Author Archives: Joshua Myers

Supporting Solar PV Market: Lower Interest Rates

The Montgomery Green Bank Clean Energy Advantage financing program for solar has reduced its interest rates for Montgomery County residents. The lowest rate now available is 4.49% fixed for a 12-year loan with no financing fees. A 15-year loan is 4.74% fixed.

The Green Bank worked with its lenders to achieve a better rate for the market and support the solar PV marketplace and the homeowners looking to undertake this work in the current environment. Find more information about the CEA program here.

Just Completed: Geothermal Project Supported by Clean Energy Advantage Financing Program!

A home geothermal project was completed this month and is providing clean, renewable energy to a Takoma Park homeowner. The project built by Ground Loop Heating and Air Conditioning relied on a Clean Energy Advantage program loan originated by Clean Energy Credit Union and provided the homeowner with preferred rates available to Montgomery County households under CEA.

The Clean Energy Advantage program offers secured and unsecured loans from $3,000 to $50,000 at affordable terms from its two lending partners – NASA Federal Credit Union and the Clean Energy Credit Union. The program finances energy efficiency measures, solar PV, geothermal, energy storage, and EV charging stations.

More projects are in the pipeline for other homeowners under the Clean Energy Advantage program. Find more information about the Clean Energy Advantage program here.

The Green Bank Is Hiring – Business Operations Manager

The Montgomery County Green Bank is presently hiring a Business Operations Manager. The position description can be found here.

The position is open through August 7, 2020, or until filled.

Please submit resumes and cover letters for the position to HR@mcgreenbank.org.

Board of Directors Elected a New Chair and Two New Board Members

The Montgomery County Green Bank (Green Bank) announces the election of a new Chair to its Board of Directors and two new Board members. The incoming Chair succeeds the inaugural Chair who has held the role since the Green Bank’s inception in 2016 and has guided it through initial operational set-up and initial product launches.  The two new Board members join to replace a founding Board member and a County-appointed position.

The Green Bank has benefited from the depth of experience and understanding of the national green bank landscape provided by its founding Chair, Bert Hunter, Chief Investment Officer of the Connecticut Green Bank.  Under Mr. Hunter’s leadership, the Green Bank secured funding from the County and several foundations to supports its programs, developed an initial set of products and transactions that demonstrate the role of the Green Bank, and created a robust operational infrastructure. “I am proud of the accomplishments of the Montgomery County Green Bank to launch an initial set of market-relevant products that can support the growth of clean energy investment in the County,” stated Mr. Hunter.  “The introduction of a Commercial Loan for Energy Efficiency and Renewables, a residential loan for homeowners called Clean Energy Advantage, a renewable energy program for nonprofits, and a small business energy finance program will be valuable tools for the market. I am very pleased that Bonnie Norman has been elected by the Board to be Chair of the Green Bank. Ms. Norman has been an active and fundamental Board member since the Green Bank’s inception and has served as Vice Chair and a member of the Executive Committee from the start,” concluded Mr. Hunter. Mr. Hunter also thanked Ms. Stacy Swann and Ms. Hope Brown Saxton for their work on the Executive Committee since 2016 as they stepped down from these positions.

Ms. Norman, President of E3 International, was elected by the Board at its June 26, 2020 Board meeting to be the Green Bank’s next Chair.  Ms. Norman has been engaged at many levels throughout her tenure on the Board including on the Executive Committee, Product Development Committee, and as Chair of the Partnerships and Funding Committee. “I am excited about how far the Green Bank has progressed and that it is poised to make significant contributions to the County, advancing our mission to support diverse, equitable, and inclusive green economy growth and jobs,” noted Ms. Norman. “This is a pivotal moment for the Green Bank to catalyze clean energy investment that can help the County’s businesses and residents not only improve their carbon footprint and energy savings but also address the need for higher quality indoor air measures to provide healthier living and working environments,” continued Ms. Norman. Ms. Norman will be joined on the Executive Committee by Ms. Marcene Mitchell and Mr. Robert Sahadi as co-Vice Chairs, and Mr. Hunter as Secretary.

The Green Bank also approved two new Board members to complete the 11-member Board of Directors. Mr. Michael Coveyou joins as the Montgomery County representative for the Department of Finance. Mr. Coveyou is the current Director of Finance for the County and replaces Mr. Rob Hagedoorn from the County. Mr. Coveyou has been in the Montgomery County Finance Department for twenty-seven years.

The Green Bank, upon the recommendation of the Recruitment Committee, also appointed Ms. Marissa Ramirez as a member of the Board of Directors to replace founding Board member Mr. Michael Gergen of the firm of Latham & Watkins.  Ms. Ramirez is the Senior Community Climate Strategy Manager for the People and Communities Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council. Ms. Ramirez has worked with neighbors and local leaders, primarily in underserved communities of color, on revitalization efforts by providing best practices and tools for a more equitable and sustainable future.

Board of Directors Elected a New Chair and Two New Board Members

The Montgomery County Green Bank (Green Bank) announces the election of a new Chair to its Board of Directors and two new Board members. The incoming Chair succeeds the inaugural Chair who has held the role since the Green Bank’s inception in 2016 and has guided it through initial operational set-up and initial product launches.  The two new Board members join to replace a founding Board member and a County-appointed position.

The Green Bank has benefited from the depth of experience and understanding of the national green bank landscape provided by its founding Chair, Bert Hunter, Chief Investment Officer of the Connecticut Green Bank.  Under Mr. Hunter’s leadership, the Green Bank secured funding from the County and several foundations to supports its programs, developed an initial set of products and transactions that demonstrate the role of the Green Bank, and created a robust operational infrastructure. “I am proud of the accomplishments of the Montgomery County Green Bank to launch an initial set of market-relevant products that can support the growth of clean energy investment in the County,” stated Mr. Hunter.  “The introduction of a Commercial Loan for Energy Efficiency and Renewables, a residential loan for homeowners called Clean Energy Advantage, a renewable energy program for nonprofits, and a small business energy finance program will be valuable tools for the market. I am very pleased that Bonnie Norman has been elected by the Board to be Chair of the Green Bank. Ms. Norman has been an active and fundamental Board member since the Green Bank’s inception and has served as Vice Chair and a member of the Executive Committee from the start,” concluded Mr. Hunter. Mr. Hunter also thanked Ms. Stacy Swann and Ms. Hope Brown Saxton for their work on the Executive Committee since 2016 as they stepped down from these positions.

Ms. Norman, President of E3 International, was elected by the Board at its June 26, 2020 Board meeting to be the Green Bank’s next Chair.  Ms. Norman has been engaged at many levels throughout her tenure on the Board including on the Executive Committee, Product Development Committee, and as Chair of the Partnerships and Funding Committee. “I am excited about how far the Green Bank has progressed and that it is poised to make significant contributions to the County, advancing our mission to support diverse, equitable, and inclusive green economy growth and jobs,” noted Ms. Norman. “This is a pivotal moment for the Green Bank to catalyze clean energy investment that can help the County’s businesses and residents not only improve their carbon footprint and energy savings but also address the need for higher quality indoor air measures to provide healthier living and working environments,” continued Ms. Norman. Ms. Norman will be joined on the Executive Committee by Ms. Marcene Mitchell and Mr. Robert Sahadi as co-Vice Chairs, and Mr. Hunter as Secretary.

The Green Bank also approved two new Board members to complete the 11-member Board of Directors. Mr. Michael Coveyou joins as the Montgomery County representative for the Department of Finance. Mr. Coveyou is the current Director of Finance for the County and replaces Mr. Rob Hagedoorn from the County. Mr. Coveyou has been in the Montgomery County Finance Department for twenty-seven years.

The Green Bank, upon the recommendation of the Recruitment Committee, also appointed Ms. Marissa Ramirez as a member of the Board of Directors to replace founding Board member Mr. Michael Gergen of the firm of Latham & Watkins.  Ms. Ramirez is the Senior Community Climate Strategy Manager for the People and Communities Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council. Ms. Ramirez has worked with neighbors and local leaders, primarily in underserved communities of color, on revitalization efforts by providing best practices and tools for a more equitable and sustainable future.

Notice of June 12, 2020 Board Meeting

Date: Friday June 12, 2020, 8:00-9:00 a.m.
Location: Teleconference

The Montgomery County Green Bank will be holding a Board of Directors Meeting on Wednesday June 24, 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 may be found here (updated June 10)

Online Resources, Webinars, and Trainings

Online Resources, Webinars, and Trainings For You and Your Staff

Are you thinking of ways to enrich your staff while you’re staying-at-home?You can take advantage of these learn-at-home resources.

ENERGY STAR Recorded Webinars and Online Contractor Trainings
Learn about the latest ENERGY STAR residential programs, recognizing advanced energy efficiency in homes, or revisit your contractor trainings for Home Performance with ENERGY STAR, and refresh requirements, objectives, and strategies

Home Energy Score Training Webinars
Brush up on your Home Energy Score understanding with these webinars from the U.S. DOE’s Better Buildings Challenge

The Smart Energy Home: Driving Residential Building Decarbonization
States, cities, and utilities across the region have made aggressive commitments to deep carbon reductions. Distributed energy resources coupled with strategic electrification is critical in achieving these carbon reductions. But adding electric load and distributing resources has the potential to cause additional problems for energy systems. Enter the smart energy home. Already being pursued for customer benefits, smart energy homes can turn potential load liabilities into grid assets.
The Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership (NEEP) hosted a public webinar to explore their 2019 report. View the slides or webinar recording.

Building Performance Association Online Trainings
Online Training offers a flexible and cost-effective opportunity for you to gain the knowledge you need to take your skillset to the next level. BPA courses allow for you to earn CEUs and learn about the most cutting edge topics in residential energy efficiency from our industry’s top trainers.

HabitatX Curated Webinars
The Habitat X Webinars are built with a simple principle in mind: to connect working professionals at their desks in ways that are meaningful and productive. For this series of Spring Webinars, we chose topics that were on the agenda for the 2019 Summer National Conference. Current webinars include “The Good Business of Healthier Homes”, “The Whirlwind Evolution of Modern Utilities”, and “A Bullish Approach to Home Performance”.

Small Business Resources during COVID-19

Small Business Resources Available For You During This Time

 

We wanted to be sure you were aware of the following local, state, and federal resources available or in process at this time. We recommend checking out the Montgomery County Economic Development Authority COVID-19 resource site which has compiled all levels of resources for small businesses.

Local Resources:  Applications Open This Week

  • The Montgomery County Executive and County Council together have set aside $20 million in funding to support small businesses and nonprofits who are struggling to survive the economic impact of COVID-19. The program application will open this week and can be found on the County’s website.
State Resources:
Federal Resources:

Notice of June 24, 2020 Board Meeting

Date: Wednesday June 24, 2020, 1:30-4:30 p.m.
Location: TBD

The Montgomery County Green Bank will be holding a Board of Directors Meeting on Wednesday June 24, 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. You may find the meeting agenda here.

Green Partners: GreenGen

Green Partners: GreenGen — Enriching Sustainability

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

We talked with Brad Dockser, CEO and Founder of GreenGen, to learn about its latest successes and why they are proud to partner with the Montgomery County Green Bank.


Tell us about GreenGen and your work there.

 

Brad Dockser [BD]: We are a true end-to-end energy solutions provider for the built environment – we engineer, implement and invest in cutting-edge energy efficiency solutions. We help our clients ‘operate in the green’ and improve their double bottom lines by lowering operating costs, increasing asset value, and improving sustainability. We have offices worldwide in DC, London, Tokyo and Shanghai, and we have five main business arms: Solutions, Ventures, Analytics, Trading and Property.


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

 

BD: The biggest competitor to us is inertia. Until people do their first project, they don’t fully understand how powerful it can be. There’s always something else to do: sign a lease, buy a building, or hire someone. The biggest challenge is to get people to pay attention to move the project forward. But once it’s started, it accelerates. Our biggest clients are increasingly doing more and and doing it faster.


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

 

BD: Everything! What we’re enjoying right now is that firms we’ve worked with in the past are coming back to us wanting to do more, and firms that didn’t want to do much before are now “getting it” and are ready to act. Capital markets are demanding a double bottom line, and companies are reducing risk and volatility when they pursue efficiency and sustainability. Everyone is laser-focused on this, and we are often a first call to help.


What are the top reasons your clients seek energy efficiency and/or renewable energy improvements?

 

BD: Energy efficiency and clean energy improvements improve the bottom line. Our clients see these projects as opportunities to lower operating costs, drive cash flow and improve performance as an investor. Secondly, energy efficiency and sustainability strategies are differentiators: They give our clients greater access to capital markets. Without these improvements, their capital market options may be limited.


Why do you choose to partner with the Montgomery County Green Bank as an Authorized Contractor with the CLEER program?

 

BD: What our clients love about us is that we understand both energy and capital markets. When a client brings us an energy need, we will find a comprehensive approach that takes into consideration their tax structure, leasing structure, balance sheet, cash flow and broader investment profile in order to customize a solution for them. Green Bank and CLEER give us another tool for clients in the County. We will use PACE, energy service agreements (ESAs), operating leases, equipment leases, shared savings agreements, capital reserves and even our own balance sheet to make the financing fit. The more tools we have, the better we can structure the financing. We’re excited to include the Green Bank in our toolbox.


How is CLEER a resource for your clients?

 

BD: When working on a project in the County, we identify CLEER and Montgomery County Green Bank as one part of a possible financing strategy. Using CLEER to optimize the financing package for our projects is valuable to us and to our clients. It’s tremendous to be working globally while also partnering locally to do more in our home County—whether supporting the Green Bank, partnering with Bethesda Green, or engaging as a member in the local business community—it’s all a win-win for us.


February 2020