Counties Seek Clean Energy Loan Program Expansion for Grid Resiliency

  On 19, January 2021 MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson submitted testimony to the Senate Finance Committee to support SB 54 - Local Government - Clean Energy Loan Programs - Grid Resilience Projects. This bill would create an expansion of Maryland's Clean Energy Loan Programs - administered at local options by counties -  to include potential grid resiliency projects. From the MACo Testimony: SB 54 creates a broadened list of project components – still in keeping with…

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Montgomery Receives ‘SolSmart Gold’ Designation for Prioritizing Solar

Montgomery County is the first Maryland jurisdiction to receive a “Gold” designation from the national SolSmart program for making it faster, easier, and more affordable for homes and businesses to go solar. This designation recognizes Montgomery County for taking bold steps to prioritize solar energy growth and streamline the processes necessary for solar development. For companies looking to expand, a SolSmart Gold designation is a signal that the County is “open for solar business.” In…

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MD General Assembly Posts Pre-Filed Bill List

The Maryland General Assembly Senate and House pre-filed bill lists are now available on the General Assembly website. Although the list of pre-file bills are available, there is no bill text at this time. Currently, readers are able to view the bill title, sponsor, and committee assignment. As of today, there are 780 total House and Senate pre-filed bills and resolutions listed on the website. This will be updated to reflect updates on the General…

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Montgomery Converting Landfill to Solar Energy

Montgomery County announced this week that it will turn part of a former landfill into clean energy for low-to-moderate income households and County government. Through a partnership with Ameresco, 16 acres of County-owned land at the former Oaks Landfill will be used for three community solar arrays totaling 6 megawatts. One array will provide energy to the County at no upfront cost, while the other two will generate power for low-to-moderate income households at a…

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Maryland Achieves Top Ten Ranking for Energy Efficiency

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has ranked Maryland sixth in the nation for energy efficiency, placing the state in the top ten for the tenth year in a row.  ACEE's State Energy Efficiency Scorecard tracks individual policies and reviews states using 32 metrics. States are then awarded points based on their efforts to reduce energy use, such as vehicle rules or energy-saving goals. Maryland received 34.5 out of a possible 50 points…

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Montgomery Releases Draft Climate Action Plan

Montgomery County has unveiled its Draft Climate Action Plan that will act as the County's blueprint to reach ambitious climate change goals. The plan aims to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80 percent by 2027 and by 100 percent by 2035, going beyond the State's goals of 50 percent reduction by 2030 and achieving net-zero GHG emissions by 2045. “We are already feeling the impacts of climate change in our County—hotter summers, increased flooding…

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Preview the 2021 Session “Big Picture”

A compilation of Issue Papers previews major fiscal and policy issues facing the General Assembly in the year ahead. This year’s report also includes a special section devoted to issues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. This resource is a handy guide to the top issues that your legislators will be tackling in 2021 – a great preparation document for county officials in advance of meetings with their local Delegations. Developed by the Department of Legislative…

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Maryland Commission on Climate Change Issues Annual Report

The Maryland Commission on Climate Change has released its 2020 Annual Report to the Governor and General Assembly.  The report outlines the Commission's work examining new recommendations, and details actions at all levels of government to combat climate change in Maryland. Notably, this year's report comes with a Commission recommendation to establish a more ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goal requiring at least a 50 percent reduction by 2030 and achieving net-zero GHG emissions by 2045.…

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Counties to PSC: Keep Communities “Plugged In” On Solar Siting

This week, MACo sent a letter to Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) Executive Secretary, Andrew S. Johnston, urging the Commission to preserve the essential role of local zoning in the solar siting process. Following a recommendation outlined in the Governor’s Task Force on Renewable Energy Development and Siting (REDS) final report, the PSC initiated a rulemaking proceeding to consider revisions to the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) process through amendments to the Code…

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Anne Arundel Announces New Energy Assistance Relief

Anne Arundel County partners with BGE to encourage customers to act now on payment plans. With the state moratorium on utility cutoffs set to expire on November 15, Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman today announced an energy bill relief program that will allow qualified families and individuals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to apply for special assistance through Anne Arundel’s Community Action Agency (CAA). “As colder weather begins and utility bills come due, we…

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