Sustainable Energy Program

Program Overview

Sustainable Energy ProgramThe Sustainable Energy Program coordinates the County’s efforts to reduce energy consumption, cost, and greenhouse gas emissions in buildings and the transportation sector. This is achieved via the implementation of policies, plans, and programs listed below, in partnership with County agencies such as the Department of Environmental Resources.

  • 2008 Energy Policy
  • Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy
  • Energy Performance Contracts
  • Renewable Energy Projects
  • Utilities Management Program
  • Outreach and Education
  • Green Building Program for Public Facilities
  • Demand Response
  • Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Grants
  • Draft Climate Change Action Plan

Why Save Energy?

The 3 “Cs”—reduce Cost, Consumption, and CO2 emissions

  • Reduce utilities cost!
  • Reduce consumption and risk associate price increases or supply shortages!
  • Reduce carbon emissions and overall environmental footprint!

Objectives and Goals

  • Reduce energy consumption per square foot in all existing county building by 20% by year 2022, as compared to and defined by calendar year 2012 baseline. 
  • Design, construct and incorporate Green Building principles into all county facilities/buildings, inclusive of office buildings, public school, libraries, recreational facilities etc.
  • Reduce County geographical greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) emissions to 80% below 2008 levels by 2050. Mid and long term goals include stopping emission increases by 2010 and achieving a 10% reduction every five years thereafter through 2050.
  • Reduce conventional, centralized electricity generation serving County government buildings by meeting 20 percent of those buildings' electricity demand with distributed, renewable energy generation by 2022 as compared to and defined by calendar year 2012 baseline.
  • Reduce petroleum consumption in fleet vehicles by 20 percent by 2018.

Guiding Policies and Plans

2008 Energy Policy

The policy seeks to reduce overall energy consumption and increase energy savings in County-owned facilities and fleet. It includes a combination of mandatory procedures and optional conservation measures assigning specific responsibilities to senior management and other staff.

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy

In December 2009, the County developed and adopted an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy, to define the mission and process for achieving greater energy efficiency and GHG reductions throughout the County.

Sustainable Energy Projects

County Government Projects

LED Outdoor Lighting Project - The Office of Central Services, Facilities Operation and management team replaced ~80 High Pressure Sodium (HPS) fixtures with energy-efficient LED fixtures in the parking lot area of Inglewood III and Largo Government Center. The benefits for installing LED fixtures are as follows:

  • LEDs use semi-conducting materials to convert electricity into light, which results in 35 to 60% energy savings per light fixture. 
  • LEDs last 3 to 4 times longer than traditional light sources such as high-intensity discharge (HID) light fixtures, which are used throughout the City.
  • Unlike other energy-efficient fixtures such as High-intensity discharge (HID) and fluorescent, LEDs are mercury-free, contain little to no hazardous materials, and are recyclable. 
  • LEDs require less maintenance which provides additional cost savings. 
  • LEDs distribute light more uniformly and directionally, thus reducing light pollution. 

The LED conversion project will save the County approximately 121,000 kWh and $13,000 in energy/operation costs annually. Additionally, the County received rebates courtesy of Pepco's Lighting Rebate Program to offset the capital and installation costs.  

Sustainable Fleet Project – In April, 2013, the County placed into service five dedicated propane autogas powered vehicles. The vehicles are Ford E350 vans powered by Roush CleanTech propane autogas systems and will be refueled at the FOM facility using a propane autogas pumping station supplied by the County’s contractor, Suburban Propane. Propane autogas is a clean-burning, domestically-produced energy source which costs about 50% less than gasoline, reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 24% and which is the third most popular vehicle fuel worldwide behind gasoline and diesel.

Sunburst I Solar Photovoltaic Grant Program – In 2011, the County received grant funding from the Maryland Energy Administration to install 384 kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic systems at the Consolidated Warehouse and Fleet Maintenance facilities. The County entered into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with SunEdison who designed, installed, and maintains the system.

Energy Performance Contracts -   An Energy Performance Contract (EPC) provides customers with a comprehensive set of energy efficiency, renewable energy and/or distributed generation measures, accompanied with guarantees that the savings produced by a project will be sufficient to finance the full cost of the project.

The County entered into an EPC with energy service companies Pepco and Johnson Controls, Inc.y to perform energy and water improvements to nine County-owned facilities.  This project, known as Phase I EPC, generates approximately $970,000 of energy savings annually. The County plans to implement Phase II EPC for 32 additional County-owned facilities in 2013.

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Projects – The County was awarded $6.6 million from the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block grant (EECBG) to reduce energy consumption County-wide. The following projects were developed and implemented at County-owned facilities.

  • Replacement of windows at Harriet Hunter Senior Center
  • Installation of cool roofs at various County-owned facilities
  • Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy

Landfill Gas-to-Energy Project – In 1987, the Brown Station Road Landfill became one of the first landfills in the Nation to operate landfill-gas (LFG) fired electric generators. Two 1,700 kW electric generators and two 350-HP boilers fueled by LFG provide power and steam to the County’s correctional facility. Excess electricity is sold to Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco), generating approximately $8,500 per month in revenue for the landfill. 

Community-Based Projects

Cheverly Wind Turbine – EECBG funds were provided to the Town of Cheverly to install a wind turbine to supply power directly to the town’s Department of Public Works facility.  The turbine has the potential to generate income by returning surplus power to the electric grid, and will reduce GHG emissions equal to 15-18 automobiles driving 150,000 miles per year.

Berwyn Heights Street Light Upgrade / Pedestrian Safety Project – EECBG funds were provided to the Town of Berwyn to replace eleven Mercury Vapor street lamps with energy efficiency high pressure sodium vapor lamps at pedestrian/vehicular safety concern locations.

Capitol Heights Energy Efficiency and Conservation Demonstration Project - The Town of Capitol Heights turned a foreclosed home and building into a “green retrofit” demonstration project for residents and businesses. The retrofit project includes new windows, improved insulation, HVAC system replacement, new appliances, solar hot water installation, storm water management system, rain barrels, and solar security lighting. Project funds were provided by the County’s EECBG.

District Heights Green Energy Efficiency Program - The City of District Heights implemented a Green Energy Program to provide energy audits and retrofits to low- and moderate-income families. To date, they have been able to assist residential households with home upgrades consisting of digital thermostats, A/C system cleanings, doors, washers, dryers, electrical panel upgrades, refrigerators, and stoves. Program funds were provided by the County’s EECBG.

Edmonston Solar Demonstration and Green Educational Center - The Edmonston Solar Demonstration and Green Educational Center consists of conducting an energy audit on the Edmonston Town Hall, performing low-cost energy efficiency upgrades, retrofitting the roof to support solar panels, and creating a green educational area within the Town Hall that will also be available online. Project funds were provided by the County’s EECBG.

Hyattsville Green Incentive Program - The City of Hyattsville’s Green Financial Incentive Program provides businesses and residents with financial incentives to implement energy efficiency strategies and technologies. The incentives are anticipated to equal 25% of the installation and equipment cost. Program funds were provided by the County’s EECBG.

Solar Energy Recovery Plan – The Solar Energy Recovery Plan project is a collaboration of nine municipalities aimed at installing solar panels on the roofs of municipal officeBladensburg Solar Project buildings. Seventy-five percent of the energy cost savings from this project will be allocated for a senior citizen energy assistance fund and educational scholarships. Twenty-five percent of the energy cost savings will be allocated to a solar energy project maintenance and enhancement fund. Participating jurisdictions are: Bladensburg, Brentwood, Colmar Manor, Cottage City, Forest Heights, Glenarden, Mt. Rainier, North Brentwood, and Seat Pleasant.

Energy Rebate and Incentive Programs

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