Montgomery County could start using energy tax to fund green projects

Maryland

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — Every month on your energy bills, Montgomery County levees an energy tax, and several members of the county council are pushing for new legislation that would take 10% of what the county makes off those energy taxes and put it right back into helping the private sector fund clean energy projects.

Council leaders say that 10% comes out to about $20 million a year, but add in new federal funding and additional financing and it becomes more like $80 million to $100 million. Right now, funds from the energy tax go toward funding the county’s general budget, but Bill 44-21 makes sure a chunk is consistently set aside for funding green projects.

Councilmember Andrew Friedson says this is a concrete step toward making a big difference.

“When we talk about raising the bar for our energy standards, particularly as it relates to the building sector, we can’t just raise the bar and not have a ladder to help people get over it,” said Friedson.

The money will go to the Montgomery County Green Bank, where residents and companies can go for help to finance projects like solar panels for your home or upgrades for your business to meet green standards.

“This will offer a critical financing tool for our property owners and lead to a major reduction in our greenhouse gas pollution,” said council president Tom Hucker. “This will bring us closer to meeting our climate goals.”

Council leaders will officially introduce the legislation at their meeting Tuesday.

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