Frederick County Has Programs For Citizens & Businesses Save On Their Energy Bills

County Executive Jan Gardner (Photo from Frederick County Government)

This follows an announcement that county buildings receive 100% of the power from renewable energy sources.

Frederick, Md. (KM) – Frederick County has several programs to help residents and businesses save money on their energy bills. County Executive Jan Gardner discussed those programs during a recent public information briefing.

She mentioned Power Saver Retrofits which provides funds to low and middle income households so they can make their homes  more energy efficient. “Projects could include insulating attics or basements; adding weather stripping to windows and doors; upgrading lights, ceiling ductwork or replacing appliances with Energy Star models, and that could include hot water heaters,” she says.

Gardner says there’s also a way to save on the installation of solar panels and the purchase of electric vehicles. “So Frederick County residents and small businesses can join the Maryland Capital Area Solar and Electric Vehicle Co-op–that’s a mouthful–with the non-profit Maryland Solar United Neighbors,” she said. In her briefing, Gardner compared the installation of solar panels and purchasing electric vehicles through this co-op as similar to buying at Sam’s Club or other co-ops.

The Business Energy Saving Tune Up (BEST) provides grants to businesses that upgrade lighting, heating, air conditioning and refrigeration systems. Gardner says it allows these companies to leverage rebates that Potomac Edison provides. “By combining  the County’s grant with the power company’s grant, businesses can actually make improvements at no cost to them,” she says. “So 18 customers have already signed up for the BEST incentive program. The projects total about $50,000, and that’s $50,000 that local businesses don’t have to pay to make their businesses more energy efficient.”

There’s also the Property Assessed Clean Energy program or PACE. “Through PACE, commercial properties can take out a private loan to make energy savings upgrades on their buildings, and then use those savings to pay back those loans over time through a surcharge on their property tax bill,” she says. “These loans can cover up to 100% of the upfront cost.”

Anyone who wants more information on these programs can contact the Frederick County Division of Energy and Environment at 301-600-1416, or send an e-mail to Sustainability@FrederickCountyMD.gov.

By Kevin McManus