Author Archives: Joshua Myers

Residential Geothermal

Project Snapshot

Residential Geothermal

 

About the Building

Single-family home

Property Upgrade Summary

Installation of closed loop geothermal system with two loops and water furnace.

Geothermal heat pumps are considered a form of high efficiency heat pump. These systems rely on heat transfers between the air and the ground to provide heating and cooling to homes and buildings.

Green Bank Financing

General Project Cost: $35,000
Loan Product: Combo (Short Term and Long Term)
Short Term Loan:
Amount: $9,100*
Average APR: 5.50%
Term: 12 -18 months
Fees: No Financing Fees**
Monthly Payment: None. One-time payment of $9,850.75 due at term of loan and after receipt of previous year’s income tax credit.

*26% of Project Cost (Equivalent to the Federal Income Tax Credit).
**$25 Application Fee

Long Term Loan:
Amount: $25,900*
Average APR: 5.75%
Term: 12 or 15 Years
Fees: No Financing Fees**
Monthly Payment: $204.82

*74% of Project Cost
**$25 Application Fee plus ~$300 UCC1 Filling Fee.

Projected Annual Energy Savings

Conversion from Gas: 24,584 kWh (of equivalent heat & electricity)

Conversion from Electric: 9,275 kWh

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.

About Geothermal

A geothermal system is similar to a conventional heat pump heating and cooling system.  A conventional heat pump, also known as an air source heat pump, takes heat out of the air and moves it into the home in winter and out of the home in summer.  A geothermal heat pump, also known as a ground source heat pump, is a high efficiency type of heat pump which uses the earth’s stable temperature to heat and cool the home.  Geothermal systems have pipes that are buried in the ground in which a liquid is circulated through. The liquid transfers the heat from the earth and moves it into the house during winter and removes heat from the house and transfers it into the earth in the summer.

Financing Details

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

Total Cost for HVAC Replacement$35,000
Clean Energy Advantage Program Loan$35,000
Pepco Incentive$1,800
Maryland Energy Administration Incentive$3,000
Federal Income Tax Credit (26% of Project Cost)$9,100
Net Project Cost$21,100
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.

Solar PV Case Study

Project Snapshot

Solar PV Case Study

 

About the Building

Single-family, two story detached home located in Kensington, Maryland

Property Upgrade Summary

13.47kW Solar PV system

Projected Energy Savings

This solar PV system will produce more than 14,000 kilowatt hours per year of clean, renewable energy for the home with a projected savings of $1,960 in reduced electricity bills annually and will lower greenhouse gas emissions by 10.3 metric tons of carbon dioxide kept out of the atmosphere.

About the Project

The solar PV system consists of 49 Hanwa 320 Watt solar modules 15.68 kW with 49 Enphase IQ7-60-x-US microinverters and the state-of-the art Enphase remote monitoring platform.

Financing Details

The Clean Energy Credit Union, supported by the Green Bank under the Green Bank’s Clean Energy Advantage program, provided a loan to cover 74% of project costs to help finance the project. The owner will access federal income tax credits for about 26% of the solar project costs.

About Solar

Solar PV systems use a multitude of photovoltaic cells to convert sunlight into electricity. When light shines on the PV cell, the components move rapidly and create electricity; and stronger sunlight creates more electricity. The energy that is created flows through wiring connected to the panels to an inverter or inverters, which change the energy from direct current to alternating current, which is the type of current used in homes and buildings. The energy from the inverter is connected to an electric fuse box or a dedicated set of breakers to power whatever appliances or electric loads are pulling electricity when the solar energy comes through. In most cases, the building will use the energy from the solar system primarily before using electricity from the utility grid. Any solar energy that the building does not need at the time will be send back to the utility grid and metered as negative usage for billing credits.

Montgomery County Green Bank’s Role

The Green Bank is currently assisting many more customers in the County’s solar co-op program using the Green Bank’s Clean Energy Advantage program. The Clean Energy Advantage program provides 100% financing for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Montgomery County with competitive rates. Learn more about our Clean Energy Advantage program here.

Green Homeowners: Geothermal

Delegate Lorig Charkoudian – Why I Installed Geothermal For My Home.

Welcome to our Green Homeowners series, highlighting homeowners in the community that have completed a renewable energy or energy efficiency project using Montgomery County Green Bank partner financing programs.

 We talked with Maryland State Delegate, Lorig Charkoudian, to learn about why she decided to install a geothermal renewable energy system for her home here in Montgomery County.


Tell us about yourself and how you are motivated about clean energy in your work or home life.

 

Delegate Charkoudian [DC]: I am committed to shifting my home, and the State of Maryland, to 100% clean energy

as quickly as possible! I work on the State policy as a member of the Maryland General Assembly. I work on switching my own home to clean energy by making investments and shifts when I can pull together the funds and financing. The Green Bank makes this more of a reality for me and others in Montgomery County by helping secure financing for these renewable energy and energy efficiency projects!


What clean energy project did you complete and why? What benefits do you anticipate from your project? How does this project fit with other clean energy efforts you have done?

DC: I recently had a ground source heat pump installed at my house to provide for my heating and cooling needs. This was a crucial part of my plan to move away from fracked gas usage. It is very important that we move towards electrifying everything that we can while we also move to clean up the electric grid by switching over to renewable energy sources. Ground source heat pumps also help reduce our peak electricity usage, or the amount of electricity pulled from the grid during peak use times, like in the evening when more people are using electricity.  Peak energy is usually provided by fossil fuel plant “peakers” and is usually the dirtiest and most expensive energy. While there are several solutions we need to incorporate to respond to peak energy usage, such as more battery storage and offshore wind, deploying more peak-shaving technology such as geothermal heat pumps is an important tool in that toolbox.

This geothermal heat pump helps with my transition away from natural gas, decreases my energy usage overall, and decreases my peak usage. My electricity comes from solar panels on my roof, a subscription to community solar, and clean energy from Clean Choice!


How did you think about paying for the project?

 

DC: I had been saving for a new air conditioning unit because I knew that the one that I had would need to be replaced soon. A combination of the money that I had saved, and the Montgomery County Green Bank’s Clean Energy Advantage program allowed me to get this project done.


How did you find out about the Green Bank’s Clean Energy Advantage program and how did it fit in to your needs for financing your project?
 

DC: I had been following the development of the Green Bank and I was pleased to see more funds directed toward financing clean energy projects. For my project, the Green Bank’s option of having two separate loan terms was important. The current renewable energy federal tax credit is very helpful to make the project affordable, but it does not arrive for almost a year after I pay for the project. The Green Bank offered a short-term loan to cover the amount of the tax credit and a second, longer term loan for the rest of the funds needed.

Also, as I think about what efforts I want my money to support, I know that I want my loan payments to go toward additional financing of green energy projects. Had I gone with a loan from a traditional bank, my interest payments would be going into some larger fund in Wall Street, which might be financing any number of things, including possibly fossil fuels.


What benefits are you realizing from the project now that it has been installed?

DC: I am so warm and cozy right now with my ground source geothermal system! And I was so nice and cool this summer! I like to think of my warmth as Mother Earth wrapping her arms around me to keep me warm, since the warmth in my home is coming from the earth! I am also almost completely off using any fracked gas. Once I replace my stove and dryer, I will be able to disconnect completely from the fracked gas system!


Would you recommend the Green Bank financing program to a friend? If so, why?

 

DC: Absolutely! They are very easy to work with and they were very supportive throughout the project.


December 2020

Solar System PV Remote monitoring – How it works and how it can add value

Cindy McCabe – December 2020

Remote monitoring is an important and often overlooked part of a solar PV system, and here’s why –  If your solar system turns off unexpectedly, you won’t automatically know that something happened in your house.  You won’t have the telltale signs like you would if your home heat or AC goes out because your home is still connected to the electric grid for power and everything will continue to be powered as it should.

Remote monitoring will give you the peace of mind of knowing that your solar system is working or if it may have stopped working due to damage from nature or from a rare manufacturer defect. You will want to know about any issues as quickly as possible so you can fix your system as soon as your installer is available, and your monitoring software will provide this information for you.

A remote monitoring system will alert your solar installer to any potential problems within days of a consistent outage or a significant drop in production. If you are unsure of whether or not you have monitoring, check with your installer on whether monitoring is included in your contract.

This monitoring is also needed in order to access the Solar Renewable Energy Credit, or SREC market.  Basically, SRECs are carbon offset credits that the owner of the solar system gains with solar production and the owner can sell these credits in the SREC market. We will address incentives including SRECs in more detail in a future Blog.

Remote monitoring has different components, and it includes a device or devices that connect to your internet router and which transmit information from your solar system’s inverter to the inverter manufacturer’s monitoring database. If there is an ongoing outage, your installer will be notified to check the system’s operation.  You will need to have a broadband internet connection to use remote monitoring. The solar installer will check your Wi-Fi connection during your site survey.  Most wired Wi-Fi connections qualify to use monitoring, and the data usage is negligible.

Dan Book, Ipsun Solar Operations and Maintenance Solar and Dispatch Manager says, “I think PV system monitoring is really important because it empowers the homeowner to keep an eye on their system.  It gives them full transparency on what’s going on, which makes a solar system a unique device for your house.  Unfortunately, we do not have monitoring on things like dishwashers and washing machines.  I think monitoring is a great tool that everyone should use.”

Remote monitoring gathers and stores information from the inverter or inverters (think of them as the brains) of your solar system.  SolarEdge and Enphase are two of the popular inverter manufacturers used by solar installers in this area. Both of these companies offer online monitoring and a phone app, like Enphase’s My Enlighten, for both installers and customers.  Both also have an automatic notification system set up to alert the installer when production has both dropped below a pre-determined threshold and for a sustained period, ranging from 24-72 hours. This software is monitoring your solar production, but it will not automatically produce an alert unless the outage is sustained because many times an inverter will re-cycle and fix itself; which is great!

In the end, you want to know if something is wrong with your solar system, and remote monitoring is the tool that gives you this peace of mind.  Ask you installer for more information and read your contract for warranty details.

Cindy McCabe is the Residential Solar Program Manager for the Montgomery County Green Bank. She has worked in the solar industry for the past six years with responsibilities including project management, solar system design, inspection coordination, site survey coordination, operations management, and sales. Cindy lives in Rockville, MD and considers herself an avid environmentalist.

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

Squirrel guards – Might Be Well Worth the Investment for Some Maryland Solar PV Systems

Cindy McCabe – November 2020

What are the squirrels up to now? Do they regularly scamper across your roof?  If squirrels have access to a roof they can cause damage to the wiring and the production of a solar panel photovoltaic system.   In such situations you may want to consider investing in squirrel guards for your solar PV system and protect against the potentially substantial cost of solar PV maintenance from squirrel damage.

So, what are squirrel guards? Also known as critter guards or pest abatement, these are barriers made of protective metal mesh which your solar installer attaches around the outside of your solar system to keep leaves and critters from entering in the gap between your solar panels and your roof.  They can protect expensive microinverters and other important wiring underneath each solar panel.   Many solar system warranties do not cover damage due to

Squirrel guards – photo by Ipsun Solar

negligence or damage from nature.

Are they right for your system?  Talk to your solar installer about whether squirrel guards are right for your situation, and what the price of this investment would be to protect your system. Your solar installer can fully describe your liabilities and whether squirrel guards could help. The installer can also talk to you about the maintenance you may need to perform to keep the squirrel guards clean.  If you decline to include squirrel guards with the installation of your system, and squirrels or other wildlife cause damage to your solar system, you may bear the responsibility for payment for this type of maintenance. Be sure to read your entire solar PV contract.

When considering adding this important feature to your solar system, it is important to think about what trees or other objects are currently within 10 feet of your roof, both vertically and horizontally. This ten feet of space is the amount needed to keep squirrels from jumping from trees onto your roof, according to the National Audubon Society. Also, don’t forget to factor in the amount that your younger trees may grow. According to a tree growth study by Iowa State University, trees grow between 0.75-1.5 feet per year. If you have trees that are 15 feet lower than your roof line now, they may be well within squirrel-jumping distance before long.

An experienced solar expert, Humza Arshad, from CD Greentech, says “In the DMV region (Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia), we have a very healthy squirrel population, and squirrels can gravitate toward nesting under solar panels because they are warm and just the right size for a cozy nest. Installing physical barriers in those instances where squirrels can be an issue for the solar array not only promotes the long-term functioning of the system but also protects the critters themselves from the danger of electrocution. The look [with the squirrel guards] either negligibly impacts or improves the aesthetics of the array by making it harder to see under the panels.”

So, when considering solar panels for your home, talk to your installer and discuss the need for squirrel guards. It is a small investment compared to the price of the overall system but can save you lots of headaches and maintenance costs in the long run.

Cindy McCabe is the Residential Solar Program Manager for the Montgomery County Green Bank. She has worked in the solar industry for the past six years with responsibilities including project management, solar system design, inspection coordination, site survey coordination, operations management, and sales. Cindy lives in Rockville, MD and considers herself an avid environmentalist.

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