About AIRE Team

The Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy (AIRE) team is part of the Department of Environmental Services. They help our community make smart decisions about energy and supports individual actions that improve and sustain Arlington’s quality of life. The AIRE team has expertise in energy efficiency for residential and commercial buildings and develops programs to help residents and businesses reduce energy use. Whether your interests are in solar energy, home energy efficiency and energy audits, new construction or just simple everyday tips to reduce your carbon footprint, AIRE can help. Check them out at www.arlingtonenergy.us.

Daylight $avings Time Approaches

It’s no secret that fall is kicking in. Average temperatures are dropping, the sun is setting earlier and earlier and soon Daylight Savings Time will be upon us.

Here’s your first reminder: Set clocks back by 1 hour when Nov. 5 rolls around.

As daylight dwindles, we use lights more in our homes. Switching to energy efficient lighting is all the more important to save money and leave a lighter footprint on the environment.

The AIRE program is taking the guess work out of light bulb shopping by offering an LED Bulb Sampler box.  The Bulb Sampler allows Arlingtonians to sample ten different bulbs at home without having to buy a variety of bulbs they may not like.  The Sampler includes standard bulbs of different brightness levels and color, recessed fixture bulbs, chandelier bulbs, a bathroom vanity bulb, a 3-way bulb and an LED nightlight.

Stop by Arlington Public Library today to ask about the samplers or reserve a box online.

Start saving as the days get shorter. Learn more about LED bulb shopping and the bulbs in the Sampler box .

Free Trees!

With a record number of 90-degree days in August and a toasty September, this has been one of the warmest summers on record for the Arlington area.

No need to get hot and bothered —  plant a (free) tree. Trees cast shade on buildings and pavement, lowering the temperatures and thus reducing demand for power to cool these buildings during hot times of the year. Planting the right trees in the right place can keep your house and community cooler in the summer and reduce your energy bills.

As the weather begins to turn cool and crisp, now is the time to think about planting trees. Arlington County is giving away one free tree per residential property with the Annual Fall Free Tree Distribution program, while supplies last.

TreeSteward members and Arlington County landscape staff will be on hand to help participants. Educational materials, such as tree care and maintenance and planting guidelines will be available.

These trees get snapped up quickly.  What are you waiting for?  Click here for more info, reserve your tree, and help keep Arlington a cool play to live, work, and play.

Arlington Is Going Sunny Side Up

The world is changing. Increasingly, cities are trying to work with nature to create systems that more closely reflect natural systems. Stormwater is being infiltrated to recharge groundwater, solid waste is recycled or burned to generate power for 20,000 homes annually and roof-top solar panels are increasingly providing electricity for Arlingtonians.

Workers installing solar panels

What could be more natural, Arlington, than using the sun? Solar power has been the energy source of the future for decades and we’ve been waiting for solar panels to make the one last technological breakthrough that makes it cost-competitive. It’s always been a few years away.

Stop for a second and think about not having an electric bill or having a very minimal electric bill. That sounds nice, right? Wait no longer, folks. Solar is here. 

Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy is partnering with the Potomac Solar Co-Op to offer residents a 20-30% discount on solar panels for your home. Last year, the Rethink Energy team helped 34 homeowners put solar on their roof through the co-op. That effort helped increase the number of solar systems by 42%.

32 Arlington homeowners installed solar with the last co-op42% increase in number of solar systems in Arlington since the last co-op

Solar has never been more affordable. The price of solar has dropped by about 50% over the last decade. Depending on the size of your home, you may be able to put solar panels on your roof to generate most, if not all, of the electricity you use in your home. Prices are less than $10,000 after co-op discounts and federal tax credits. This provides you with clean energy and significantly reduces your energy bills for many years to come.

chart showing the decrease in solar panel costs over the years

If you’re interested in joining, sign up on the co-op website. This allows VA SUN to screen your roof virtually, and they’ll keep you posted on next steps. There’s no obligation until you sign a contract.