04 March 2011
Be a Green Homes Power Saver
By Dee Christian
Plans, Analysis and Integration Office
Are you up for a challenge? Frederick County is Double- Dog Daring citizens to step up to the plate and meet the Green Homes Challenge head-on.
The first of three Challenges, "Be a Power Saver," is appealing to residents to "Save Our Energy, and Bank Your Money!" This incentive driven program is being used to educate people about the benefits of saving energy, promote home energy audits and encourage energy saving home improvement planning and actions.
Jenni Benson, of the US Army Garrison's Environmental Office, said she is up for the challenge. It's not just about saving money for her, although that is a great benefit. Benson has an innate desire to save the earth for future generations. If Americans look back just 30 or 40 years ago and compare what the earth was like then to what it is today, they can see that the landscape has changed dramatically - more cars, more buildings, more pollution. Disney films like "Wall-E" are looking more and more like the future of our world. We have to do what we can now to conserve for the future.
Through programs like Green Homes Challenge, Fort Detrick's Frederick residents can earn incentives for joining the program and completing various steps toward a greener, more efficient community. The first 50 households who register and become Power Saver certified will receive a gift packet with $50 worth of gifts and all certified "Power Savers" be entered into an annual drawing for high value prizes. 
Not only will participants help their community and their world, but also they will start reducing their utility bills. Participating in this program is also the first step in attaining the Army's Net Zero concept by reducing energy consumption as well as supporting "Volunteer Detrick" where we are encouraging employees to get out and be an active community member.
Achieving Power Saver certification requires several steps, but there are many resources available to get you on your way. The following resources are available on the web:
  • Free Power Saver Handbook containing everything needed to save energy and certify your home (downloadable at http://www.frederickcountymd.gov/index.aspx?NID=4407)
  • Earth Aid on-line energy tracking and reward tool (www.EarthAid.net/FrederickCounty)
  • Green Ambassadors - local support leaders
The first step to certification is to register with the Challenge and attend, or host, a Powerware Party. You'll need to earn 50 Green Points using your Power Saver Handbook. Points are acquired by completing other steps on the way to certification, like learning how to prepare for a Home Energy Audit; conducting your Home Energy Audit, and completing an Energy Saving Action Plan. Full details can be found on the Frederick County website.
This program is people powered with the aid of the Frederick County Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources. Powerware Parties and Green Ambassadors are the primary venues for getting the word out about the challenge to be more green. Powerware Parties are fun, interactive gatherings that help participants become more power-aware and learn how to start reducing their energy use and utility bills, according to a press release from the Green Homes Challenge program office. Volunteer Green Ambassadors serve for one year and promote the challenge within their chosen community. Both Powerware Party Hosts and Green Ambassadors are rewarded with free Comprehensive Watt Watchers home energy audits.
For those interested in learning more about the program, the county is hosting Powerware Parties that are open to all. The first one will be held Friday from noon to 1:30 p.m. and the next will be on Wednesday, March 16 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Both parties will be held in the second floor Winchester Room of Winchester Hall at 12 E. Church St., Frederick. To register, e-mail Lisa Orr at lorr@frederickcountymd.gov.
Groups on post can also host Powerware Parties; County staff will come out and lead them. For more information, check out the challenge website at:  www.frederickcountymd.gov/GreenHomes.
Posted by PAO

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