Maryland Implements New Residential Energy Efficiency Programs - Southern Maryland Headline News

Maryland Implements New Residential Energy Efficiency Programs

If each Maryland resident changed just one light bulb to a Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL), we would reduce electric bills throughout the state by almost $20 million per year

ANNAPOLIS – The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) recently announced four new energy efficiency programs designed to save Maryland residents both energy and money. The programs will focus on increasing the energy efficiency of Maryland homes and saving energy through the use of compact fluorescent lights.

“These new residential programs will help us reach our ‘EmPOWER Maryland’ goal to reduce per capita electricity consumption in Maryland 15% by the year 2015,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “In our lighting campaign alone, if each Maryland resident changed just one light bulb to a Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL), we would reduce electric bills throughout the state by almost $20 million per year.”

The Maryland Energy Administration will coordinate the four newest programs under the EmPOWER Maryland initiative. “The least expensive kilowatt of energy is the one not needed,” said MEA Director Malcolm Woolf. “These programs help promote affordable, reliable and clean energy.”

The four new “EmPOWER Maryland” Programs include:

· Maryland Energy Efficient Affordable Housing Development Program - Using a $250,000 grant from MEA, the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will initiate an affordable housing program to increase the energy efficiency of homes receiving funding assistance from DHCD. New homes will have to meet the national EPA ENERGY STAR Qualified New Homes energy saving target of 15 percent more energy efficient than required by code. Existing home rehabilitation projects will have to increase their energy efficiency levels by approximately 15 percent.

· Improving Energy Efficiency in Existing Homes –Pilot in Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties – MEA will initiate a pilot program to increase existing home energy efficiency through a whole-house approach. The program will train local home remodeling contractors and heating and cooling contractors to evaluate homes using state-of-the-art equipment and recommend comprehensive improvements that will provide the highest energy savings at the lowest cost. This pilot will implement the national EPA and DOE Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program in two Maryland counties. Average energy savings in this program, based upon experience in other states, should be approximately 20 percent.

· Energy Efficient Lighting: Change A Light, Change the World – On October 3, 2007 Governor O’Malley will kick off a statewide effort with Maryland residents, colleges, schools, businesses, and utilities to promote the Change a Light, Change the World Campaign initiated by the federal energy and environmental agencies. The National Campaign encourages each consumer to change at least one incandescent light bulb to a compact fluorescent light bulb. The Maryland campaign will encourage residents to add FOUR CFL’s to their homes to save even more energy than the national program. If every Maryland home replaced four existing light bulbs with CFL’s, residential electricity consumption in Maryland would decrease by two percent and equate to saving $81 million.

· Energy Efficient Lighting for DHR - Office of Home Energy Programs Participants – MEA, in coordination with the Maryland Department of Human Resources’ Office of Home Energy Programs, will provide 100,000 CFL’s to participants in the department’s energy assistance programs. Low-income families are particularly hard hit by increases in energy prices and this effort will help families cut their lighting bills.

In addition to these efforts, MEA was directed by the Governor at the Governor’s Energy Summit on July 25 to develop a strategic energy plan to help Maryland take control of our energy future.

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