Community Choice Energy Bill Passes House As Pilot Program

HB 561 Electric Industry – Community Choice Energy – Pilot Program has passed the Maryland House of Delegates by a vote of 92-38. The bill was initially intended to be effective statewide, but has been amended into a pilot program for Montgomery County.

As introduced, HB 561 would have allowed any county, municipality, or combination thereof to form a “Community Choice Aggregate” that would be able to harness ratepayers collective demand for energy and utilize it to negotiate needs with suppliers that reflect the priorities of the community. This could be pursuing more clean energy supply, better prices, or both. MACo supported the bill as it would allow counties the option to form an Aggregate and provide another useful service to their residents.

The bill has faced stiff opposition for many years from a variety of energy industry representatives. HB 561 has been amended into a pilot program for Montgomery County due to the strong support of the County’s delegation.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2020 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.