According to The Bay Net, the state of energy efficiency in Maryland is set to greatly increase. The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) recently launched a new energy efficiency target, now one of the highest in the country.
The new order requires Maryland utilities to achieve an annual incremental electricity savings of 2 percent on retail sales per year in perpetuity. In 2013, Maryland achieved savings equal to only 1.3 percent of overall sales.
Compared to other states, only Massachusetts and Rhode Island achieved levels higher than 2 percent in 2014. Maryland is now one of the top five states with similar goals in the country.
"The state of Maryland has just taken a huge step in showing that action on air pollution and climate change can go hand in hand with consumer savings," said Mike Tidwell, director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. "The PSC deserves praise for hearing the public's voice that efficiency is a win-win. We now hope other states will follow suit at this same high level."
In addition, natural gas usage reduction goals were also set for all gas companies throughout Maryland. Other changes include utilities saving over 1.2 million megawatt hours per year, equaling a closing of a 460 megawatt coal-fired plant every two years and reducing carbon emissions equal to taking 173,000 cars off the road annually.
This change is equal to reducing carbon emissions at a rate equivalent of building 470 megawatts of new wind power every year, three times greater than what Maryland's installed wind capacity is right now.