The Director of Maryland Energy Administration (MEA), Malcolm D. Woolf, briefed the Senate Finance Committee recently to provide an update on EmPOWER and other energy programs in the state. The four main objectives discussed were:
- Status of SEIF (i.e. Strategic Energy Investment Fund)
- Progress in Adding Renewables in Maryland
- Progress in Promoting Energy Efficiency
- Smart Investments for Real Results
Background on SEIF:
Due to the state experiencing exponential increases in electricity bills and blackouts in summer 2011, the General Assembly implemented the Maryland Energy Investment Fund (SEIF) to help citizens take control of their energy future. The objective of this initiative is to help reduce the state’s carbon footprint, which would also expand Maryland’s economy by creating new, green collar jobs. Here is a link that goes in detail about what the SEIF does and how it affects different segments in the state. In addition, Mr. Woolf discussed during the briefing about SEIF’s cash flow uncertainties and what MEA would be receiving.
Mr. Woolf mentioned that there has been a growing demand of Marylander’s using renewable energy in an effort to save more money. The briefing pointed to four particular methods through which renewable energy can be accessed which are: geothermal, solar hot water, solar PV, and wind. Out of all of the four methods, FY 2011 results show that more people used solar PV as a source of energy.
The EmPOWER Maryland program initiatives also look to help Maryland citizens save energy that include appliance and lighting rebates for homeowners, commercial lighting rebates, energy efficiency services for industrial facilities, and Home Performance with ENERGY STAR. MEA estimates that EmPOWER programs have saved Marylander’s over $2 billion with over 270,000 participants. In addition, demand responses are also estimated to have saved citizens over 1,600 MW.
Smart Investments for Real Results
The goal of this map is meant to help counties learn about how many businesses and other local establishments in their district are using MEA initiatives to save more energy. Here is a link to the webpage.