earth Day, Arlington!

0 Comments

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 COVID has shown us anything, it’s that collective action is possible to address a global issue. As the COVID vaccine rolls out, we are watching history being made in so many ways.

On the topic of global collaboration, for the first time, Arlington County is joining a group of other D.C. area local governments to form the Capital Area Solar Co-op.

Launched on April 1, 2021 (no joke), this regional Solar Co-op opportunity will be available from now until the end of August 2021 for residents all over the Capital Area!

It can be hard to find positives amid the chaos of COVID-19, but there is one silver lining. The lockdown has slowed climate change: cutting fossil fuel use, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Unfortunately, this decline in emissions is already reversing.

We as a community and a region have an opportunity to take action now to change the trajectory of the future. Installing solar is one way to directly decarbonize or clean the electric grid, eliminate your dependence on fossil fuels, and even turn your house into a ‘gas station’ if you own or buy an electric car.

More than 230 Arlington homeowners have already participated in the County’s Solar and Electric Vehicle Charger Co-op. The cooperative helps residents, small businesses and non-profit organizations buy solar and electric vehicle (EV) chargers at a discounted price through bulk purchasing. The cooperative provides support to participants to make the purchasing process easy. This year we will also provide information about storing your solar power at home in battery systems.

Take advantage of the federal residential solar and electric vehicle charger tax credits. This year the residential tax credits are 26% for solar and 30% (up to $1,000) for electric vehicle chargers. Business tax credits are also available.

This is a great time to learn more about solar, electric vehicle charging and solar battery storage and help our community reach carbon neutral by 2050.

Below are dates for the upcoming virtual info sessions. Click below to RSVP for the date and time that works best for you:

0 Comments

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 real estate market is very tight. A recent Ask Eli column about housing supply notes, “Single-family homes in Arlington hit an all-time low for Months of Supply in December and January.” Because of this short supply of housing, more and more Arlingtonians are staying in their homes and renovating or expanding them to accommodate growing families.

Have you been thinking about a home renovation, expansion or new construction in 2020?
More than 350 Arlingtonians have already used Green Home Choice, a FREE county program to help you make their renovations, additions and new home projects healthier and more sustainable.

When buying a car, fuel efficiency and a comfortable ride are central considerations. Given the investment you make when renovating or building a new home, comfort and efficiency should be equally — if not more — important.

On average, a Green Home Choice home uses 50% less energy than Arlington homes of the same size and saves between $600 and $1,600 per year on utility bills. Green Home Choice also helps homeowners renovate their kitchens and bathrooms in a more sustainable way and offers a certification for participation.

Whether you are a homeowner, developer, architect or builder, Green Home Choice can help you rethink your next construction project to enhance the quality, value and overall sustainability of your home.

For more information about the program, visit the Green Home Choice Website at www.greenhomechoice.us or contact [email protected].

0 Comments

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 live and breathe renewable energy and energy efficiency? Do you have a keen community commitment, a brain for scaled sustainability programs and the experience that proves it?

Does the idea of completely transforming the way energy is generated, transported and stored (with an expert team that loves this, too) excite you? If so, we have the perfect job for you!

Come join our dedicated and fun-loving team to create a carbon-neutral Arlington.

The Office of Sustainability and Environmental Management (OSEM) within the Department of Environmental Services is seeking a highly skilled technical and programmatic Energy Program Manager with an entrepreneurial sense of emerging energy markets and technologies to strategically lead climate and energy efficiency renewable programs.

The OSEM operates as Arlington County’s core agency for climate mitigation and adaptation programs and a growing portfolio of cross-departmental and community-facing energy programs. Additionally, Arlington County adopted and updated the Community Energy Plan (CEP) 2019, which reflects the climate, energy and social will of its citizens and businesses. The CEP sets defined goals for renewable energy resourcing and arriving at a carbon-neutral community, integrates emerging technologies in the transportation and storage sectors, creates a pathway toward energy resilience, and introduces energy equity into policy and program design.

Specific duties include:

  • Providing technical assistance and strategic planning to the climate and energy programs, which address the broader community greenhouse gas reduction goals
  • Leading strategic design and development of energy efficiency and renewable energy programs and projects with an emphasis on performance and cost-effectiveness
  • Planning and implementing strategies for county operations to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2025
  • Organizing utility contract specifications, developing work scopes for energy efficiency projects, and participating in negotiations related to energy efficiency, clean transportation and renewable energy projects
  • Determining and assessing opportunities for on-site renewable installations at government sites and facilities
  • Developing, managing, and implementing energy programs and initiatives to reduce the county’s energy consumption
  • Developing scopes of work for energy efficiency projects, including energy performance contracts, budgets, and timelines for projects, and performing return on investment analyses
  • Conducting regular reviews of energy monitoring, including utility bill payments, account review activities, and providing energy-related input into the design and operation of county facilities
  • Supporting or leading grant project development application and execution
  • Communicating and improving complex energy concepts to staff, elected officials, and the public through verbal presentations, written memos, position papers, and board reports
  • Representing the county on regional and state-wide committees and participating in regional, interdepartmental, and community work groups on energy and sustainability issues
  • Addressing VA Assembly proposals and legislation and statewide utilities commission initiatives
  • Maintaining relationships with Dominion Energy and other utilities to enhance potential partnerships and future negotiations
  • Performing other duties as assigned

The successful candidate will possess:

Read More

0 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list