Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG)
In December 2009, Baltimore County was officially awarded $7,403,600 from the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program. The EECBG program is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act). Funding is to assist U.S. cities, counties, and states to develop, promote, implement, and manage energy efficiency and conservation projects and programs designed to:
- Reduce fossil fuel emissions
- Reduce the total energy use of the eligible entities
- Improve energy efficiency in the transportation, building, and other appropriate sectors
- Create and retain jobs
Listed below are some of Baltimore County’s projects as approved by the U.S. Department of Energy.
LEED Certified Liberty Center in Randallstown
The former Giant Food retail space in Randallstown on Offutt Rd was renovated to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and energy efficient standards into a new campus of the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), a Workforce Development Center, and an office for the Baltimore County Department of Social Services. CCBC will have entry-level skilled trades in areas such as carpentry, plumbing, HVAC and electricity, as well as training in new fields related to energy, such as weatherization and solar energy.
The Department of Energy supplied $1.1 million to 'green' the renovations to LEED standards. Some of the LEED compliant and energy efficient renovations include high efficiency water heaters, low flow plumbing fixtures, low VOC paint, recycled content drywall, and CFL and LED exit signs. A total of 81.1 percent of waste from construction and demolition was able to be recycled.
Energy Audits for Business and Government Structures
The County's Economic Development Office used energy auditors to provide free audits to nine local businesses. Each business received a comprehensive energy audit report that highlighted the energy shortcomings of their buildings, and suggested improvements to save energy.
Energy Audits of Major County Office Buildings and Facilities
Public Works, Building and Maintenance will use funds to perform updated and comprehensive energy audits of County buildings and facilities that utilize significant levels of energy. The audits will identify buildings with the greatest potential for both capital and management improvements. These recommendations will then be factored into the County's capital program for implementation.
Energy Retrofits for Government Buildings
Multiple energy retrofits are currently place across the County including indoor and outdoor lighting retrofits, upgrading outdated systems to more energy efficient ones, and installing direct digital controls to better manage HVAC and lighting. All retrofits are designed to improve the energy efficiency of existing systems and will help save energy costs for the County.
Energy Efficiency and Conservation for Building and Facilities
Green Cleaning Program
Funds are being utilized to alter current cleaning products and practices for County office buildings, to expand the use of products from natural sources and with lower energy production requirements.
Relighting of Parking Garages
The Baltimore County Revenue Authority will undertake the relighting of existing parking garages managed by the Authority to more energy efficient standards. This will result in significant improvements to parking efficiency, safety and energy reductions.
Manufacturing Green Teams
A consultant, Regional Manufacturing Institute (RMI), was hired to create "Green Teams" for the manufacturing sector. RMI is working with companies and teams of employees to evaluate facilities and processes, to make recommendations on available conservation techniques, and to develop internal and permanent conservation practices. To follow their efforts to date, visit their Energy Conservation Green Team page.
Tree Planting to Increase Energy Efficiency of Buildings
The Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability has funds to strategically plant trees around County-owned buildings to increase energy efficiency of the buildings. Trees help reduce both cooling and heating costs. When strategically placed, major deciduous trees can provide enough shade to reduce cooling costs in the warmer months. By dropping their leaves in the fall, these same trees allow sunlight to warm building exteriors, reducing heating costs. The strategic placement of coniferous trees also blocks cold winter winds that drive up winter heating bills.
Trees also benefit stormwater management by increasing the infiltration rate of precipitation into the ground in two ways. Their foliage breaks the force of precipitation on the ground, and tree roots increase soil permeability. These functions combine to slow surface runoff, allow rainwater to percolate down through the soil, reduce soil erosion, recharge groundwater, and reduce the amount of pollutants entering nearby streams.
Find more information about the Department of Energy's Grant.
Revised March 21, 2012