Frederick County Launches Program To Create Energy Efficient Households

It received a nearly $1-million grant to pay for it.

Frederick County receives EPA Grant to fund Green Homes Program  (Photo from Frederick County, Md_

Frederick, Md (KM) A new initiative to assist Frederick County Residents who want to lower their energy costs has been launched.  During a public information briefing on Thursday, County Executive Jessica Fitzwater said the Green Homes Program can assist residents in accessing local, state and federal programs to improve their home environment, lower energy costs and live sustainably.

“Through educational  outreach and accessible program, we aim to promote environmental literacy and civic engagement, empowering residents to live sustainably and create agency    over the environmental issues that affect their neighborhoods,” says Fitzwater.

The program is funded by a nearly $1-million grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Justice Government-to-Government Program. “This initiative demonstrates our commitment to ensure that our efforts to address climate change and increase the resilience of Frederick County truly involves everyone in our community,” says Tiara Lester, Sustainability Program Administrator in the County’s Division of Energy and the Environment. “We’re working to give voice to and effect positive change for environmental justice populations in Frederick County.”

“Climate change does not impact everyone equally,” Lester continues. “We recognize that there are those in our community who face greater challenges in dealing with things like rising temperatures, risk of floods and extreme weather events.”

She says the Green Homes Program has several initiatives to lift up people who have been burdened by ‘”systemic inequality, engaging them in our environmental work, and ensuring that a sustainable, resilient future is attainable by everyone.”

The program consists of the Green Compass which provides assistance to residents in finding, understanding and benefiting from local, state and federal programs to help them improve their home environments, lower energy costs and help them live sustainably.

Another part of the program is the Green Challenge which is a guide to sustainable living. It provides those taking part with incentives and defined actions  to support energy savings, make environmentally friendly choices, and using renewable energy.

The final part of the program is Green Partnership to make sure all Frederick County residents can benefit from sustainable living. Working with local organizations and community stakeholders, it makes “going green” more possible for underserved and overburdened communities.

“By helping households reduce their energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, we not only mitigate the effects of climate change, but we also help alleviate the financial strain on households already struggling to make ends meet,” says Lester.

Fitzwater added: “Its initiative will contribute to making Frederick County healthy, resilient and more inclusive by assuring that our work to address climate change neglects no one.”

The County Executive’s Office says Frederick County was one of 88 Environmental Justice grants awarded nationally, and one of only four awarded to the Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia region.

By Kevin McManus