Budget Year / Version:


  • A Greener County
  • A Growing Economy
  • Thriving Youth and Families
  • Effective, Sustainable Government


Contact Adriana Hochberg, Climate Change Officer, at 240-620-3005; Vicky Wan, Acting Deputy Director of the Department of Environmental Protection at 240.777.7722; or Richard H. Harris, Office of Management and Budget at 240.777.2795 for more information.

What's New for FY24:

The County's FY24 budget for climate initiatives provides new resources that supplement the climate resources provided in the FY23 budget. (To review the FY23 climate budget, visit: https://apps.montgomerycountymd.gov/basisoperating/Common/Chapter.aspx?ID=CC ).

Accelerate Nature-based Carbon Sequestration

  • DEP's Tree Montgomery program is being expanded to plant additional shade trees and increase the County's tree canopy. The Tree Montgomery program provides free shade trees for planting on private properties across the County.
  • DEP will be adding a new Program Manager position for Tree and Forest programs in FY24. This position will enhance the Tree Montgomery program, expand efforts in equity areas, and expend grant funds awarded to the County.
  • DEP is receiving funding to expand the RainScapes Rewards rebates to properties. RainScapes are green infrastructure techniques that help reduce stormwater runoff from individual properties and sequester carbon by improving soil health. Projects include rain gardens, conservation landscapes, green roofs, water harvesting, permeable pavement, and pavement removal. Demand for the program continues to exceed its budget, and the program provides MS4 (Municipal Separate Stormwater Sewer System) credits on privately-owned land.

Support Clean Energy Efforts

  • DEP is receiving funding for the continued use of technical consultants to assist staff with developing and implementing a Community Choice Energy program for Montgomery County. A Community Choice Energy program would enable the County to become the electricity supplier to residential and small commercial electricity customers in the County, with a goal of providing electricity at a price that is competitive with the electricity offered through the three utilities serving the County and that has a higher percentage of the supply produced by renewable energy sources. The County is working with a variety of stakeholders through a Maryland Public Service Commission Work Group to develop regulations governing the program.

  • DEP is gaining funding for a Solar Technical Program Manager to provide technical expertise related to the development of policies, programs, and outreach/engagement to residents and businesses related to solar energy installations. Increasing development of solar installations is a key element of the Climate Action Plan. This includes rooftop solar on residential and commercial properties, ground-mounted solar installations, community solar in various configurations, and utility scale solar.

Support Greenhouse Gas Reduction in Existing Residential Buildings

  • DEP is receiving funding to provide energy audits in under-resourced buildings subject to Building Energy Performance Standards (BEPS). Comprehensive energy audits examine the operating performance of individual building systems and evaluate options for increasing the efficiency of, or replacing, such systems. Under-resourced buildings (defined by the BEPS law as including affordable housing, non-profit organizations, and small businesses) generally lack the monitoring systems and building staff to understand and address building inefficiencies in real time, much less develop a long-range plan that may be necessary to meet BEPS requirements. This funding will enable covered buildings to identify opportunities that will increase building energy performance and prepare for system upgrades that may be necessary to comply with BEPS requirements.
  • DEP is gaining a Residential Electrification Program Manager to provide technical expertise related to the development of policies, programs, and engagement to residents and contractors regarding residential electrification, including the applicability of grants, incentives, and financing opportunities to residential electrification. Residential electrification focuses primarily on heating, air conditioning, and ventilation (HVAC) systems and domestic hot water equipment, which in many residences are fueled by on-site combustion of methane or "natural" gas, oil, or propane. Electrification of these systems is often challenging to homeowners due to technical questions and a lack of available information about available systems and methods for conversion.

Support Greenhouse Gas Reduction in the Transportation Sector

  • DEP is gaining funding to expand the EV Purchasing Cooperative program. The EV Purchasing Co-op, which began as a pilot in FY22, leverages consumer buying power to encourage dealerships to offer cost savings on electric vehicles without the need for direct incentives from the County. DEP plans to hire a contractor to administer this program, maintain a listing of available deals, conduct regular monthly correspondence with dealerships, develop training materials, deliver training to dealership partners, and develop new marketing and communication content.
  • MCDOT is receiving funding to purchase three zero-emission Bethesda Circulator buses over a twelve-year period. The Bethesda Circulator is a free bus service managed by the Bethesda Urban Partnership and is used by County residents, private and public workers, and other individuals.

Enhance the County's Climate Governance Capacity

  • DEP is gaining two new Grants & Incentives Program Managers to identify programs and activities in need of grant funding, develop and submit grant proposals, execute grant-related documents and report on grants, as well as develop and monitor the distribution of County funds and incentives to residents and businesses associated with various climate programs. Recently adopted federal legislation, including the Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, promise to provide opportunities for a wide variety of funding opportunities from federal and state agencies. In addition, many climate programs under development or proposed for future implementation will involve the distribution of County funds and/or incentives to residents and businesses.
  • DEP is gaining funding to enable the retention of consultants with expertise in grant identification, application, and implementation. The process of identifying, applying for, and implementing grant opportunities can be complex. In order receive the greatest benefit from these funding opportunities, it will be beneficial to have the expertise of consultants to navigate these processes. The return on the investment to the County can be significant, as thousands of dollars in consulting expertise can translate into millions of dollars of federal or state resources.
  • The Climate Change Non-Departmental Account is gaining funding for paid fellows and interns to support the County's climate and energy initiatives. Climate fellows and interns provide research, outreach, and communications support to multiple departments.

Support Climate Capacity Building for Community Organizations

  • DEP is receiving funding to be granted to community-based organizations (CBOs) for climate capacity building. Most CBOs in the County lack the resources and institutional capacity to focus their efforts on climate-related activities, particularly related to climate justice. The grant funding could be used by CBOs for a variety of purposes, such as hiring climate staff, training staff on climate change and climate justice issues, developing organizational priorities related to climate change and climate justice, and more deeply engaging with community members and County government on climate policies from conception to implementation.

Support Zero Waste Efforts

  • DEP is gaining two new Zero Waste Planner positions to establish a unit focused on Countywide zero waste efforts. Zero waste initiatives include waste reduction, reuse, and recycling efforts, adding to the kinds of materials that can be recycled, drafting legislation and regulations, conducting research and data analysis, and evaluating the effectiveness of the new efforts.

Climate Change Non-departmental Account (NDA)

  • Funds in this NDA are used to implement the Climate Action Plan. In FY24, the Climate Change NDA will support studies and programmatic efforts related to clean energy, electric vehicle charging, zero emissions fleet transition, building codes, climate finance, residential home labeling, climate communications and engagement, and climate resilience. The NDA will also be used to support paid climate fellows and interns.

Ongoing Work of County Departments

Community Use of Public Facilities (CUPF)

CUPF covers the personnel cost of an energy management position in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) to monitor community use of school buildings and control the HVAC settings in each school based on the weekly schedule. CUPF continuously fine tunes the MCPS' weekly energy management schedule to reduce unneeded energy use. CUPF makes every possible effort to consolidate community use into buildings by not placing groups in an empty building when a building nearby already has scheduled use.

Department of Correction and Rehabilitation (DOCR)

The Department's diversion community service work crews remove debris/waste, and work crews paint electric car ports at County facilities and use green chemicals to remove county graffiti. The department has recently implemented a Food Waste Composting initiative within its Kitchen/Dietary Services.

Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

DEP provides leadership for the County's actions on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to a changing climate. DEP administers the County's Benchmarking Law, whereby commercial and multifamily building owners with properties greater than 25,000 square feet use a standard metric to measure energy usage, identifying energy savings opportunities. DEP manages a new zero-emissions vehicle outreach and engagement program to help residents and businesses electrify their ride and continues to provide residential energy programs to assist county residents with energy efficiency opportunities. DEP also administers the Montgomery Energy Connection, a merger-funded program whose goal is to be a trusted source of information about home energy efficiency and renewable energy options for residents.

DEP administers the Tree Montgomery program, a program that plants shade trees for property owners, free of charge. Additional programs for tree planting are implemented in partnership with MCDOT. DEP also administers the RainScapes program which provides rebates to properties to install green infrastructure.

DEP provides curbside collection services to all single-family residences for recyclables including cardboard and paper, and commingled material such as plastics, glass, and yard trim. These materials are then sorted and marketed to recycling processors or turned into compost material and sold to customers, keeping large volumes of material out of the waste stream.

DEP is supporting the development of a Flood Management program for the County, including development of comprehensive strategies for planning for, responding to, and communicating about flooding issues; and the identification of areas at high risk of flooding due to the built environment. Phase II of the plan was funded in the County Executive's recommended Amended FY23-29 CIP.

Department of General Services (DGS)

DGS' Office of Energy and Sustainability ensures County operations are environmentally sensitive and integrates sustainability into County decision making. Over 7.6 megawatts (MW) of electricity are generated from solar panels on County facilities. A 6.0 MW installation is underway at the decommissioned Oaks Landfill and in FY23 DGS has completed Phase I of the Brookville Bus Depot electric bus charging station installation which will include a 2.0 MW solar installation and microgrid. DGS also leads the initiative to transition to a zero emissions fleet of County vehicles and buses.

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

The various public-facing HUBs within the County are building community resiliency. Through its focus on the social determinants of health, the DHHS minority programs are keenly aware of the impact of climate change on communities of color and are committed to better incorporating climate and the environment into its work. A Climate Action Team within the Office of Community Affairs has developed a Climate and Health Lunch & Learn training for staff and will continue to develop capacity building opportunities for department stakeholders.

The Latino Health Initiative (LHI) has conducted a series of Latino community conversations to assess the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of a sample of Latino community members regarding environment-related practices associated to consumer waste and recycling and will continue to incorporate climate into health promotion activities. LHI will develop a Climate and Health education workshop series in coordination with climate focused community partners.

Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA)

The Energy Efficiency program assists homeowners and low-income residents in reducing home energy use by providing energy inspections, air leak identification, insulation, and energy efficient lighting.

Office of Human Resources

The Office of Human Resources has rolled out the County's Telework Policy to encourage MCG staff to reduce vehicle miles traveled. The Office conducts virtual trainings related to climate change and works to build awareness among all County staff about climate change.

Department of Permitting Services (DPS)

Through the Sustainability, Energy, and Mechanical program reviews, DPS enforces the County's requirement for new construction, additions, and alterations to conform to the State-adopted International Energy Construction Code. New commercial construction and additions of 5,000 square feet or greater must conform to the State-adopted International Green Construction Code.

Department of Transportation (MCDOT)

MCDOT continues to build an extensive network of bikeway facilities including protected bike lanes, particularly in areas associated with the Purple Line and Bethesda Metro Station projects, and those in BiPPA and master plan areas. Capital Bikeshare offers stations throughout the County, providing a low-carbon alternative for short trips. The shared E-bike and E-scooter pilot program provides additional low-carbon, low-cost options for residents, employees, and visitors for short trips and to connect with transit.

Ride On, the county's public bus system, provides an affordable alternative to driving. MCDOT facilitates and encourages the use of public transportation with programs like FareShare, which works through employers to assist employees with their commuting costs, and the Commuter Choice Tax Credit. These programs provide incentives for employers to buy-down the cost of transit and vanpooling for their employees. Express bus programs including FLASH on US 29 and Ride On extRa on MD 355 provide fast, reliable bus service along major County corridors.

Office of Agriculture (OAG)

OAG supports the farm community in its utilization of renewable energy through accessory solar and regenerative agricultural practices such as no till farming, crop rotation, and others. OAG promotes Best Management Practices (BMP) such as cover cropping to help sequester carbon. The Soil Conservation District works with local farmers in promoting conservation practices that help to reduce greenhouse gases such as conservation tillage. Conservation tillage reduces trips across fields by use of equipment that produces greenhouse gases. In addition, the OAG Soil Amendment program offers free deliveries of Leafgro to farmers to increase the organic material in the soil, retain moisture, and promote soil health. By supporting County table food and beverage producers and helping expand their markets, OAG is encouraging local purchasing of food and beverages, which reduces the amount of fossil fuel energy needed to transport these products. Finally, OAG encourages farmers to have nutrient management plans, which help make sure that farmers do not use more fossil fuel-derived fertilizers than necessary.

Office of the County Executive

The Climate Change Officer leads the County-wide implementation of the Climate Action Plan.

Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (OEMHS)

OEMHS is working closely with County departments to prepare for the current and future impacts climate change will have on weather-related disasters. OEMHS has a Climate Adaptation Program Manager who collaborates with DEP and other County agencies to pursue State and Federal grants to prepare for the effects of climate change. OEMHS works with County departments and community partners to identify areas at high risk for urban heat island effect and helps guide the County's mitigation and response efforts, including the development of resiliency hubs.

As climate change increases the intensity of rain events, OEMHS has a hydrologist position to help identify areas that will become prone to flooding and help the County prepare for, mitigate, and respond to the impacts. The office also identifies critical infrastructure that may be vulnerable to climate change, such as dams, roads, and structures, and works with owners of the infrastructure to prepare for and mitigate those vulnerabilities. OEMHS is updating the County's Hazard Mitigation Plan, which will incorporate how climate change affects the County's natural hazards and vulnerabilities.

Office of Procurement

The Office of Procurement works with other County departments to employ sustainable procurement practices and specifications to help reduce environmental impacts and total cost of ownership. Examples include: (1) language incenting meatless menu options as well as local produce sourcing in cafeteria solicitation, and (2) responsible disposal or donation of County surplus to maximize return and reduce waste for the County.

Public Libraries (MCPL)

MCPL partners with other County and community partners, including DEP, DHHS, and Pepco to place informational and resource tables at libraries to inform residents about access to energy assistance and energy conservation programs. MCPL also partners with DEP to make items such as compost bins, thermal cameras, reusable and recyclable bags available to residents. MCPL offers climate change educational programs and workshops for residents of all ages. For adults and seniors, these include workshops to help residents manage energy usage and explore energy efficient technology. Programs are planned for large audiences to disseminate the information in a wider manner as well as for small groups, where conversations about the personal impact on climate change and energy saving of individual residents can be explored. For children, teens, and families, MCPL offers educational programs about the impact of climate change on oceans and the creatures that inhabit them in support of the 2022 Summer Reading Challenge!, "Oceans of Possibilities." As part of this program, children and teens had the opportunity to make tangible contributions towards conserving the Chesapeake Bay by planting trees, oysters, and providing healthy habitats for Bay animals.

Climate Change Efforts in the County Executive's FY24 Recommended Budget

The chart below details the budget numbers associated with the initiatives and programs discussed in this chapter. The County Executive's Recommended FY24 Operation Budget dedicates $272.6 million to climate change efforts.