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Frederick County Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources (OSER)
TopIssue: 12  
In This Issue
Calendar of Events
Monocacy & Catoctin Watershed Alliance Newsletter
Green Homes Challenge Updates
Power Saver Retrofits: $1,600 worth!
Energy Savers for Homes and Farms
Energy Savers for Business
Mythbusters on Replacement Windows
Top Picks: Going Green on the Go
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Did You Miss the Summer Issue of FNP's GREEN Magazine? 

SummerGreen 2012

Green Home Graphic 










Check out the new

Clean Burning Wood Stove Grant Program

from the Maryland Energy Administration for clean burning wood stoves and pellet wood stoves.




Do you use fertilizer on your property?


Make sure your lawn is getting the right mix and amounts of nutrients. Request a free soil test kit when you register with the Green Leader Challenge


 Washington Gas
Energy Services'
program gives residential utility customers in Frederick County the option to choose electricity generated at regional wind farms for their homes. Click here for more information and to check the current rates for 1 and 2 year contracts with options for 50 - 100% of your electricity coming from wind power. 
Constellation Energy Logo  
Constellation Energy 
Constellation offers electricity supplied from wind farms located within the PJM control area. Rates are locked in for one year. Click here to check rates and sign up.






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 The American Conservation Film Festival

Nov. 1-4, 2012


Sustaining Nature in an Urbanizing Landscape Workshop

Thursday, Nov. 8

9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.


Energy Smart Weather Wise

Saturday, Nov. 10

9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.


Energy Efficiency Fall Workshop

Tuesday, Nov. 13

8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.


Frederick County Sustainability Commission Meeting

Wednesday, Nov. 28

3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.


Frederick Green Drinks

Wednesday, Nov. 21

5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.


Frederick County Sustainability Commission Meeting

Wednesday, Dec. 19

3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.


Frederick Green Drinks

Wednesday, Dec. 19

5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.



Making Connections

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Dam Removal Team

 Clifford Branch Dam Removal & Stream Restoration Partners. L-R: Shannon Moore (Frederick County Office of Sustainability & Environmental Resources), Rich Starr (US Fish and Wildlife Service), Aimee Weldon (Potomac Conservancy), Ben Hutzell (US Fish and Wildlife Service), and Jason Nonn (Barksdale Nurseries)         



Shannon B&W Head Shot 

Welcome to our first combined newsletter for the Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources (OSER) and the Monocacy and Catoctin Watershed Alliance. The Alliance, which is coordinated by OSER,  is a non-advocacy group of partner organizations that work to protect and restore water quality and habitat in Frederick County.  We have been sharing articles from the Alliance in recent issues, and now the OSER newsletter will contain the Alliance newsletter with links to key articles and features on its website. This was part of the plan when the Watershed Management section originally joined OSER. 


Superstorm Sandy is gone but not forgotten.  Here in Frederick County we saw extreme flood stages for local streams, as well as the Monocacy and Potomac Rivers.  Much of the damage we experienced came from fallen trees and power lines.  At one point, 33,000 homes in the County were without electricity and 77 roads were closed, with 28 partially closed. One positive item to note is that while the Adult Detention Center was without power for several days, the facility never lost hot water due the 57 solar thermal collectors installed on its rooftop this summer. The system, which heats more than 2,500 gallons of water per day, is an example of how renewable energy systems can play an important role in providing energy security and continuity of services.


We hope you enjoy this issue's content. If you know someone who may be interested in the topics we cover, please forward this newsletter!  The more the merrier.


Shannon Moore

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Heather M
Heather Montgomery, Community Restoration Coordinator, OSER


2012 is quickly coming to a close! I'd like to look back at many of the accomplishments that the Monocacy & Catoctin Watershed Alliance partners have achieved in the past 11 months, and also towards what we have to look forward to in 2013.


We planted many acres of new forest throughout Frederick County, and will continue do so next year. Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) keep planting trees towards their "20% by 2038" tree canopy goal. Through partnerships, FCPS added 34+ acres to their school sites, with an estimated 10 additional acres to be planted next spring. Through the 2012 Neighborhood Green program, private landowners in the Linganore watershed will be converting approximately 14 acres of turf grass to forest, improving water quality and wildlife habitat while reducing time and money spent on lawn maintenance. This educational cost-share program will continue in 2013. Frederick County's Planning Department is planting and permanently protecting forestland through the Linganore Watershed Easement Purchase Program as well.


How can you help? You can contribute to tree canopy expansion in Frederick County by donating a Gift of Trees through the Tree-mendous Maryland program. Or, if you have already planted trees in your community, consider applying for a PLANT Award to recognize your community's tree planting and maintenance efforts.


Click here for more updates or check out the following articles:


CHALLENGE 3 and Solarize Pilot under Development 

Renewable Star Logo


The Green Homes Challenge helps residents take action at home to reduce energy use and utility bills, adopt green lifestyle practices, and use renewable energy. Over 650 residents are registered with the Challenge and working towards their Power Saver or Green Leader Certification. See our map of Challenge Takers!


This fall we're developing our Renewable Star Challenge and Handbook as well as a special pilot initiative called Solarize Frederick County. The Solarize project will increase residential solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal installations through volume purchasing and local grants that supplement other incentives such as the Maryland grants, state and federal tax credits, and the sale of Solar Renewable Energy Certificates. If you know of a neighborhood that would be interested in being a target community for this pilot project, visit the Renewable Star web page or contact Lisa Orr at 301.600.6864. 


So if you haven't yet engaged with the Green Homes Challenge, it is a great time to start! You can register online or contact Sabrina Harder at 301.600.7414. If you are already registered but have been too busy to make as much progress as you had hoped, you can call Sabrina and request a personal Navigator to provide you with some one-on-one support.


Here's another reason to complete your certifications. We'll be hosting our next recognition event in early 2013. Complete your certification to receive a special invitation to this event and be eligible for our great prize drawings. Click here for the Power Saver Certification Form or Green Leader Certification Form to tally your points. More details about the Recognition event will be included in our next newsletter.


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Power Saver Retrofits
Apply Now for $1,600 worth of Efficiency Upgrades
Rounds-Polloway Installation
This attic insulation project in a 170 year old Burkittsville home is an example of an efficiency improve-ment that Power Saver Retrofits offers.

If you have been putting off making home energy improvements due to cost, now is the time to get those projects done and start saving on your energy bills! Through a new Frederick County program called Power Saver Retrofits, you could receive $1,600 worth of energy efficiency retrofits performed by a professional contractor for a cost share of just $400.


Funding is available for just 85 households on a first come first served basis, so complete your application now! Qualifying homes must be under 2,600 square feet in size, located in Frederick County, and contain no unvented combustion appliances. The Power Saver Retrofits Program is open to both rental and owner occupied properties, which may or may not have already completed an energy audit.


Participating households can use the funds toward a number of eligible projects, including attic and basement air sealing and insulation, duct testing and sealing, window and door caulking and weatherstripping, light bulb upgrades, and more. Audits and retrofits are anticipated to begin in November 2012.


For more information, contact Nicole Robinson at 301.600.1306 or NRobinson@FrederickCountyMD.gov.

MEA Expands Incentives

MEA Text logo Increasing renewable energy and decreasing per capita energy use are two of the State's key policy goals. Starting with a 2007 baseline, Maryland aims to reduce per capita energy consumption by 15% by 2015, and increase in-state renewable energy production by 20% by 2022. To reach these goals, the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) offers a variety of programs and incentives, some of which are new this year.


In addition to Maryland's residential clean energy grants that provide $1,000 for solar PV installations, $500 for solar thermal installations, and $3,000 for geothermal systems, MEA now provides grants for clean burning pellet or wood stoves that displace electric or non-natural gas fossil fuel heating systems. Wood stoves are eligible for a $400 grant; pellet stoves are eligible for a $600 grant. 


To help local farmers, the Mathias Ag Program provides grants up to 75% of cost to farms or businesses in the agriculture sector for energy efficiency upgrades. MEA will distribute grants ranging from $25,000 to $200,000 to assist with the costs of installing eligible energy efficiency technologies.


To learn about all of MEA's incentives, click here.


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Potomac Edison Offers Building Performance Audits
Potomac Edison - green back

In addition to business rebates for energy efficient lighting and equipment, First Energy/Potomac Edison now offers a no-cost building performance audit for small business customers with demand not exceeding 60kW. Audits help identify where and how a building is losing energy, as well as beneficial energy efficiency projects that qualify for incentives through Potomac Edison's Business Programs. An energy efficiency "starter kit" is also provided for immediate energy savings. Audits are conducted by approved certified audit contractors. To request an audit, visit the Audit Program website to learn more and download an application.


The Maryland Save Energy Now initiative supports the State's manufacturing sector by offering local access to one-on-one consultationfinancial incentives, and tools and resources.


Thinking about clean renewable energy? The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) still offers Commercial Clean Energy Grants to help Maryland business owners invest in clean energy. MEA provides grants for solar photovoltaic systems, solar water heating, geothermal heating & cooling, and wind turbine systems.


To learn about all of MEA's incentives, click here.  

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MYTH - Installing Energy Efficient Replacement Windows is One of the Most Effective Ways to Save Energy At Home


Many homeowners list window replacement among their top needed efficiency improvements. With the hot sun beating through windows in the summer and cold drafts leaking around window frames in the winter, old windows are an obvious home energy concern. ENERGY STARŪ boasts a 7-15% reduction in energy bills achieved through window replacement. But, is an average savings of $200-$300 per year worth an up-front investment of $15,000?


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The truth is that window replacement is expensive, and the pay off period in terms of energy bill savings is long. In contrast, attic insulation is one of the most effective ways to save on energy bills, in terms of up-front cost.  The Return on Investment (ROI) for increasing attic insulation from R-0 to R-38 is about 17 months. The other top energy efficiency investments include installation of low-flow showerheads (ROI 3 months), chimney pillows (ROI 13 months), low-flow bathroom faucet aerators (ROI 14 months), and compact fluorescent lights (ROI 23 months).


You can reduce window air leakage in much more cost effective ways:

  • Caulk around the window trim and add weatherstripping to windows that don't close properly
  • Seal and insulate the shim space around your window (area between window frame and wall)
  • Install storm windows
  • Apply plastic window film or put up thermal drapes


Window replacement makes the most sense for homes with very old, excessively leaky, or broken windows or for a home getting a complete rehabilitation.


Green Apps and Podcasts for Going Green On the Go

On the go? Here are some ways to incorporate going green into your daily routine:



JouleBug is a free iPhone app that makes sustainable living social, simple, and fun. It's mobile gaming, social media, and educational tools rolled into one. Download it from the Apple App Store or from iTunes.



GoodguideThe GoodGuide mobile app is a free comprehensive tool that makes it easy to find safe, healthy, green, and ethical products ranging from baby shampoo to bathroom cleaner with barcode scanning. Download it from the Apple App Store or from iTunes.


EPAThe EPA provides short Green Tips podcasts on a wide range of topics that impact our health, our household expenses, and our environment.  Subscribe to this series with iTunes.


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The Frederick County Sustainability and Environmental Resources Office advances practical solutions for protecting the environment, conserving energy, and living sustainably in Frederick County.