Alliance Urges Maryland Lawmakers to Support EmPOWER Maryland Energy-Efficiency Initiative | Alliance to Save Energy

Alliance Urges Maryland Lawmakers to Support EmPOWER Maryland Energy-Efficiency Initiative

Release Date: Friday, March 7, 2008

Washington, D.C., March 7, 2008 – The Alliance to Save Energy today strongly urged Maryland lawmakers to support Gov. Martin O’Malley’s EmPOWER Maryland Energy Efficiency Initiative, which will implement the governor’s goal of reducing the state’s per-capita energy consumption and peak energy demand by 15 percent by the year 2015.

Alliance President Kateri Callahan praised O’Malley and State Energy Director Malcolm Woolf for introducing one of the nation’s most ambitious energy-efficiency targets. She called upon Maryland legislators to support this proactive legislative approach to lowering energy bills while ensuring clean and reliable energy for all Marylanders.

“Maryland faces major energy challenges, as do most states,” observed Callahan. “The innovative legislation sponsored by Gov. O’Malley relies upon energy efficiency as the most powerful near-term weapon to achieve energy savings for consumers and reduce the demand for energy while Maryland’s emerging clean energy industry develops new technologies.”

The governor’s legislation (Maryland House Bill 374 and Senate Bill 205) plans to achieve the ambitious 15 percent energy-efficiency goal by encouraging greater use of programmable thermostats and compact fluorescent light bulbs, known as CFLs. Energy savings would be achieved by having utilities do their part by establishing a range of programs to reduce household bills, such as rebates for the purchase of ENERGY STAR appliances, incentives for home energy-efficiency improvements, and voluntary payments for the use of interruptible load devices on air conditioners.

“Energy price increases can be devastating to Maryland’s low- and middle-income residents,” Callahan said. “The legislation before the Maryland General Assembly addresses this issue by providing realistic, attainable goals for lowering electricity use, which will in turn reduce electricity bills for all Maryland customers, reduce pollution and make a down payment on reducing carbon emissions.”

According to the Maryland Dept of Energy, when the governor’s energy bill is fully implemented, it will:

  • Save Marylanders $1.9 billion by 2015 and more than $4 billion by 2020; and
  • Avoid using 25 billion kWh of electricity – enough to power three-fourths of Maryland’s homes in 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. Enactment of the governor’s EmPOWER Maryland energy legislation will implement proven energy-efficiency strategies 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,” Callahan observed.

“I strongly urge Maryland lawmakers to support the governor’s innovative energy proposal when it comes up for a vote in the General Assembly next week,” emphasized Callahan.

Last year the Alliance to Save Energy marked the 30th anniversary since its founding in 1977 by Sens. Charles Percy (R-Ill.) and Hubert Humphrey (D-Minn.).