The Power of Energy: The new Residential Energy Program Manager blows into the County with some bubbly ideas

Jul 26, 2016

Guess what’s new in Montgomery County? I am!! Not only is my position brand-new, but I am a new resident and very excited to be living in such an amazing county. As the new Residential Energy Program Manager I have been tasked with…well, anything energy!  But I don’t want to bore you with my job description so please feel free to contact me at larissa.johnson@montgomerycountymd.gov if you have specific questions.

This blog is an opportunity for me to let you know why ENERGY is so important to me and how I hope to make the county an even more amazing place!

Larissa Johnson, the new Residential Energy Program Manager

Larissa Johnson, the new Residential Energy Program Manager

 

Energy = Human Right

For as long as I can remember, I have been obsessed with the democratic process. In fact, my first career goal was to be President of the United States! But because I fell asleep in all of my Political Science classes in college, I decided to go a different route, and received my B.A. in English and Sociology from Tufts University.

Larissa in Germany

In Germany, exploring their clean energy projects through POCACITO, June 2016

Although I didn’t go into politics, my soul is still fueled by the notion of equity, and to me, energy is a human right. We need it for transporting and cooking our food, heating and cooling our rooms, manufacturing, lighting, and entertainment (just to name a few things). Despite these necessities, our electricity bills are often a huge proportion of our total income. Some people actually have to choose among heating their homes, rent, and medicine.

One of my hopes as the Residential Energy Program Manager is to make sure all residents know about the energy-saving programs the county offers because they can help us reduce our costs!

Energy = Food

Prior to moving to Maryland, I worked in California in the public health arena and what I learned was that the environment is at the center of literally everything we do in life. Without clean air to breathe – how do we stay healthy and combat preventative illnesses? Without clean water – how do we grow nutritious, locally produced food? And without green spaces – how do we learn to play and enjoy the outdoors?

Larissa dressed as an apple.

You are what you eat, quite literally!

This concept of interconnectivity became quite apparent to me so I went back to get my MPA in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University. Now I am ready to bring this notion of connected-ness to the county and start working with partners to connect all of our worlds.

 

Energy = Electricity

Before coming to Montgomery County, I worked for a few different groups in Maryland. In fact,  I was working for the Maryland Climate Coalition when offshore wind energy legislation passed in the state, and I created characters called The EmPOWERS who were named by students. Characters like these are one way that I hope to help teach students of all ages (1-101) about our electricity choices in the county.

 

Larissa dressed as Plantasia

With a 4th grade class in Baltimore, as my alter ego, Plantasia.

 

Energy = Movement

When you meet me you will most likely notice that I rarely sit still. I have been dancing my entire life, and I now use my energy and excitement to engage my community around energy topics.

Larissa Johnson as a toddler in a dance outfit.

I have been tapping away since I was a toddler

I’m even certified to teach Zumba to Aqua to Pilates to Body Pump, to…Jumping Fitness (yes, on the trampoline!!). I promise to bring kinetic energy to all the work I do throughout the county!

 

Energy = Me 🙂

As you can see, I am pretty passionate about all things energy whether it’s radiant or chemical or electrical or potential, I love it in every form. My big vision for the county? Like the “farm to fork” concept, I would like to see the same thing happen to the energy sector or a “source to socket” movement, if you will (copyright pending), where we recognize the interconnected nature of all our energy sources from food to fuel to electricity.

I look forward to working with and for the residents of Montgomery County and remember, I am only a phone call/email away!

Larissa Johnson, Montgomery County’s Residential Energy Program Manager, can be reached at larissa.johnson@montgomerycountymd.gov or 240-777-7711.

 

(6) Comments

  1. Nicole Maniez Jul 27, 2016

    I wish you were working in my county for my community!

    • Larissa Johnson Jul 28, 2016

      Thank you Nicole!!! You should move to Montgomery County and I will do my best to make sure you have all the best energy efficiency tools you need!

  2. Ruth Franco Jul 28, 2016

    Larissa,

    Congratulations on your new position! and welcome to this amazing and full of great opportunities County. I would like to know what is your opinion with respect solar energy, are there any particular ideas that you have for residents to switch from dirty generation of energy to a cleaner and more environmentally sound practice?

    Thanks!

  3. George Knippen Aug 11, 2016

    Ooops, “Contact Me” link above doesn’t seem to work, so I’ll try this box.

    *Congratulations Ms. Johnson!

    *Would like to know if you, or any of your friends who pay PEPCO bills, have noticed that Exelon has stopped putting the closing Meter Reading on the monthly bill?

    *Your job description would Not be “boring” to us….maybe a link?

    • larissaj Aug 12, 2016

      George!!

      Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and for letting me know the contact me link wasn’t working properly. You can always contact me at larissa.johnson@montgomerycountymd.gov

      Just so you know, I have contacted Pepco about your concern and hope to hear back from them soon.

      Additionally, my job description is quite lengthy but what I will be working on is increasing knowledge and participation in existing energy programs and promoting energy conservation and renewable energy like the County Solar Cooperative program, https://mygreenmontgomery.org/2016/join-montgomery-county-solar-co-op/.

      The first few months are definitely going to be focused on getting to understand resident needs and then figuring out how to get the resources and information to them.

      In October, we will be touring the county with our Energy Exploration kit and I hope you are able to attend one of these events and meet me in person!

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