BENEFITS OF ENERGY EFFICIENCY:
Lower Bills – Energy savings through efficiency mean lower electricity and gas bills. On average, consumers save two to three dollars for every dollar invested in energy efficiency.
These ongoing savings far outstrip the up-front cost of high-efficiency light bulbs, or highperformance motors and appliances, delivering net savings to consumers over time.
New Jobs – Investing in clean energy technologies, including energy efficiency, would create more than 59,000 permanent jobs in Maryland, according to the Perryman Group.
Improved Reliability – Increasing demand for electricity is the primary reason we are facing blackouts as early as 2011. Energy efficiency can reduce demand growth dramatically.
Less Pollution – The cleanest kilowatt of electricity is the electricity we don’t have to produce. Aggressive investment in energy efficiency reduces the need for building new power plants. Not building additional power plants protects the environment and maintains public health conditions in Maryland.
Ready to Go – The technology is available now. Energy efficiency programs – such as weatherizing homes or exchanging old and wasteful appliances for efficient modern ones – can be implemented right away to start delivering energy savings.
HOW MARYLAND CAN ACHIEVE THESE BENEFITS:
SB 205/HB 374: EmPOWER Maryland Energy Efficiency Act
This bill would codify Gov. O’Malley’s plan to reduce statewide per-capita electricity consumption and peak demand by 15 percent by 2015. This goal can be achieved simply through greater use of proven technologies, such as programmable thermostats and high efficiency light bulbs. Utility companies will be responsible for 10 percent of the savings, with the Maryland Energy Administration providing the other 5 percent.
SB 268/HB 368: Maryland Strategic Energy Investment Fund
This bill will give the Maryland Energy Administration the resources to offer energy efficiency services to underserved markets that the utility companies won’t address. The fund will be financed through the upcoming sale of carbon allowances to power plants as part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which Maryland joined as part of the 2006 Healthy Air Act.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Johanna Neumann, Maryland PIRG, 410-467-9389, [email protected]
Bill Prindle, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, 202-429-8873, [email protected]