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County to Offer Free Energy Audits for Selected Historic Houses

In Montgomery County, owners of selected historic houses may participate in a free energy audit through the county planning department's historic preservation section.

Owning a historic house doesn't have to mean higher energy expenses.

In Montgomery County, owners of selected historic houses may participate in a free energy audit through the county planning department's historic preservation section.

"Thanks to a $9,000 grant from the Maryland Historical Trust, historic preservation planners will run the local Energy Efficiency Initiative for selected owners of eight-10 historic homes in the county. There are more than 3,000 homes designated historic on the county Master Plan for Historic Preservation or located in a designated historic district," according to a planning department news release.

The audits—valued at about $500 each—"will reveal a household’s energy usage and recommend measures to conserve energy. Armed with conservation strategies, homeowners can see real savings on utility costs," the release added.

Different types of properties from across the county will be chosen to represent various types of historic houses.

"Properties will be selected for the audits based on location, age, size and materials used in construction of the residence as well as when applications are submitted," the news release added.

Download an application for a free audit at montgomeryplanning.org/historic/. Applications must be received by 5 p.m. on May 10.

Last fall, the Somerset Town Hall (built in 1902 as a house) was renovated for energy efficiency. After renovations, the building was about 25 percent more efficient in keeping cold air outside, Patch reported.

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