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Monday, July 1, 2013

Groundswell’s Energy Efficiency Strong Homes Program


   I recently received some information from a non profit organization that is offering residents the opportunity to save money on their energy bills. The non-profit organization is called Groundswell, whose mission is to build strong communities by leveraging economic power through collective investment in energy efficiency and clean energy. Through our Strong Homes Program, they make energy efficiency upgrades more affordable and accessible to homeowners. They help people buy energy efficiency upgrades together to save money, support good local businesses and generate local jobs, and reduce each home’s environmental impact.  This is the info they sent to me:

     "This summer, Groundswell’s Strong Homes Program is offering a limited time discount on whole home air sealing and attic insulation. Groundswell recently expanded the Strong Homes Program into Howard County. These two energy efficiency measures have proven to help keep homes cool in the summer heat while saving money on energy bills.  The Strong Homes Program brings homeowners together to collectively purchase energy efficiency services at a discounted rate from local businesses. Each Strong Homes group selects one business to work with to take advantage of exclusive group and individual discounts.
    What you receive by joining a Strong Homes Group:
1) Whole home energy audit and report for just $100. The energy audit report detailing your home’s health and energy efficiency needs.
2) Access to energy efficiency rebates of up to $2,000 from your utility.
3) Strong Homes group discount on whole home air sealing and attic insulation, and limited-time $300 rebate from Groundswell (through July 31)
4) Individual Recruitment discount: for every friend you refer to the program by July 31 you will receive an additional discount on whole home air sealing and attic insulation.

Upcoming Events
   Sunday July 7, 9am-1pm: Groundswell at the Oakland Mills Farmers Market
5851 Robert Oliver Place, Columbia, MD

Tuesday July 16th, 7-8pm, Home Energy Workshop
The Other Barn, Oakland Mills
5851 Robert Oliver Place, Columbia, MD

Come Learn About:
    How you can reduce your home’s energy use, make your home more comfortable, and save money on your energy bills.  Incentives and rebates available for weatherizing your home through Groundswell this summer, which can lower the cost of a $2,000 project to just $420
Thursday July 18th, 6-8:30pm: Groundswell at Thursdays at the Corner
Conscious Corner, 5805 Clarksville Square Drive, Clarksville, MD"

I recently received the following information from the Friends of the Bridge Columbia:

    "A community Meet & Greet will be held on July 4th along the pathway leading to the bicycle and pedestrian bridge over Route 29 connecting Downtown Columbia and Oakland Mills between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. Residents walking from Stevens Forest Road to the lakefront for the fireworks will have an opportunity to learn about the proposed new Bridge Columbia and express their support for it by signing a petition.  Great giveaways will be handed out as long as supplies last.  Event co-sponsors are:
·         Friends of Bridge Columbia
·         Oakland Mills Community Association
·         Allview Area Community Association
·         Bicycling Advocates of Howard County

Howard County is committed to undertake a feasibility study of the proposed Bridge Columbia, a bike, bus, and pedestrian bridge.   Friends of Bridge Columbia maintains that a new Bridge Columbia will benefit the community in many ways. It will:
·         Increase the safety of persons walking and biking on the bridge
·         Make Columbia more bike friendly
·         Help revitalize Oakland Mills
·         Provide easy access to the new Downtown Columbia amenities
·         Make the bridge’s design compliant with national standards
·         Make Columbia a greener, more sustainable community
·         Remove a community eyesore
·         Ease parking problems at Blandair Park
·         Provide youth with easier access to sports and other facilities
·         Reduce commute times for those who bike, walk or use local transit to get to work
·         Provide students with easier access to Howard Community College
·         Make it easier to get to medical offices near Howard County General Hospital
·         Attract young adults to the community who seek the vibrancy of city life in the suburbs
·         Enhance the new bicycle pathways that are under development
·         Provide greater accessibility for persons with disabilities
·         Serve as a signature structure to identify Columbia
·         Promote community health

Bridge Columbia wants to make every day the 4th of July…a day when residents can safely walk, bike, or ride a bus across Bridge Columbia to lakefront events, Downtown Columbia cafes and restaurants, movie theaters, concerts, parks and more."
 Karen Gray (410) 730-7941                                    Cathy Spain (443) 538-1201                     

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