Online tool helps DC residents go green, save green

This article has been updated to clarify the source of the site's intereactive mapping features.

The District of Columbia has launched an interactive online tool – GreenUp DC -- to help homeowners in the city reduce their environmental impact through energy conservation, clean energy use and stormwater reduction measures.

GreenUp DC is part of the city’s overall effort to get citizens to become active participants in Mayor Vincent Gray’s sustainability initiatives, and to track performance of various environmental programs, according to the District Department of the Environment (DDOE).

“So much of what we are doing at this point is to further engage and educate our residents on how to become sustainable in their daily lives,” said Christophe Tulou, director of DDOE.

“Providing convenient, interactive online tools, such as GreenUp DC, allows citizens to see how they can make a difference by greening their homes and property, and even save money at the same time,” Tulou said.

City residents can use the interactive Web tool to explore existing projects in their neighborhoods and around the city, and to then plan their own green projects. The interactive mapping features are powered by D.C.’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer using technology from Esri, a developer of mapping technology and geographic information systems. The mapping features allow users to see existing green energy, stormwater reduction and energy conservation projects, and to immediately calculate the potential benefits of these types of conservation projects on their property, DDOE officials said

In addition to planning retrofit projects, GreenUp DC allows users to learn more about these projects and to access lists of qualified professionals to do the work.

The Web tool also generates reports that help DDOE fulfill its legal obligations to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and be transparent and responsive with up-to-date statistical reporting on green energy performance and stormwater reductions, officials said.

The GreenUp DC tool, developed by Critigen, an information technology consulting firm, can be used to plan a project for the new RiverSmart Rain Garden and Pervious Paver Rebate program. The rebate, based on the square footage of impervious (roof or pavement) area being treated, will reimburse homeowners $1.25 per square foot. To learn more about the Pervious Paver Rebate, visit www.ddoe.dc.gov/riversmarthomes.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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