(Bel Air, MD – October 2, 2008) – – Harford County Executive David R. Craig today announced his proposal for energy initiatives to promote “Green” communities and provide tax credits. The announcement was made at the “Going $Green with Harford County Manufacturing” seminar at Harford Community College.
“Today’s problems require local solutions,” County Executive Craig stated. “Our current energy crisis is yet another example of an issue that can be addressed at the local level,” Craig stated.
The Craig Administration Energy Initiatives will promote an environment that rewards innovative approaches to energy conservation and alternative energy development. Harford County Government will provide additional incentives for projects that utilize “Green Building”, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified standards. The use of “Green Building” standards will also now be included as part of the criteria Harford County will use to provide “Fast Track” status to projects.
In addition to the incentives of using “Green Building” technology, Harford County Government will renew its commitment to our current Solar/Geothermal Energy Tax Credit Program. Currently the program provides a total of $150,000 of tax credits to citizens who invest in solar or geothermal devices for their homes or business. The Craig Administration will make efforts to improve access and availability of funds for such projects.
Additionally, each property that utilizes solar energy or geothermal energy devices is eligible for up to $2,500 in tax credits. More information about this program is available on the Harford County Government website at www.harfordcountymd.gov or through the Department of the Treasury.
County Executive Craig also unveiled plans to work with the Harford County Council to draft legislation to allow wind turbines in certain zoned areas of the county. “While Maryland may not be ideally located to take advantage of this alternative and clean energy source, I feel we should provide citizens an opportunity to be able to explore the viability of wind power in Harford County,” the county executive remarked.
Furthermore, the county executive announced he has directed an internal energy management plan be implemented as soon as possible to help guide energy saving practices and to explore the integration of alternative energy technologies into daily operations. County Executive Craig advised the county will promote further purchasing of hybrid vehicles and busses for the county fleet of vehicles, work to establish environmental standards for county construction and rehabilitation projects, and adopt “Green Building” standards for new capital projects.
The proposed comprehensive energy plan will be evaluated by and Energy Management Steering Committee, that will work with each department to advocate for best management practices that promote energy and cost saving measures for county government.
Commenting on his proposed energy initiatives, County Executive Craig stated, “It is my hope that these initiatives will in part help ease the burden to our citizens as well as promote the use and exploration of alternative energy and energy conservation technologies.”
Another part of the county’s “green plan” is the current and long standing refuse recycling program. Grocery stores are working towards eliminating blue plastic and paper bags, instead encouraging shoppers to use their own fabric totes. These paper and plastic bags are currently required as the containers for plastic, glass and paper recyclables. Perhaps it is time for the Harford County to reconsider this requirement. Other municipalities issue each resident tubs for their specific recyclables which are then emptied directly into the pick-up truck at curbside. Any response to this? Thanks for the article, Brian.