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Renewable Energy

As energy costs rise and dis­cus­sions con­cern­ing the impact of cli­mate change con­tinue, it is clear that we must do what we can to limit our depen­dence on fos­sil fuels.

Renew­able energy is obtained from sources that don’t run out — hydro­elec­tric, geot­her­mal, wind, bio­mass, pho­to­voltaic, and solar-thermal power. Renew­able energy is becom­ing more pop­u­lar as the tech­nol­ogy improves and the cost comes down.

Geot­her­mal energy, the energy stored in the earth, can be har­nessed for heat­ing build­ings and water. Geot­her­mal or ground source heat pump sys­tems use pipes installed in the ground. Water or a mix­ture of water and antifreeze are cir­cu­lated through the pipes to absorb heat from the sur­round­ing soil. In hot weather, the process is reversed, cool­ing the house by using the ground as a heat sink.

Solar pho­to­voltaic sys­tems use the sun’s energy to con­vert solar energy directly into elec­tric­ity. Howard County has imple­mented sev­eral solar demon­stra­tion projects. Please visit the Howard County Renew­able Energy page for details.

Retro­fit Bal­ti­more is a non-profit group help­ing Mary­land res­i­dents by mak­ing it eas­ier and more afford­able for res­i­dents to go solar and improve over­all energy effi­ciency. Retro­fit Bal­ti­more pro­vides reli­able infor­ma­tion and con­nects home­own­ers with vet­ted and screened con­trac­tors. Based on a sim­i­lar process as buy­ing in bulk, inter­ested home­own­ers may receive a dis­count of up to 25%. It is not just for Bal­ti­more res­i­dents. Here is the Retro­fit Bal­ti­more solar web­page.

Besides installing renew­able energy sys­tems in your home, res­i­dents can encour­age renew­able energy by pur­chas­ing renew­able energy through your elec­tric com­pany. BGE, for instance, allows you to change your energy sup­plier within their system.


Green Tip

Unplug.40% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while they’re turned off.