Author Archives: Joshua Myers

Green Partners: Groundloop

Green Partners: Groundloop Heating and Air Conditioning — Comfortable and Renewable Energy Power-Houses!

Welcome to our Green Partners series, highlighting our partners in the community that help make Montgomery County Green Bank a success.

We talked with Jason Cullum, Vice President of Groundloop Heating and Air Conditioning, to learn about its latest successes and why they are proud to partner with the Montgomery County Green Bank.


Tell us about Groundloop Heating and Air Conditioning and your work there.

 

Jason Cullum [JC]: At Groundloop Heating and Air Conditioning, we have been installing geothermal heat pumps since the 1980s. This is a family business, started by my father. I currently serve as the Vice President and I oversee what happens throughout the company on a day to day basis. I make sure everyone in the company has what they need to take excellent care of our customers. We serve residential and small business projects, and our geographical coverage goes from southern Pennsylvania to Deleware to the District of Columbia.


What are the key decisions your clients make when moving a project forward?


JC
: There are three reasons why people get a geothermal system for their home:

  1. Saving money
  2. Protecting the environment
  3. To be more comfortable in their house

Most people start with the number one reason, saving money, then later they see the other benefits, and the decision then becomes a no-brainer. Most people think that you have to spend a ton of money to help the environment, but with the MC Green Bank you don’t have to have any money to pay upfront. They have 100% financing with their participating lenders.


What’s something exciting you’re working on now?


JC
: We are currently working with Montgomery County Delegate Lorig Charkoudian to bring geothermal to lower-income families and to lower-income housing. Our goal is to bring geothermal to a larger portion of the county and to help the state meet their renewable energy goals. While we cannot give exact details, we can say that we are researching several exciting plans at the moment to see how we can impact the most amount of people.


What are the key decisions your customers have to make?
 

JC: Many people are very frugal with their home heating and cooling usage. They sacrifice their comfort to save money. It turns out that when you have geothermal, you can afford to live comfortably.


Why do you choose to partner with the MC Green Bank as a Participating Contractor with the Clean Energy Advantage program?


JC
: I think working with the Green Bank is attractive to people in Montgomery County because many prefer to work with local businesses as opposed to businesses located out of the area. They know that their money will stay in the state and will benefit the state and the county. It gives people a better peace of mind to know that they are working with someone right in Montgomery County.


What do your customers reflect on as the most surprising or rewarding when the work is completed?


JC
: Customers are always surprised at how comfortable they are in their home after getting their geothermal system installed. They are thrilled with how the comfortable the system makes their house feel. It blows a very cozy warm heat.


What is the most important thing customers should know about geothermal?

 

JC: Geothermal is a better way to heat and cool your home when you are unhappy with your current heating and cooling. With traditional methods, you either sacrifice cost or comfort. You don’t have to sacrifice anything with geothermal! You get it all, especially with all of the public incentives that are currently being offered.


November 2020

Stockbridge Condominiums

Project Snapshot

Stockbridge Condominiums

 

About the Building

Townhomes and piggy-back style condominiums located off Route 29 in Silver Spring, Maryland

Property Upgrade Summary

Conversion of lighting to LED fixtures to reduce wattage and electricity usage. The property is reducing energy consumption by 100,000 kWh and saving over $14,000 annually.

Green Bank Financing

$44,000 Small Business Energy Savings Support Loan in conjunction with City First Enterprises for LED lighting installation. Closed October 2020.

About the Project

Stockbridge at Tanglewood Condominiums became the first local commercial entity to use a loan under the Small Business Energy Savings Support product to improve its operating budget and gain savings.  The Association worked closely with the Montgomery County Green Bank and City First Enterprises to secure a $44,000 loan.  New LED fixtures on the property are reducing energy consumption by 100,000 kWh per year and saving over $14,000 annually.  The contractor worked closely with Pepco to secure substantial incentives that help offset the costs of this project.

Financing Details

The Green Bank with City First Enterprises provided the capital necessary for the energy efficiency measures.

Total Cost for Energy Efficiency Measures$44,000
Small Business Energy Savings Support Loan$44,000
Utility Incentives (Rebates)$10,000

Montgomery County Green Bank’s Role

The Montgomery County Green Bank’s small business program brought partner and the needed capital to support the Stockbridge project. The Green Bank works closely with the Montgomery County Commission on Common Ownership Communities to help association boards execute on long term energy plans and financing strategies to be able to implement projects.

Green Bank and City First Loans Help Montgomery County Businesses Recover From COVID-19 Impacts

October 26, 2020

For Immediate Release

Media contact: Tom Deyo, Montgomery County Green Bank Chief Executive Officer, at tdeyo@mcgreenbank.org

ROCKVILLE – The Montgomery County Green Bank (“Green Bank”) and City First Enterprises (“City First”) are offering flexible, affordable financing to help Montgomery County businesses address needed energy efficiency and health-related improvements that can aid recovery from the economic impacts of COVID-19.  Stockbridge condominiums became the first local commercial entity to use a loan under the program to improve its operating budget and gain savings.

“The projects funded under this program will help many businesses that are seeking to reduce operating costs, reopen and grow,” said Tom Deyo, Green Bank CEO.  “This crisis is challenging because many businesses need to manage operating budgets while increasing investment in new mechanical systems and physical safety measures to make tenants and customers feel comfortable with returning.  The Green Bank/City First program can help businesses implement improvements while preserving cash and reaping the benefits of energy efficiency savings.”

The Small Business Energy Savings Support Program offered by the Green Bank and City First is a flexible financing option that offers  lower-cost financing and varied repayment terms for energy efficiency that can help businesses reduce their operating costs as well as improve work and living environments.

“Flexible is key to helping businesses at this time,” said Oswaldo Acosta, CEO of City First Enterprises.  “The Green Bank and City First came together quickly as the pandemic hit and identified a need to be flexible and available to respond to market needs.  Within 45 days we had defined a program, put our resources together, and moved to bring the program to market.”

Businesses with up to 500 employees can access loans from $10,000 to $150,000 for up to five-year terms at interest rates of 3% to 5%. The terms include repayment options to meet business needs, including interest-only payments for six months or payment deferrals for three months. Each borrower will be underwritten on a streamlined basis using their capacity for undertaking the loan and their energy savings from the system upgrades.

“Our condominium needed to find ways to save money and reduce operating costs during this unprecedented time,” said David Gardner, Attorney for Stockbridge Condominium Association.  “The Manager worked with a contractor and identified significant savings in lighting but needed a bridge in funding to cover the costs.  The Green Bank/City First financing offered us terms that helped fund the project with the savings and still have funding left over to immediately reduce our operating costs.”

The Green Bank also collaborates with Pepco and other utility partners to help bring energy efficiency projects to fruition and be the most cost effective.  For this project, the Green Bank, Stockbridge, and the contractor worked closely with Pepco to secure substantial Small Business incentives that will help offset the costs of this project.

The Montgomery County Green Bank’s Small Business Energy Savings Program is available to Montgomery County businesses and is an example of how the Green Bank can bring valuable investment to the county to meet its energy savings and healthy-building needs.

“The capital needs in the county are vast at this time as the market seeks to recover from COVID-19,” Deyo said. “The Green Bank and City First share a common mission to help small businesses operate more efficiently and address key energy and health-related property improvements.”

The Montgomery County Green Bank is an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to helping businesses and residents affordably implement energy efficiency and clean energy solutions. The Green Bank supports the county by driving investment into energy efficiency and clean energy through lending and investment partners in the region. These efforts include working with homeowners, renters, and commercial entities of all varieties. For more information, visit www.mcgreenbank.org.

City First Enterprises is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and a Community Development Financial Institution (a designation by the US Treasury). City First operates principally through the Equitable Growth Fund, which provides accessible debt capital to groups working in affordable housing, small businesses, education, nonprofits, education, community facilities, and commercial real estate in the Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia areas. Visit www.cfenterprises.org for more information.

Glen Manor Condominiums

Project Snapshot

Glen Manor Condominiums

 

About the Building

32-unit affordable residential condominium property located in Silver Spring, Maryland

Property Upgrade Summary

Energy Efficiency upgrades including replacement of aging mechanical systems and HVAC piping network. Upgrades are reducing overall energy consumption by the property equivalent to 280 tons of carbon dioxide emissions

Green Bank Financing

$512,000 CLEER Loan with Sandy Spring Bank for mechanical and piping renovations.  Closed September 2020.

About the Project

Glen Manor is a 32-unit affordable condominium in a prime location with diverse residents consisting of families, couples, and single individuals of all ages.  Aging mechanical systems needed repair and the community explored options for over two years, including selling the property. The community’s love of the property created a different solution. The partnership between the Montgomery County Green Bank and Sandy Spring Bank helped Glen Manor obtain the necessary financing early in the process so the project could proceed quickly.

Financing Details

The Green Bank with Sandy Spring Bank provided the capital necessary for the energy efficiency measures.

Total Cost for Energy Efficiency Measures$617,540
CLEER Program Loan$512,000
Other Capital$105,540

Montgomery County Green Bank’s Role

The Montgomery County Green Bank’s CLEER Program brought partner and the needed capital from local bank, Sandy Spring Bank, to support the Glen Manor Condominiums project.  The Green Bank works closely with the Montgomery County Commission on Common Ownership Communities to help association boards execute on long term energy plans and financing strategies to be able to implement projects.

Takoma Overlook Condominiums

Project Snapshot

Takoma Overlook Condominiums

About the Building

212-unit affordable residential condominium in a high-rise in Takoma Park, Maryland

Property Upgrade Summary

Energy Efficiency upgrades including boilers, domestic water heaters, a new cogeneration system for on-site power on‐site and domestic hot water, switchgear, occupancy‐sensing thermostats, new ultra‐high‐efficiency motors to system pumps, and an EV Charger in the parking lot. Improvements support reduction in energy consumption by 20%.

Green Bank Financing

$837,000 CLEER Loan by Sandy Spring Bank and a $200,000 bridge loan by the Green Bank and City First Enterprises. Closed December 2019.

About the Project

The Board and residents of Takoma Overlook spent a couple years exploring the options to conduct needed energy efficiency improvements to their property. In 2019, the association pursued a comprehensive set of improvements to reduce operating costs associated with the aging systems and also find savings in the reduced energy consumption. With all replacements undertaken, the property’s average annual energy consumption savings is projected at almost $75,000 kWh per year and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 500 metric tons annually.

Financing Details

The Green Bank with Sandy Spring Bank and City First Enterprises provided the capital necessary for the HVAC replacement.

Total Cost for Project$1,500,000
CLEER Program Loan (Sandy Spring Bank)$837,000
Bridge Loan (City First Enterprises and Green Bank)$200,000
Maryland Energy Administration$75,000
Pepco Incentives$14,000
Other Capital$374,000

Montgomery County Green Bank’s Role

The CLEER Program of the Montgomery County Green Bank brought the partner and the needed loan capital from Sandy Spring Bank. The Green Bank also worked with City First Enterprises, a local community development financial institution, to provide a short-term facility for the Association to meet its capital requirements for the loan.

Glascock Office Building

Project Snapshot

Glascock Office Building

About the Building

23,542 square foot commercial office located in Bethesda, Maryland

Property Upgrade Summary

Energy Efficiency upgrades including HVAC replacement reducing energy consumption by 17%, or 50,000 kWh per year.  This was final energy efficiency effort following duct insulation, building automation, LED lighting, air sealing.

Green Bank Financing

$206,500 CLEER Loan with Sandy Spring Bank for HVAC Replacement.  Closed June 2019.

About the Project

The tenants of the Glascock Office Building represent leaders in environmental advocacy and have pursued a series of comprehensive energy efficiency upgrades since 2006.  The property owners capped off their series of upgrades with the replacement of their HVAC system with a new energy-efficient 120-ton rooftop HVAC unit.   With all replacements undertaken, the property’s average annual energy consumption savings is projected at 145,000 kWh per year, furthering the building’s legacy as ENERGY STAR Certified.  The partnership between the Montgomery County Green Bank and Sandy Spring Bank brought affordable financing to the building owners so the project could proceed. The Glascock Office Building will enjoy lower energy costs, a more comfortable space, and greater control over their energy use from the series of energy upgrades.

Financing Details

The Green Bank with Sandy Spring Bank provided the capital necessary for the HVAC replacement.

Total Cost for HVAC Replacement$206,500
CLEER Program Loan$206,500
Pepco Incentive$14,000
Other Capital$0

Montgomery County Green Bank’s Role

The CLEER Program of the Montgomery County Green Bank brought partner and the needed capital from local bank, Sandy Spring Bank, to support the Glascock Office Building’s HVAC Replacement.

Solar Energy World: Big Solar for Our Community

Montgomery County Green Bank’s Green Partners

Welcome to our Green Partners series, highlighting our partners in the community that help make Montgomery County Green Bank a success.

We talked with Daren Weatherby, Solar Analyst with Solar Energy World, to learn about their latest successes and why they are proud to partner with the Montgomery County Green Bank.


Tell us about Solar Energy World and your work there.

Daren Weatherby [DW]: 

Solar Energy World has been around for about 11 years and has completed around 12,000 installations just in the DC-Maryland-Virginia Region. It’s the largest solar company in Maryland and has recently begun new expansions into New Jersey and Florida. We are proud to have partnered with the Montgomery County Solar Co-op, going on three years now!

My role is a solar analyst. I’ve been working in solar for over 5 years and been with Solar Energy World for 2 years. I am here to guide people interested in solar in the right direction, help them design a system to fit their needs, and advise on installation choices. I provide consultation with customers, answer questions, and if they are ready to move forward, I stay with them and become the project manager for their project and shepherd it through the process. At any given time, I’m working on 30-40 projects. I enjoy building and maintaining the relationship with customers, and of course, growing the businesses and bringing more solar online!


What’s something exciting you’re working on now?

DW: Being selected for the Montgomery County Solar and EV Coop is exciting work. In fact, we also won our bid to do the Northern Virginia Solarize Coops! These Coops are another way we reach out to the community and spread solar in different ways.

We’re also recently Tesla Powerwall certified. We’re excited to be ramping up battery installations and can currently offer a couple different battery options – Enphase and Tesla Powerwall technology.


Why do you choose to partner with the MC Green Bank as an Authorized Contractor with the Clean Energy Advantage program?

DW: I like to find new ways to reach out to the community. We’ve known about the Green Bank for a couple years now, and when the Montgomery County Solar Coop presented an opportunity to partner with the Green Bank and give back to the community, we joined. The Coop is beneficial for customers, but partnered with the Green Bank, customers can get group pricing, good rates, and there’s no contractor fee. We can offer better programs than we would without that partnership, and we have a handful of customers in the Coop working with the Clean Energy Advantage program to get great financing from the Clean Energy Credit Union, thanks to the Green Bank.


What are the key decisions your customers make when moving a project forward?

DW: Placement and arrangement of the array is a big decision for customers. This is an area where I can offer to guide them in the right direction, advise on ways to maximize the value of their roof space and panel orientation. Customers also need to know their long-term future, since this can determine how they want to go solar: own or lease? Many will lease knowing they are producing clean energy, saving money, while not having to make the investment of ownership. I will do a lot of discovery with each customer to find out about what is bringing them to solar and find the right solution to fit their needs.


What do your customers reflect on as the most surprising or rewarding when the work is completed?

DW: Above and beyond, customers have an enormous sense of pride knowing they are contributing to a

positive carbon footprint – that as they look up at their solar panels, they see concrete demonstration that they are part of the solution. They revel in knowing they are producing their own power and that it’s coming from the sun. Also, when they see that first utility bill after the solar comes on, they are positively shocked. After paying a utility bill their whole life, to receive a bill that is so low, or even negative, is a huge takeaway.


What benefits of CLEER do you most promote most with your clients?

DW: With Montgomery County Coop customers, these folks want solar and have signed on for the aggressive discount, but many still don’t have the cash to pay for it all upfront. We were delighted to find that the Green Bank had a solution. The Clean Energy Advantage program currently offers loans without the contractor fee, which allows us to pass on even more savings to the customer. We think it’s great to work with the local Clean Energy Credit Union while giving our customers access to capital that wouldn’t be there otherwise.


October 2020

Montgomery County Green Bank Partners with Sandy Spring Bank to Provide Energy-Saving Loan to Glen Manor Condominiums in Silver Spring

Loan Program Reduces Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the County

September 29, 2020

For Immediate Release

Media contact: Tom Deyo, Montgomery County Green Bank Chief Executive Officer, 301-538-2636, tdeyo@mcgreenbank.org

(Sandy Spring contact:) Sam Price, Vice President, Marketing, Sandy Spring Bank, 301.260.3614, sprice@sandyspringbank.com

ROCKVILLE – The Montgomery County Green Bank (“Green Bank”) and Sandy Spring Bank today announced they have partnered to help another commercial property in the County implement energy-saving measures that will improve operating costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the County. The Glen Manor Condominiums in Silver Spring, Md. used the Green Bank’s Commercial Loan For Energy Efficiency and Renewables (CLEER) program to finance $512,000 in operational and energy efficiencies. This will reduce the property’s energy consumption equivalent to 280 tons of carbon dioxide annually over the next 10 years.

Glen Manor is a 32-unit affordable condominium in a prime location with diverse residents consisting of families, couples and single individuals of all ages.  Aging mechanical systems needed repair and the community explored options for over two years, including selling the property. The community’s love of the property created  a different solution. The partnership between Green Bank and Sandy Spring Bank helped Glen Manor obtain the necessary financing early in the process so the project could proceed quickly.

“The road to getting to this point took intention and dedication on the part of our community to achieve important energy efficiency and operational efficiencies. These improvements will help us be a sustainable community for the long haul,” said Brian Haaser of Glen Manor Condominiums. “The support of the Montgomery County Green Bank and Sandy Spring Bank was key to getting to the finish line and implementing our vision. They worked collaboratively as a team to provide the critical financing we needed.”

“The financing of the Glen Manor Condominiums to undertake critical energy efficiency improvements demonstrates the Montgomery County Green Bank’s mission to partner with private capital to accelerate investment in clean energy,” said Tom Deyo, CEO of the Montgomery County Green Bank. “Our continuing work with Sandy Spring Bank under the CLEER program is bringing much needed capital for energy efficiency projects in support of the County’s significant environmental goals and critical housing in the County.” This is the third loan to be closed under the CLEER program with Sandy Spring Bank.

To date, $2 million in commercial and affordable housing projects have been financed by Sandy Spring Bank through the CLEER program to help properties reduce their environmental footprint, gain operating cost benefits, create comfort and value for their residents, and help the County toward its goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  Collective energy savings for these properties is nearly $80,000 annually and the reduction of 560 tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year, equivalent to saving all of the electricity used by 95 homes in the County each year.

“Energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements are fundamental for improving the environment in the County and the nation,” said Ken Cook, Executive Vice President of Commercial  Banking at Sandy Spring Bank. “Sandy Spring Bank is proud to partner with the Montgomery County Green Bank to provide the critical funds needed to make Montgomery County homes and businesses more environmentally and economically sustainable. The Glen Manor Condominiums is yet another example of how this partnership is producing results and benefits.”

About Montgomery County Green Bank
The Montgomery County Green Bank is a publicly-chartered nonprofit dedicated to accelerating affordable energy efficiency and clean energy investment in Montgomery County, MD.  We partner with the private sector to build a more diverse, equitable, and inclusively prosperous, resilient, sustainable, and healthy community. Our work supports Montgomery County’s goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.  For more information, visit www.mcgreenbank.org.

 

About Sandy Spring Bancorp, Inc. 
Sandy Spring Bancorp, Inc., headquartered in Olney, Maryland, is the holding company for Sandy Spring Bank, a premier community bank in the Greater Washington, D.C. region. With over 65 locations, the bank offers a broad range of commercial and retail banking, mortgage, private banking, and trust services throughout Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Through its subsidiaries, Rembert Pendleton Jackson, Sandy Spring Insurance Corporation and West Financial Services, Inc., Sandy Spring Bank also offers a comprehensive menu of insurance and wealth management services. For more information, www.sandyspringbank.com.

Meet Jean Moyer: MC Green Bank’s Business Operations Manager

 

Greetings, I am very excited to join the Montgomery County Green Bank team! I am a long time Montgomery County resident and have been an environmental supporter since I was a teenager. I am thrilled by the opportunity to bring my professional experience full circle to supporting the environment and the work of the Green Bank as it enables County residents and businesses to achieve energy savings and deploy renewable energy products.

Before joining the Bank, I utilized my accounting degree and CPA experience in various capacities in multiple non-profit organizations. I have a long background in audit, compliance, grants management, and finance, primarily in the conservation arena. I am excited to be leveraging my experience and skills to ensure that the Green Bank’s activities are effectively and efficiently run with best business practices and sound internal controls.

My interests outside of work include gardening, working on my 80 year-old house, and taking long walks with my 2 rescue dogs. I have 3 adult children, all living in different states, and now that they are grown, I have more time to devote to volunteering for my local community and my church to support social and environmental justice. I am happy that my professional life is now in closer alignment with my personal life values and interests. I look forward to ensuring the business success of the Green Bank!

Notice of November 18, 2020 Board Meeting

Date: Wednesday November 18, 2020, 1:30-4:30 pm
Location: Teleconference

The Montgomery County Green Bank will be holding a Board of Directors Meeting on Wednesday November 18, 2020 at 1:30:00 am. The public is permitted to attend this meeting.  If you would like to be there, please RSVP in advance to info@mcgreenbank.org. You can find the meeting agenda here.

Notice of November 05, 2020 Board Meeting

Date: Tuesday November 05, 2020, 8:00-9:00 am
Location: Teleconference

The Montgomery County Green Bank will be holding a Board of Directors Meeting on Thursday November 05, 2020 at 8:00 am. The public is permitted to attend this meeting. If you would like to be there, please RSVP in advance to info@mcgreenbank.org. You can find the meeting agenda by clicking here.

Notice of September 16, 2020 Board Meeting

Date: Wednesday September 16, 2020, 1:30-4:30 pm
Location: Teleconference

The Montgomery County Green Bank will be holding a Board of Directors Meeting on Wednesday September 16, 2020 at 1:30-4:30 pm. The public is permitted to attend this meeting.  If you would like to be there, please RSVP in advance to info@mcgreenbank.org. The meeting agenda can be found here.