Smart Energy Solutions

MAKING OUR STATE DELIVER ON PROMISED EFFICIENCY—In 2008, Maryland PIRG helped pass the EmPOWER Maryland Act, which set a statewide goal of reducing per capita electricity use 15% by 2015. Now, we’re fighting to make sure our state meets that goal.

Safe and Efficient Energy for Maryland

More than a decade ago, powerful energy companies rewrote the rules that dictate how energy is bought and sold in Maryland. That decision continues to haunt us today.

Marylanders pay high electric bills, suffer from unfair pricing mechanisms that gouge consumers without offering benefits, and our electric grid is strained to the point where we could be facing brown-outs in the coming years.

There is a better way. By adopting consumer oriented rules to govern our electric system, making smart investments in energy efficiency and clean local sources of energy, decision-makers can lower bills, create local clean energy jobs, reduce our dependence on expensive and unsafe sources of energy, and improve the reliability of our electric grid.

Energy Efficient Maryland

Being wasteful with energy raises bills and drains money out of our economy. Meanwhile, energy companies want to use rising demand for electricity as an excuse to fast-track expensive new power lines and power plants in Maryland that we have to pay for.

The fastest and most affordable way to get Maryland’s energy use under control is to make our homes, businesses and communities more energy efficient.

Maryland PIRG advocates real solutions such as insulating homes and businesses, making sure that appliances that are turned off don’t drain power, and requiring utility companies to offer effective energy efficiency programs to consumers.

Maryland has a great deal to gain from smart investments in improved energy efficiency. In fact, every dollar invested in energy efficiency can yield up to $4 in savings for individual consumers.

In order to take advantage of its full potential for energy efficiency, the state adopted the Maryland PIRG-backed EmPOWER Maryland Act in 2008, establishing clear energy efficiency goals for the state. However, the Public Service Commission (PSC), the agency responsible for overseeing the bulk of EmPOWER Maryland’s energy savings goals, has failed to properly manage efforts by the state’s five investor-owned utilities to meet efficiency targets. If current programs do not improve, Maryland risks missing its 2015 energy savings target.

To get Maryland back on track, the Public Service Commission must do more to ensure that utility programs are achieving their share of EmPOWER Maryland targets and approve all efficiency programs that deliver a net benefit to Maryland and our economy.

Issue updates

Result | Safe Energy

Commission Renews and Expands Commitment to EmPOWER Maryland

The Maryland Public Service Commission has ordered a series of measures that will expand and refocus—and ultimately improve—programs designed to meet the goals of the EmPOWER Maryland Energy Efficiency Act of 2008.

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News Release | Safe Energy

Energy Efficiency Saves Money, Boosts Economy

Energy efficiency investments save Maryland ratepayers $60 million on electricity costs annually and have boosted job creation. These findings come from a new report tracking Maryland’s progress towards statewide energy efficiency goals, released today by Maryland PIRG, the statewide consumer group.

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Report | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Safe Energy

A Smart Solution

Maryland electricity consumers are beginning to reap the benefits of the state’s ambitious efforts to improve energy efficiency and measures to cut peak demand. Consumers are saving money and avoiding paying for expensive new infrastructure projects, while employers have been able to increase their competitiveness and hire new staff.

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Report | Safe Energy

Unacceptable Risk

American nuclear power plants are not immune to the types of natural disasters, mechanical failures, human errors, and losses of critical electric power supplies that have characterized major nuclear accidents such as the one at Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan. Indeed, at several points over the last 20 years, American nuclear power plants have experienced “close calls” that could have led to damage to the reactor core and the subsequent release of large amounts of radiation.

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Blog Post | Safe Energy

What Are the Main Threats Posed by the Crisis at Fukushima?

The unfolding events in Japan are a sobering reminder that nuclear power is inherently dangerous.

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News Release | Safe Energy

Committee Diverts Energy-Efficiency Funding

Budget conference committee members of the Maryland General Assembly agreed to strip funding for energy-efficiency in the state’s budget through 2012.  Instead, the money is being allocated to the state's direct bill pay assistance program to help low-income homes pay their utility bills.

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News Release | Safe Energy

New Report Shows Building Nuclear Plants Is a Bad Investment

Maryland PIRG report shows that dollar for dollar, a clean energy portfolio produces more energy than nuclear.

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News Release | Safe Energy

Clean Energy Cheaper, Safer, Quicker than Nuclear Power

Clean energy technologies are likely to be cheaper, safer and more reliable than a proposed nuclear reactor at Calvert Cliffs according to a new Maryland PIRG report.

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News Release | Safe Energy

New Report Shows Efficiency Programs Lower Utility Bills

Energy efficiency programs reduce costs to consumers and slow rising energy prices according to a new report released today by Maryland PIRG. The report, Energy Saved, Dollars Earned: Real-World Examples of How Energy Efficiency Can Benefit Maryland Consumers, shows how other states have used energy efficiency programs to delay the need to build new power plants, improve reliability, create jobs, and strengthen the economy for society as a whole.

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The overuse of antibiotics on factory farms is threatening these lifesaving medicines. Call on big restaurants to do their part and stop buying meat raised with critical antibiotics.

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