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Metro Brief: Montgomery County launches program to help residents improve homes

Montgomery County

On September 5, 2011

  • Leggett hopes to encourage energy efficient changes among residents. montgomerycountymd.gov

Recently, Montgomery County launched the Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program that will provide incentives of up to $3,000 to owner occupants of single-family homes and condominiums who make new energy efficiency improvements. Eligible improvements include air sealing, insulation, heating and cooling, geothermal heat pumps, solar water heating and appliances. The $1.1 million program is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy with funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

"The Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program will help homeowners overcome the financial barriers to making their homes more energy efficient while creating jobs in our community," said County Executive Isiah Leggett. "The rebates will help raise the public's awareness of the ways in which changes in their home can have big impacts on their energy costs and our environmental quality. Improving household energy efficiency is an important component of the County's efforts to meet our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050."

The rebate program has been carefully designed to work in concert with other sources of incentives available from Pepco, BG&E, Potomac Edison (Allegheny Power) and the Maryland Energy Administration Programs, as well as federal tax credits. Participants may also be able to take advantage of financing programs offered by the Maryland Clean Energy Center's Home Energy Loan Program.

Montgomery County also offers property tax credits for renewable energy and energy efficiency measures, authorized at $500,000 annually. The number of applications for these credits continues to grow and has far exceeded the annual limit, resulting in a several year backlog for applicants. The County is prohibited from using federal ARRA funds to supplement the County's existing tax credit program.

To apply for the new residential rebate, consumers must have a completed energy audit and a scope of work from a professional installer. Residents can learn more about the program and apply online at the County's energy funding website at www.mcenergyfunding.com. Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The site also will provide information about the availability of consumer workshops as they are scheduled where consumers can learn more about the rebates and the application process. DEP expects that 300 to 500 homes will be improved under the program.

The residential rebate is part of a package of programs developed under the County's ARRA grant. Other efforts will retrofit commercial, multi-family and public buildings, train workers in new, green skills, and provide public education and outreach.

For more information on these and other programs, visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/dep.


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