Alliance to Save Energy Commends Maryland’s Ambitious Leadership in Energy Efficiency
Washington, D.C., April 4, 2008 – The Alliance to Save Energy commends the Maryland General Assembly on its passage of the EmPOWER Maryland Energy Efficiency Initiative (Senate Bill 205 and House Bill 374), which sets one of the most ambitious energy-efficiency goals in the country. The EmPOWER Maryland initiative aims to reduce statewide per capita energy consumption by 15 percent by 2015.
“Over the past few years, Maryland has faced dramatic increases in electricity rates, and the state now faces the real possibility of rolling blackouts as early as 2011. With passage of the governor’s EmPOWER Maryland energy legislation, proven energy-efficiency strategies will be implemented to reduce both per-capita energy consumption and peak energy demand, while setting the stage for Maryland’s transition from fossil fuels to more sustainable, clean energy,” Alliance President Kateri Callahan observed.
The EmPOWER Maryland bill passed by the General Assembly relies on important energy-efficiency measures, such as promoting greater use of compact fluorescent bulbs and programmable thermostats, as well as having utilities offer incentives to consumers to purchase ENERGY STAR appliances and rebates to homeowners for energy-efficiency improvements. These measures will result in significant long-term savings for Maryland residents. According to the Maryland Department of Energy, the EmPOWER Maryland initiative will:
- Save Marylanders more than $1.9 Billion by 2015 and more than $4 Billon by 2020;
- Prevent the use of 25 billion kWh of electricity, which is enough to power three-fourths of Maryland homes in 2015.
By passing this important piece of legislation and embracing energy efficiency, Maryland will be able to realize its goal of reducing electricity use, in turn lowering utility rates, as well as improving statewide air quality and mitigating global climate change.
“While other parts of the governor’s energy package were diluted, such as reducing the amount of cap-and-trade proceeds invested in energy-efficiency programs, we are hopeful the deleted provisions will be reconsidered and re-enacted next year,” said Alliance Director of Government Relations Brad Penney.