Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Who Ya Gunna Vote For? - Voting Green in DC's 2012 Election

If you're like me, you can't wait until the election is over.  The ads are enough to drive anyone nuts, and in the District, we're not even a swing state. 

But, do you know where to vote?
Do you know all of the offices that are up for election in your Ward?
Have you thought about who you are going to vote for?
To find your polling place, go to http://www.dcboee.org/voter_info/find_pollingplace/

The DC Board of Elections prints a handy-dandy and easy to read Voter's Guide.  You should have received a copy in the mail...and this year they were sent out well before the election! (I've received my guide the day or two after the election too many times).  This guide is a great resource and includes information on early voting places and times, absentee voting, accessibility for disabled residents, as well as a list of candidates up for election by position and Ward.

What Offices are Up for Election?
In addition to President and DC Representative, as a DC resident you'll also be able to vote for DC City Council Chair, two At-Large City Council positions, two US "Shadow" Senators and an At-Large Member of the State Board of Education.  In addition, residents of Wards 2, 4, 7 and 8 will be voting for DC Council candidates and State Board of Education candidates.  There are also a host of Area Neighborhood Commission (ANC) elections. Knowing your ANC candidate is the best way to ensure that your voice is heard in DC government!

Who Are the Environmental Candidates?
I've long looked to the Sierra Club for their endorsements for environmentally-minded candidates.  For this election, they've endorsed Phil Mendelson for DC City Council Chair and David Grosso and Ann Wilcox for the At-Large positions.  They've also endorsed some Ward Council candidates.  For a full list, check out http://www.dc.sierraclub.org/news/detail.asp?ID=320.

The Sierra Club also published a Nation-wide Voter's Guide, though (sadly) DC is not included.  Still this may be a good resource for some of your friends, so spread the word!

Most importantly VOTE..and tell your friends to vote, too!

Monday, October 8, 2012

The DC SEU - Helping DC Go Green

Yoohooo out there….you may have stopped by the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (the DC SEU) at the DC GreenFest.  They just received a $17M budget for FY13 to help households, businesses, and institutions save energy and money through energy efficiency and renewable energy programs! Shouldn’t you get a piece of this green action?  Their website is a bit clunky, but it’s worth taking a good look as it can save you money as you go greener!  Here are just a couple of their programs:

The DC Home Performance Program offers a $500 to households that successfully complete a qualifying home energy upgrade (think new molding around doors/windows, caulking or maybe new windows) of at least $1500.  Meanwhile, lower income households can qualify for a 5 year forgivable loan through the DC SEU’s Federal Home Loan Bank Program.  If you live in a condo, let the Condo Association know that the DC SEU, provides rebates for lighting upgrades and water-saving devices at no cost for installation to owners, property managers, or residents.

Wanna buy an energy saving CFL for the same price as a regular light bulb? The DC SEU has partnered with local businesses such as Home Depot, Safeway and Frager’s Hardware on Capitol Hill to do just this! For a list of all District retailers participating in this program, check out.

The DC SEU also has several programs for businesses. They’re helping DC building owners comply with a mandate to benchmark their energy efficiency by 2014.. and determine effective improvements that can save money – and energy. They offer several other programs for businesses including reduced up-front costs to businesses that upgrade to new energy-efficient technologies/ equipment. And, did you know that fluorescent tube lighting was banned for manufacturing by federal mandate on July 14, 2012? Ben’s Chili Bowl was a recent recipient of the DC SEU program that replaces fluorescent tube lighting with more efficient High-Performance T8 (HPT8) lighting at no cost.

 Created by the DC City Council as part of the Clean and Affordable Energy Act of 2008, the DC SEU is overseen by the District Department of the Environment (DDOE).  For more information on the DC SEU’s Programs, contact them at info@DCSEU.com or 202-479-2222. They’re great folks!