The Frederick County Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources (OSER) provides practical solutions for conserving energy, protecting the environment, and living sustainably. We want to share with you ways that you can go green and save money by using less energy and more renewable energy. We also have a list of resources to help your business go green, including the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Loan (C-PACE) program.
When County Executive Jan Gardner announced the launch of the C-PACE program, she said, “This is an excellent program to help Frederick County businesses that want to save green by going green. The program creates opportunities for other small businesses, such as the contractor making the high-tech improvements, the private lender and the private loan servicer. PACE is a smart tool to help Frederick County build a sustainable economy and support a growing technology industry.”
Here are a few examples of ways Frederick County entities are going green:
Frederick County Government (FCG) completed interior and exterior LED lighting upgrades for multiple facilities and upgraded to more efficient heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) systems. It has added electric vehicles to its fleet. It powers its electric buses through a solar array at the Reichs Ford Road Landfill. No one else in the region is powering its buses with 100% renewable energy. FCG is committed to going green – it is good for our environment and saving money is good for Frederick County taxpayers.
District Farms, a high-tech greenhouse producer of healthy and clean greens, is installing an 85% more efficient heating system as part of its expansion and is exploring ways to develop a highly efficient energy generation system.
Bar-T Mountainside, an outdoor center, constructed a new building utilizing state-of-the-art technology that combined efficiency, generation, grid resiliency, and energy management technologies without out-of-pocket expenses and with savings from day one. Bar-T was the County’s first C-PACE participant.
Want ideas on how you can become more energy efficient?
Check out the Energy Star Action Workbook. It includes actions that will provide the greatest return on your time and financial investments.
There are programs available that can help you offset the cost of energy efficiency improvements by offering incentives and loans.
Small Business – Pays for up to 70% of eligible retrofit costs for facilities with an electric demand of 60 kW or less.
Larger Business – Energy saving solutions for health, education, commercial, industrial, agricultural, or non-profit entities.
Loans: The following loan programs can help to offset upfront costs. These projects are likely to save money on utility bills and the savings can be used for the loan repayment. The projects eventually pay back themselves.
Commercial Property Assess Clean Energy Loans (C-PACE)
C-PACE provides loans for projects relating to energy efficiency, renewable energy, climate resiliency, and water conservation. The loan is paid back over time through a surcharge on the property tax bill. To learn more, click here or check out this fact sheet.
Jane E. Lawton Conservation Loan program
Loans through this program have a 2% interest rate and usually range from $50,000-$500,000. More info can be found here.
If you are interested in learning more about how your business can become more energy efficient, please feel free to contact us!
Tyrah Cobb-Davis, Chesapeake Conservation Corps Member
Dawn Ashbacher, Sustainability Program Manager
Frederick County Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources