The EmPOWER Maryland Energy Efficiency Act of 2008 ("EmPOWER") required Maryland's electric utilities to achieve energy savings through a managed portfolio of energy efficiency programs administered by the utilities and overseen by the Maryland Public Service Commission through 2015. To ensure Maryland's continued success in achieving energy savings, the commission issued Order 87082 in July 2015 establishing a ramp up of 0.2% energy savings per year until the utilities reach 2%. In 2017, Maryland's legislature enacted an EmPOWER bill into law without Governor Hogan’s signature. This bill codifies the two percent target of electric energy savings until 2024. The utilities are now in the midst of their 2018-2020 EmPOWER plan.
Maryland’s original Climate action plan was the 2009 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act (GGRA). Which set the state on a path to reduce carbon emissions. A 2015 update to the GGRA increased the GHG reduction goal to 40% of 2006 levels by 2030. The Maryland Department of the Environment released a draft 2019 GGRA plan. It is a comprehensive, multi-sector, multi-agency plan that, if fully implemented, will achieve reductions greater than the 2016 GGRA goals.
Maryland took a step in 2018 to alter the circumstances in which the state may withdraw from RGGI by requiring the General Assembly to enact a law approving the withdrawal. This will ensure it is in the best interest of the state if the time comes that it is proposed to withdraw from this initiative.
In buildings news, the PSC has granted cost recovery for an automated commercial building benchmarking system, which will facilitate customer awareness and engagement with the EmPOWER energy efficiency programs. In March, 2019 Maryland adopted the 2018 IECC building codes which will increase the efficiency of new construction buildings.
The legislature passed a law in 2018 the requires developments of 11 or more homes built by the same builder to provide a home buyer with information about energy efficiency options, including a statement that tax credits may be available for various energy efficient upgrades. This law will provide home buyers with transparency about the energy cost of a home and potential for further savings.
Maryland at a Glance
|Direct Jobs in Energy Efficiency||70,530|
|Electric Efficiency Program Expenditures||$270.7 million|
|Gas Efficiency Program Expenditures||$1.75 million|
|Per Capita Expenditures||$45.22|
|Annual Electric Savings||921,488 MWh|
|Electric Savings as Percent of Retail Sales||1.5%|
|Annual Gas Savings||2.5 million therms|
|Gas Savings as Percent of Retail Sales||0.15%|