Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Highlights Energy Efficiency with Launch of ‘Be SMART’ Program
Improvement Loan Initiative Funded with $20 Million Grant from the U.S. Department of Energy
CROWNSVILLE, MD (May 12, 2011) – Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Raymond A. Skinner announced today the department’s Be SMART (Save Money and Resources Today) initiative, which is primarily a loan program to finance energy efficiency improvements to homes, businesses and multifamily buildings in more than a dozen targeted communities around the state.
“We anticipate that this effort will make a significant impact at reducing electricity demands and greenhouse gas emissions in Maryland,” said Secretary Skinner. “By collaborating with contractors and reaching out to more than a dozen towns all over the state, we hope to create a model for energy efficiency improvements that can be emulated by other communities across the country.”
The department will work with local partners and contractors in marketing Be SMART as well as identifying properties and small businesses in 15 targeted communities:
Berlin (Worcester County)
Cambridge (Dorchester County)
Chestertown (Kent County)
Cumberland (Allegany County)
Denton (Caroline County)
Easton (Talbot County)
Elkton (Cecil County)
Frostburg (Allegany County)
Oakland (Garrett County)
Princess Anne (Somerset County)
Dundalk (Baltimore County)
Westminster (Carroll County)
Havre de Grace (Harford County)
Salisbury (Wicomico County)
Takoma Park (Montgomery County)
Local stakeholders, including Green Teams which consist of locally recruited volunteers from each of the targeted communities, will be responsible for local outreach to inform communities about the availability of these funds as well as how these loans and technical assistance can be accessed through Be SMART.
Be SMART program financing is available for the purchase and installation of equipment and materials for energy efficiency measures such as ENERGY STAR qualified HVAC systems, insulation, windows, draft stopping and duct sealing, appliances and fixtures, and water heating equipment. These improvements are expected to result in energy savings of 15% to 30%. Such a savings translates into significantly lower energy bills for consumers, more comfortable buildings and reduced consumption of fossil fuels.
The department’s $20 million award comes from the BetterBuildings program of the U.S. Department of Energy and aims to create a self-sustaining building retrofit market. Maryland’s grant was from a total of over $500 million in federal funding awarded to 41 state and local governments and partnering organizations tasked with providing high quality, accessible and affordable energy improvements to homes and businesses across the nation. For more information on the BetterBuildings program, visit www.BetterBuildings.energy.gov
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The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development works with partners to finance housing opportunities and revitalize great places for Maryland citizens to live, work and prosper. To learn more about DHCD programs, log on to www.mdhousing.org.
News updates also are available by following DHCD on Twitter (www.twitter.com/MDHousing) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/marylandhousing).
For more information:
Director, Office of Communications and Marketing
Deputy Director, Office of Communications and Marketing