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For Immediate Release: Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Montgomery County is launching a planning process to develop prioritized actions and strategies to meet its greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction goals of 80 percent by 2027 and 100 percent by 2035. The County is seeking volunteers to serve on “technical workgroups” that will help in this effort.

Interested individuals should have demonstrable expertise in climate and energy issues, including identifying economic and equity challenges and opportunities that might arise in meeting these goals. The deadline to submit letters of interest is June 30.

The workgroups will:
• Review past County climate reports and plans, and best practices from other jurisdictions.
• Recommend actions and innovative strategies that have high potential to meet the County’s GHG reduction goals in an equitable manner.
• Identify metrics that can be tracked, as well as data and knowledge gaps that could benefit from, additional technical analysis.

Each workgroup will consist of community members as well as County Government staff. Each workgroup will be co-facilitated by a County Government staff member and by a member of the community. Workgroups will convene approximately once a month from Summer to Fall 2019. Meetings will be held on a weekday or weeknight, primarily in the Rockville area. Workgroup members are expected to attend each meeting in person.

Following the technical workgroup process, the public will be invited to review the workgroup findings and provide input. A description of each workgroup:

Buildings Technical Workgroup: Roughly half of all measured GHG emissions in Montgomery County come from energy use in buildings. Increasing the energy efficiency of new and existing buildings is critical to meeting the County’s climate goals. However, this is unlikely to occur without requirements for, and incentives to encourage, reductions in building energy use. This workgroup will identify innovative strategies and develop recommendations related to building codes, benchmarking, energy efficiency, building energy performance standards, auditing and retro-commissioning.

Transportation Technical Workgroup: The transportation sector accounts for 41 percent of all measured greenhouse gas emissions generated in the County. While the overall fuel efficiency of the vehicle fleet has increased in recent years, the adoption of hybrid electric and all electric vehicles is still relatively small. This workgroup will identify opportunities to increase the use of electric vehicles in the County, as well as the availability of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The workgroup also will review ongoing County initiatives to increase the amount of personal travel accomplished by public transit and other low/no emissions modes. It will identify other innovative strategies to reduce emissions in the transportation sector.

Clean Energy Technical Workgroup: Energy efficiency and conservation are the first steps in reducing GHG emissions from homes and buildings. However, installing renewable energy is the next step toward reducing fossil-fuel-based energy use. Opportunities exist for expanded use of solar photovoltaic, solar hot water heating and geo-exchange energy systems and for greening the energy that is supplied through the electrical grid by utilities. This workgroup will be tasked with developing recommendations for greening the energy supply and expanding the use of distributed renewable energy.

Qualified community members interested in volunteering with one or more workgroups can submit an expression of interest, cover letter and resume to [email protected] by June 30. Anyone interested in serving on multiple workgroups should indicate their first, second and third choices.

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Release ID: 19-188
Media Contact: Neil H. Greenberger 240-777-6532