Montgomery County Green Bank—the Nation’s First Local Green Bank—to Celebrate Completion of Its Supported Major Energy Savings Project in Bethesda on Thursday, Dec. 12
The Montgomery County Green Bank, a nonprofit created by the County as the first local green bank in the country and as one of only about a dozen green banks of any kind in the nation, will join several partners to celebrate the completion of a major energy savings project in Bethesda at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 12. County Executive Marc Elrich and County Councilmembers Andrew Friedson and Tom Hucker are among those expected to attend the ceremonies on the historic property that now houses the Glascock Office Building.
The Glascock Office Building is located at 425 Barlow Pl. in Bethesda. The ceremonies will take place in its indoor atrium. The building is occupied by four conservation organizations—the Nature Conservancy, the Wildlife Society, the American Fisheries Society and the American Society of Photogrammetry. The building’s energy efficiency improvements were undertaken with their missions in mind.
The Glascock Office Building project demonstrates how the Green Bank supports Montgomery County’s commitment to clean energy and to achieve its greenhouse gas reduction goals.
The Green Bank was authorized by actions of the County Council in 2015, when County Executive Elrich was a Councilmember, and fully funded in April 2019 with $25 million in capital provided from settlement money that came to the County from the 2016 acquisition of Pepco Holdings Inc. by Exelon Corp. The Green Bank’s first offering is the Commercial Loan for Energy Efficiency and Renewables (CLEER) program. The CLEER program operates in partnership with national and local lenders, including Revere Bank.
“The Green Bank is dedicated to accelerating affordable clean energy and energy efficiency investment in Montgomery County,” said County Executive Elrich. “We are committed to combatting climate change and reversing the impact of the climate emergency we are now under. We know that this effort will require many plans and strategies. The Green Bank is one of those that is quickly making an impact.”
Tom Deyo, CEO of the Green Bank, said that through CLEER, businesses use energy savings from the projects to repay the loans, often with little or no upfront out-of-pocket costs. The Green Bank provides a backstop against losses to its partner lenders through CLEER, while supporting better loan terms to borrowers.
“CLEER brings to County businesses flexible and attractive financing for clean energy and energy efficiency projects that was hard to find, even for well-established property owners,” said CEO Deyo.
The CLEER program bridges a financing gap for energy efficiency, solar photovoltaic (PV) and energy storage projects in office, retail, light industrial, common ownership communities and multifamily rental properties. While using Green Bank funds to provide risk-mitigation for its partner lenders, the program also creates value for property owners through energy savings and reduced operating costs.
A major part of the Glascock project was to replace a large heating and cooling (HVAC) system unit on the roof. This was the final, big investment that the building needed to achieve its full energy savings plan. The building also has had extensive other energy efficiency work done over the past year, including improvements to lighting, building envelope and ductwork.
The new HVAC system will save 17 percent more energy than the prior system. In total, the Glascock building will now annually save more than 850,000 kilowatt hours of energy and $110,000 in lower operating—while eliminating 600 tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Recurrent Innovative Solutions was the energy performance contractor for the improvements.
The cost of the Glascock HVAC project was $206,000. Revere Bank provided the loan, which was backed by the Green Bank.
“Revere Bank is pleased to have been able to make this investment in conjunction with our partnership with the Green Bank and we are proud to further express our commitment to clean energy investment in the County,” said Revere Bank Co-President and CEO Ken Cook.
The project also was able to secure $14,000 in incentives through Pepco’s Energy Savings for Business Program as part of EmPOWER MD.
The site where Glascock Office Building is located has a long history. In 1913, Gilbert Grosvenor, then editor of National Geographic, purchased the property as a summer home and hosted many dignitaries, including U.S. presidents. The property was purchased by the Society of American Foresters (SAF) in the early 1970s until it was sold, in part, for redevelopment, including 142 new townhomes by EYA. The SAF still owns and operates the historic mansion and carriage house on the property.
“This project demonstrates how the Green Bank can fill a gap in making impactful clean energy projects happen for the benefit of all,” said Green Bank CEO Deyo. “And the Green Bank’s momentum is building. We just closed on another major project that will go under construction using CLEER and we are moving quickly on new initiatives to support residential energy efficiency, renewable energy and community solar. We are committed to being partners with property owners, financial institutions and energy performance contractors.”
For its supported projects, the Montgomery Green Bank will provide overall oversight to ensure its programs’ success and track progress toward the County goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Source: Montgomery County, Maryland, press release