Maryland receives more funds to make state energy efficient


State officials have furthered their commitment to making Maryland more energy efficient by announcing a comprehensive multimillion-dollar initiative on June 15.

The Baltimore Sun reported that the state will receive more than $113 million from Baltimore Gas and Electric and Exelon Corp, Maryland's largest energy providers,
under conditions outlined in the merger of the two companies. This money will go toward helping customers statewide benefit from the merger.

State officials have released a comprehensive plan on how the new funds will be allocated and who they plan to help. The main goal of the plan will be to save residents $278 million over the next 10 years on their energy bills, with the largest portion of the proposal allocating $44 million to weatherizing 4,000 lower income homes in the Baltimore area and surrounding suburbs.

"We're trying to use this money to create long-lasting effects that will exceed the duration of the … fund," Abby Hopper, energy advisor to the governor, told the Sun. Hopper noted that opportunities like these do not present themselves often, and that the state is doing all it can to allocate funds appropriately.

Other initiatives covered by the plan include providing cash advances to small businesses to lower their energy costs, and replacing four public schools with new ones that do not take from the power grid but instead produce their own sustainable energy through advanced green technologies.

Despite the many benefits of the initiative, only select qualifying homes and businesses will receive money directly from the fund. Residents looking to save should contact a home inspection contractor to perform an energy audit to figure out how they can affordably lower their energy bills.