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Empower Maryland Efficiency Act

Program Info
Program Type 
Energy Efficiency Resource Standard

In April 2008 Maryland enacted legislation setting a state goal of achieving a 15% reduction in per capita electricity consumption and 15% reduction in per capita peak demand by 2015, compared to 2007 levels. The legislation requires the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) to direct the state’s electric utilities to implement programs designed to achieve a 5% reduction in per capita electricity consumption by 2011 and a 10% reduction by 2015. The remainder of the overall goal of 15% is to be accomplished independently through other means. Utility targets for per capita peak demand reduction are set at 5% by 2011, 10% by 2013, and 15% by 2015, thus utilities are responsible for the full portion of the peak demand reduction target.

Utilities are required to consult with the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) on program design and implementation every three years. The first consultation was required to take place by July 1, 2008. Utilities must also submit plans for achieving the specified energy consumption and peak demand reductions to the PSC every three years, with the first plan due by September 1, 2008. The PSC is tasked with evaluating the plans based on cost-effectiveness, rate impacts for each ratepayer class, job impacts, and environmental impacts. Utilities filed their second set of plans for the 2012 - 2014 compliance period during the summer of 2011 and the plans were approved by the PSC in December 2011.

The Maryland PSC issues annual reports on progress made towards meeting the standards. The [ Empower Maryland 2011 Compliance Report] indicates that the utilities' collective per capital demand reduction and energy savings achievments met the 2011 targets, but that part of the savings is attributable to factors such as moderate weather and the economic downturn rather than utility programs. In fact, collective program energy savings generally fell well short of the 2011 goal, though the utilities were able to generate peak demand savings equivalent to 105% of the 2011 goal. Progress towards the targets also differed substantially from utility to utility. The ongoing regulatory proceedings at the PSC are taking place in Case Nos. 9153 - 9157 (each utility has a different case number). Interested parties can access the case proceedings via the PSC's [ Case Search] web page.