Smart Energy Solutions

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.

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.

To get Maryland back on track, the Public Service Commission must do more to extend the EmPOWER Maryland proram with new targets and approve all efficiency programs that deliver a net benefit to Maryland and our economy.

Issue updates

Report | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Consumer Protection, Safe Energy

Stepping Up to Bigger Savings

Energy efficiency is one of the best investments Maryland can make in its electricity system. Energy efficiency saves money on energy, increases the reliability of the state’s electricity supply, and reduces harmful pollution from power plants. Recognizing these benefits, the state passed the EmPOWER Maryland Act in 2007, which directs utilities to cut per-capita energy use 15 percent below 2007 levels by 2015.

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Media Hit | Safe Energy

Calvert Cliffs nuclear plant at risk for ‘early retirement,’ report says

Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant was listed as one of almost 40 nuclear reactors across the U.S. that is at risk of closing early, according to a new report from the Institute for Energy and the Environment at Vermont Law School.

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Blog Post | Safe Energy

Testimony on Residential Energy Use Disclosure

Maryland PIRG urges a favorable report on HB 1331. For most consumers, buying or renting a home is the biggest expense they ever incur. Given the magnitude of the investment, consumers deserve to make this choice with the most information possible. Disclosing a home’s energy use is the best way to make sure a potential buyer or renter has all the information they need to account for a home’s full operating costs.

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Blog Post | Safe Energy

Testimony on LED Street Lighting | Jenny Levin

The Maryland Public Interest Group supports the passage of HB 409, requiring the Public Service Commission to adopt regulations or to issue orders to require or allow electric companies to offer LED street lighting to specified local governments; and defining terms.

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Blog Post | Safe Energy

Testimony on Offshore Wind | Jenny Levin

The Maryland Public Interest Group supports the passage of HB 237, altering the Maryland renewable energy portfolio standard program to include a specified amount of energy derived from offshore wind energy

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News Release | Safe Energy

Maryland Lagging on Energy Efficiency Goals

Mismanagement of energy efficiency programs by the Maryland Public Service Commission could cost Maryland electricity consumers an average of $288 million annually versus if the agency had ensured utility companies were meeting their energy savings goals.

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News Release | Safe Energy

Nuclear Power: Not Worth the Risk

A new report released today by the Maryland Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) documents a history of safety problems at nuclear reactors in the United States. These incidents – like the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan – illustrate that nuclear power carries with it risks that are simply not worth taking.

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News Release | Safe Energy

Tragedy in Japan a Terrifying Reminder of the Risks of Nuclear Power

The crisis in Japan is a sobering reminder that nuclear power is inherently dangerous. There are no guarantees that an accident of the type happening in Japan couldn’t happen here in the United States.

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News Release | Safe Energy

Constellation Pulls Plug on New Nuclear Plant

Constellation Energy’s decision to cancel plans for a new nuclear reactor in Maryland is a victory for Marylanders and U.S. taxpayers.

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News Release | Safe Energy

PEPCO Behind on Efficiency Goals

Pepco will only meet 71% of its 2011 energy efficiency goal according to a new Maryland PIRG Foundation report, Utility Work Ahead.

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