CCAN praises landmark energy efficiency legislation
Marylanders are expected to save $11.7 billion on energy bills over the next ten years with the passage of Senate Bill 184.
ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Maryland Senate today gave approval to the strongest legislation in a decade designed to advance energy efficiency in the state. By a vote of 32-14, the chamber voted to pass Senate Bill 184. This bill would codify the “EmPOWER Maryland” program, ensuring that Maryland remains a national leader on energy efficiency in the electricity sector. The House passed a very similar version of this bill last week, meaning final legislation will likely be sent to Governor Hogan soon.
In July 2015, the Maryland Public Service Commission issued an order to strengthen the EmPOWER Maryland program, the state’s signature energy-efficiency program, by setting a 2 percent energy savings goal and updating the cost-effectiveness criteria. SB 184 would codify that order and ensure EmPOWER’s continued success in Maryland. The legislation would also make Maryland a top ten energy-efficiency state.
Mike Tidwell, director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, released the following statement:
“Today, the Maryland Senate voted to fight climate change, create jobs, and save energy dollars for state ratepayers. SB 184 will ensure that Maryland remains a top ten energy-efficiency state. The least expensive way to meet Maryland’s future energy demand is to use less energy. On a dollar-for-dollar basis, it costs less to save energy through energy efficiency than it does to generate that same amount of energy from any type of power plant. SB 184 is common sense legislation, and its passage will help Maryland transition to a clean energy economy.”
MORE BACKGROUND: The current “EmPOWER Maryland” program has saved over 51 million megawatt-hours of electricity, resulting in more than $4 billion in total customer bill savings over the life of the measures. That’s the equivalent of enough electricity to power 850,000 residential customers for five years. The program has also created more than 2,000 Maryland jobs, and a new study from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy found that the program could create up to 68,000 new jobs in the state over the next 10 years.
With passage of SB 184, Maryland families and businesses are expected save $11.7 billion on their energy bills over the next ten years, and reduce the energy equivalent of closing 5 coal-fired plants over the next ten years, while cutting the carbon emissions of nearly 200,000 cars annually.