Energy Conservation & Efficiency

EmPOWER Maryland reform heads to House floor

HB864 to update and improve EmPOWER Maryland has passed the House Economic Matters Committee and is headed to the floor.

Advance Maryland | Used by permission

On Monday, the House Economic Matters Committee voted to support HB864, to support reforms to EmPOWER Maryland, the state’s energy efficiency program.

Sponsored by Del. Brian Crosby and Del. Lily Qi, the bill makes important updates to EmPOWER Maryland to align it with our state’s climate goals and ensure maximum benefit to ratepayers.

The bill:

  • Sets yearly goals for pollution reduction, making an important shift from goals around electricity savings to properly prioritize clean, efficient electrical home heating over gas heat.
  • Add new incentives for home electrification to help Maryland homeowners make the switch to clean, efficient home heating and appliances.
  • Establishes consumer protections for maximum benefits to ratepayers.
  • Prevents large rate hikes, but lowering profit rates on existing EmPOWER spending, so ratepayer dollars are spent on energy efficiency not profits to utilities.
  • Adds new incentives for low income Marylanders and multifamily housing to increase benefits for Marylanders health, climate, and pocketbooks.

Reforming EmPOWER has been a team effort with support from Maryland PIRG and dozens of Maryland consumer, housing, health, and environmental groups and commitment from the Moore Administration and state agencies, the Maryland Public Service Commission, the Office of the People’s Counsel and leadership in the House and Senate.

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