Interested in upgrading your home to improve comfort, reduce energy costs and even boost long term home value? Montgomery County, using a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, will be offering a one time program to help you pay for the costs of these improvements.
The Montgomery County Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program offers incentives to homeowners for energy efficiency improvements such as insulation, heating and cooling systems, and appliances. Owners of single family properties and condominiums can apply for up to $3,000 of funding per applicant. The minimum rebate size is $500 (typically a $2,000 to $3,000 project). The program is another example of how local governments are supporting the Maryland solar industry.
In order to be eligible, each applicant must have an energy audit from an auditor participating in the Maryland Home Performance with ENERGY STAR or a utility (e.g., Pepco, BG&E, Potomac Edison) audit program.
Homeowners are also encouraged to use these funds in concert with other incentives available from utilities, the Maryland Energy Administration and others.
Detailed information on the program, audit requirements, as well as links to other sources of funding is located on the website www.mcenergyfunding.com. Interested homeowners will also apply to the program online via the website. Real time information on the funding availability is posted on the program website.
The news is quick to report “another energy hike” then we become even angrier about the costs we are enduring – but do we ever really know why there was a hike? And…do we even know that there IS something we (as homeowners and building owners) can do about it?
It’s clear that if we don’t bit the bullet and do something it’s likely our grid will begin failing. Yes, the offshore wind project is going to cost us. But, if we do nothing now it will be at a greater expense in the future – in both financial costs and energy costs. Do we really want to run the risk of “lights out”?
These resources can help you navigate through.
Under the leadership of Governor Martin O’Malley, the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) provides funding and resources that help Marylanders save money while making smart energy-saving choices.
The Maryland Clean Energy Center was created in 2008 to encourage the transformation of the energy economy with programs that catalyze the growth of business, increase related “green collar” jobs, and make clean energy technologies, products and services affordable, accessible, and easy to implement for Maryland residents.
Maryland Home Performance is sponsored by the Maryland Energy Administration. It is part of Governor O’Malley’s EmPOWER Maryland initiative and seeks to reduce Maryland’s electricity consumption by 15% per person by 2015.
In 1910, the Maryland General Assembly established the Public Service Commission (PSC or Commission) to regulate public utilities and certain passenger transportation companies doing business in Maryland.
Did you know that PEPCO and BGE customers can save on a qualified energy audit? That’s what you don’t find in your electric bill – but it’s true!
Not only that, but they offer rebates on the recommended work from the audit. So, try this on for size:
Your a Pepco customer…
Cost of audit: $400 ($300 is paid for by Pepco)
And say they recommend that you add insullation for greater energy efficiency. You could receive up to $1,200 in rebates from Pepco, 35% of the cost up to $1,500 from the Maryland Energy Administration plus 10% of the cost up to $500 in a federal tax credit.
Not a bad deal – and you could save up to 20% on your energy costs. Schedule an energy audit today to learn more!
Lowering the temperature on your hot water heater to 120 degrees can create even greater energy savings. Setting the thermostat down will save energy without losing the comfort of a long and relaxing bath.
According to the DOE, for each 10 degrees reduction in water temperature, you can save between 3-5% in energy costs.
Reducing your temperature to 120 degrees also slows mineral buildup and corrosion in your water heater and pipes. It also helps the water heater operate a maximum efficiency.
Water heating accounts for approximately 20-30% of your energy bill so taking smart measures to reduce energy costs can be as simple as reducing the temperature on the heater. If you really want to shave off more, consider solar hot water.
This video shows you how solar hot water systems work.
Often we forget about some of the easy things we can do around our homes to reduce our energy bills. This may seem simple…regularly check the temperature of your refrigerator – fine simple enough. But, what about those extra “storage” refrigerators in our basements or garages that are only half full? You know… the ones we stack boxes on?
Refrigerators are significant energy uses. Turn off and unplug unused refrigerators that are only needed seasonally, and consolidate the contents of nearly empty refrigerators and freezers.
Here are some energy facts and tips:
- Get rid of the second refrigerator. An older second refrigerator could be costing you over $200 per year.
- Keep your refrigerator away from heat. Try to locate your refrigerator in a cool location. Keep it out of direct sunlight and away from appliances that generate heat, like ovens and water heaters.
- Check refrigerator door seals. Check the door seals on your refrigerator by closing the door on a dollar bill. If you can easily pull the dollar out then you would probably benefit by replacing the seal.
- Don’t overload. Refrigerators operate most efficiently when full but not overloaded.
- Don’t put hot food in the refrigerator. Allow leftovers to cool before putting them in the refrigerator.
- Give your refrigerator some space. Allow at least one inch of space on each side of the refrigerator for good circulation. Poor circulation can increase energy consumption by 10 percent.
- Buy ENERGY STAR® appliances. ENERGY STAR appliances are the most energy-efficient models on the market.
- Defrost your freezer. When ice builds up, the efficiency of the freezer drops significantly.
- Check your freezer temperature. Keep your freezer between 0-5 degrees F. Settings below this use more energy and are unnecessary.
- Fill your freezer. Freezers operate most efficiently when full. During power outages, foods in full freezers stay frozen longer.
In January we launched our Energy Audit division, so we’ll be incorporating simple energy tips into our weekly posts.
A simple explanation of an energy audit is an exercise in pinpointing the areas in your home that are wasting energy and finding the most cost effective measures for cutting your energy consumption. Here’s a video the gives a great explanation.
Did you know that the typical U.S. family spends about $1,900 a year on home utility bills? Unfortunately, a large portion of that energy is wasted. And each year, electricity generated by fossil fuels for a single home puts more carbon dioxide into the air than two average cars.
Tip #1: Set your thermostat back.
I know that’s a simple one but…if you set back your thermostat and use a humidifier it feels like you’ve done nothing at all. The room will remain comfortable at a lower setting and you’ll be better protected from airborne viruses.
Heating accounts for the biggest chunk of a typical utility bill. So, this tip along with some other energy saving tips could make a big impact over time. So, stay tuned for more energy savings tips over the coming weeks.
If you’d like to learn more about Solar Energy World Energy Audits, please contact us.
Source: 2007 Buildings Energy Data Book,
Table 4.2.1., 2005 energy cost data.