New program encourages Marylandians to be energy efficient

Delmarva Power, one of Maryland's largest energy providers, is poised to start an initiative aimed at making the state more energy efficient following approval from the Maryland Public Service Commission.

The program is designed to encourage development of combined heat and power systems (CHPs) in new construction projects as part of Delmarva's commitment to the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) EmPower initiative.

EmPower Maryland is a collaboration of the state's five energy providers and the MEA to reduce energy consumption statewide by 15 percent before 2015.

The Dover Post reports that Delmarva's CHP program would encourage builders of both residential and commercial properties to seek alternative energy consumption options that would be less burdensome on the state's power grid.

CHP technologies integrate the generation of electric power and thermal energy from a single source, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Natural gas is most commonly used, making a building more operationally efficient, and lowering the energy costs of its inhabitants. At the same time, the production of greenhouse gases is reduced as the majority of the building's energy production is generated in an environmentally safe facility on site, and not taken from a pollutant-producing power plant.

Delmarva is offering qualified applicants cash incentives to offset construction and development costs, as well as highlighting the long-term savings customers will receive by implementing energy efficient practices to power and heat their buildings.

The Maryland Public Service Commission announced on their website that they have approved higher rebates for homes and businesses who seek energy efficient power options over the next two years. This gives Maryland residents more incentive to seek an energy audit from a commercial or home inspection contractor to make their home more environmentally friendly and cost efficient.