Reposted from MyGreenMontgomery.org.
There are a lot of incentives available for residents to make energy efficiency improvements to their homes. The utility companies offer rebates on appliances, HVAC systems, insulation jobs; the County has a property tax credit depending on funding, the State or the County may be offering a short-run rebate program. Everyone likes a deal, but sometimes getting started with an energy efficiency project seems too challenging, or there just isn’t even time to wade through all of the information to take advantage of the opportunities.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was someone to guide you through the process, explain energy efficiency improvements to you in English (not jargon), and also help to build a stronger community?
A Groundswell contractor at work (photo: Groundswell)
Groundswell is a nonprofit organization that works with community networks to inspire residents to follow through with improvements that strengthen homes, build community and support the local economy. Through its community purchasing approach, Groundswell’s Strong Homes Program coordinates neighbors interested in making energy improvements. Then local, certified and vetted contractors provide proposals to complete the work. In the end participants have a more energy-efficient home, get a good deal on the work by leveraging group buying power, have a stronger tie to their community, and support the local clean energy economy.
Groundswell, formerly known as WeatherizeDC, has been working with communities in Maryland and DC for a few years and is now growing their presence in Maryland. In the fall of 2011 Groundswell guided a community in Silver Spring through the home weatherization process. Together, homeowners saved about 15 percent on the work and will save between 15 and 25 percent on future energy costs.
This is just one success story. Several other projects have taken off across the DC metro region.
As part of their work in Maryland, Groundswell is currently seeking out Bethesda homeowners interested in participating in the Strong Home Program. If you live in Bethesda and have been thinking about making weatherization improvements to your home, now is the time to act!
For more information and to get your community involved, contact Ayla Schlosser, Groundswell Field Program Manager at
or 202.630.9381 . Participation in this round must be solidified by April 20th. However, additional program interest can spur another group so contact Ayla for more information.