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Maryland Energy Administration Director Visits Model Solar Homes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kaymie Owen, CMP 443-694- 3651

Baltimore, MD – The Maryland Energy Administration’s Director, Mary Beth Tung, visited two solar powered, energy efficient homes in Howard and Ann Arundel counties on Saturday, October 1, 2016.

“Maryland is a national leader in renewable energy technology especially in the residential sector.  The National Solar Tour provides an opportunity to see how Maryland families have adopted solar in their homes,” said Mary Beth Tung, Director, Maryland Energy Administration.

The first home visited, in Harwood, MD, was completed in 2011. This off-grid home features all the comforts of a typical home yet boasts a 10 kW photovoltaic system. The heating is primarily provided by a 9 flat plate panel solar thermal collector and radiant floor system. On cloudy days, energy generation is supplemented by a two-ton geothermal heat pump and a Navien tankless water heater. Cooling is accomplished through a unique geothermal in-floor radiant cooling system aided by two air handlers. All heating and cooling systems are connected via automated optimizing controls. The home’s frame is timber, SIP panel construction with R-44 walls, passive solar engineering, an insulated precast foundation, and Serious/Alpen quad pane windows. A plug-in electric hybrid vehicle charging station was installed in 2012 and is available to visitors.
The second home visited, located in Ellicott City, MD is a 1950s ranch house and boats solar PV, solar hot water, a cupola/solar chimney plus solar powered daylight tubes, attic fan, sidewalk lights and south facing energy efficient windows. The home also features two highly efficient Energy Star mini-split heat pumps (26-SEER), a fireplace insert woodstove, exterior insulation finishing system (EIFS), CFL/LED lighting, recycled glass kitchen counter tops and recycled floor tiles in the foyer and basement. In the yard there are two rain gardens, permeable walkways, three rain barrels and two compost piles, a 1,000 gallon cistern, extensive food forest and native meadow planting. Additionally, there is also an aquaponics system in the basement.

“Many home and buildings utilize energy efficient measures cost effective technologies that can benefit the environment, move us closer to energy security and protect against power outages,” Tung explained.

The metro DC tour, organized by national and local arms of the American Solar Energy Society (ASES), and the Sierra Club highlights investments in the clean energy economy. Renewable energy can help homeowners reduce their monthly energy bills

The National Solar Tour is the world’s largest grassroots solar event.  Now in its 21st year, this coalition of over 5,500 home and business owners, volunteers, solar installers, public officials and non-profit organizations conduct nationwide open house tours of their energy efficient and solar-powered buildings.

Maryland Energy Administration
The Maryland Energy Administration’s (MEA) mission is to promote affordable, secure, and safe energy while maintaining energy independence, sustainability, and reliability through innovative and effective policies, programs, technologies, and financing mechanisms. The Maryland Energy Administration advises the Governor on directions, policies and changes in the various segments of the energy market. As demand/supply competition, technological innovations, and policy changes by the federal government cause major changes in market sensitive energy sectors (e.g., petroleum markets, gas deregulation, and emerging competition in the electric utilities sector), State government must be in position to respond to new opportunities, as well as adjust to any potential dangers. For more information about the Maryland Energy Administration, visit www.energy.maryland.gov .