Calvert County’s government has created energy savings and earned several refunds from Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) as part of EmPOWER Maryland program, through which energy providers offer many programs to save users energy and money.
According to Calvert Currents, the Calvert County Commissioners’ newsletter, the county has created energy savings through switching to compact fluorescent bulbs or LED lights, upgrading equipment, and installing on-demand water heaters, among other changes. The projects have allowed for cost savings, and in some cases additional refunds from SMECO through the EmPOWER program. Wilson Freeland, director of the Calvert County Department of General Services described the County’s progress in its newsletter.
“In the last five years or so, we’ve been able to save more than half a million dollars,” Freeland said. The Department of General Services tracks every effort to lower usage and Freeland said staff will compare subsequent bills to log any savings. “We look at the inefficiencies we have and if you can get something to pay back in a relatively short amount of time, that’s the way to go.”
Programs include lighting and appliance rebates for homeowners, Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (including home energy assessments and 50% rebates for energy improvements like insulation and air sealing), commercial lighting rebates, and energy efficiency services for industrial facilities.
Calvert Currents notes that in addition to a recent $9,000 refund to Calvert County, SMECO has made payments of $4,300 and $1,170 for smaller projects and there are applications now from Calvert County Government for more savings.