EmPOWER Maryland energy efficiency bill becomes law

Legislation expected to create nearly 70,000 jobs, grow economy and save businesses billions of dollars.

The EmPOWER Maryland energy efficiency legislation championed by businesses and environmental organizations has officially become law.

EmPOWER Maryland helps homeowners and businesses reduce energy waste by offering them technical assistance and incentives to take steps such as installing new appliances, sealing air leaks, and optimizing manufacturing production lines.

Gov. Hogan declined to sign the bill, but he didn’t veto it either, and it passed by a veto-proof margin. As a result, it officially became law at midnight this morning.

See reactions from other business and environmental organizations below

So far, the energy efficiency program has saved utility customers $1.8 billion on their electric bills. According to recent, independent research by the American Council for an Energy Efficiency Economy, the extension is expected to:

  • Create more than 68,000 over the next decade, with most of the jobs in construction and services.
  • Save ratepayers $11.7 billion because of reduced energy consumption.
  • Add $3.75 billion to Maryland’s gross domestic product.

“The new services EmPOWER Maryland provides will create jobs, save ratepayers money and strengthen our economy,” said Brian Toll, Policy Chair with Efficiency First Maryland. “Everyone who pays an electricity bill will benefit.”

Supporters of the bill include major trade associations, businesses, and environmental groups including Union Hospital, Schneider Electric, MGM Resorts, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, the Maryland Alliance for Energy Contractors, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Earthjustice, and the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, among others.

Quotes

James McGarry, Maryland & DC Policy Director, Chesapeake Climate Action Network: “The cheapest and cleanest form of energy is the kind that is never used, thanks to energy efficiency and conservation. This bill will create good-paying jobs in energy efficiency, and help us transition to a clean energy future where our environment is protected for future generations.”

Michael Giangrande, Chairman, Maryland Alliance for Energy Contractors: “As someone who works in energy efficiency, I see firsthand how EmPOWER Maryland is creating jobs and improving people’s lives by saving them money, making their homes more comfortable and keeping electricity costs down.”

Deron Lovaas, Senior Policy Advisor, for the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Urban Solutions program: “This is an amazing accomplishment for one of our nation’s most forward-thinking states. EmPOWER Maryland is an example of how common-sense policies like energy efficiency can win support no matter whether you’re a liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat.”

Jessica Ennis, Senior Legislative Representative, Earthjustice: “Clean energy solutions like EmPOWER Maryland are critical to ensuring that we have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink.”

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CONTACT: Denise Robbins; denise@chesapeakeclimate.org; 240-396-2022