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

News Release | Maryland PIRG | Consumer Protection, Safe Energy

Maryland PIRG Applauds DC PSC for Rejecting Exelon Pepco Merger

We are thrilled that the D.C. Public Service Commission voted to reject the merger between Chicago-based nuclear power giant Exelon Corp. and Pepco Holdings Inc. Today they stood up for D.C. ratepayers and rejected the anti-consumer merger, in so doing they also helped ratepayer in MD, NJ, DE and VA.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Maryland PIRG | Safe Energy

Statement in Response to Maryland PSC Ruling on Exelon Pepco Merger.

“We are disappointed that the Maryland Public Service Commission voted 3-2 to approve the merger between Chicago-based nuclear power giant Exelon Corp. and Pepco Holdings Inc. They should have stood up for Maryland ratepayers and rejected the anti-consumer merger.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Public Citizen, Maryland PIRG | Safe Energy

Marylanders Speak Out: State Shouldn’t Settle for Exelon’s Repackaged Bid to Take Over Pepco

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a sign of growing opposition to Exelon’s proposed takeover of Pepco, Marylanders from across the state registered their opposition (PDF) to a proposed settlement on the final day for public comment on it.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Safe Energy

Still a bad deal. | Emily Scarr

Feeling the pressure from communities across the state, Exelon has reached a settlement with some of the parties challenging its acquisition of Pepco. The Chicago-based mega-utility then asked Maryland regulators to approve the takeover, claiming that the settlement resolves all the contested issues in the proposal.

But despite the new deal, this merger is still bad for Maryland.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Safe Energy

Exelon Asks Illinois Customers to Subsidize Nuclear Power Plants - Is MD next? | Emily Scarr

Today, Chicago-based Exelon Corporation, parent company of BGE, introduced legislation in Illinois to subsidize their aging and expensive nuclear power fleet in the state. Marylanders should take note of this proposal and its implications, especially as Exelon pursues a merger with Pepco Holdings.

> Keep Reading

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Marylanders Tell Regulators: Reject the Exelon Takeover of Pepco

Marylanders from across the state registered their opposition to Exelon’s takeover of Pepco on the final day for public comment on the proposed merger before the Maryland Public Service Commission.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Maryland PIRG | Consumer Protection, Safe Energy

Regional Opposition to Exelon’s Takeover of Pepco Is Strong

Maryland PIRG joined organization from DC, MD, and DE today to oppose the Exelon Pepco merger. Read Emily Scarr's statement.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Consumer Protection, Safe Energy

EmPOWER Maryland Saves Ratepayers $140m Annually

EmPOWER Maryland, the energy efficiency program passed in 2008, is saving Maryland ratepayers $140 million on electricity costs every year, according to a new report by Maryland PIRG.

> Keep Reading
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.

> Keep Reading

Pages

Report | Safe Energy

Utility Work Ahead

This report provides the first-ever analysis of how well Maryland's utilities are meeting the energy savings goals of EmPOWER Maryland.

> Keep Reading
Report | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Safe Energy

The High Cost of Nuclear Power

Encouraged by growing demand for electricity and generous subsidies in the 2005 federal Energy Policy Act, Constellation Energy has proposed constructing a 1,600 MWe nuclear reactor next to the two reactors operating at Calvert Cliffs. The new plant—larger than any existing nuclear reactor in the U.S.—would not be completed until well into the next decade, and would be licensed to operate for 40 years. Its operation would not be a benefit to Maryland. Nuclear power is an expensive energy source at every stage, from plant construction to waste disposal and decommissioning.

> Keep Reading
Report | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Safe Energy

Powering Maryland's Future

Marylanders count on a safe, secure and reliable supply of electricity, available at a reasonable cost. Yet, the future of our electricity system is in doubt.

> Keep Reading
Report | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Safe Energy

Energy Saved, Dollars Earned

Maryland is at an energy crossroads -- facing a crisis, but also an opportunity. The fastest, cheapest and cleanest way to address this crisis is to turn what is now wasted energy into a useful resource to power our homes, offices and factories.

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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.

> Keep Reading
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.

> Keep Reading
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

> Keep Reading
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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Blog Post | Safe Energy

What Do the Radiation Levels Reported in the Media Mean?

News agencies have reported radiation measurements from nearby the Fukushima nuclear reactor, as well as in other locations in Japan, such as Tokyo. The following is an attempt to explain those measurements and put them in context.

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News Release | Maryland PIRG

Gov. Larry Hogan announced Wednesday that he will be introducing legislation in 2020 to move the state to 100 percent renewable energy by 2040. He signaled support for nuclear power, but was short on details.

Maryland PIRG Director Emily Scarr issued the following statement in response:

Blog Post

The cheapest, cleanest energy is the energy we don’t use in the first place. Whether you care about improving air quality, fending off the worst impacts of global warming, or simply saving money, energy efficiency and conservation are critical.

Blog Post

Today we submitted this testimony on Delegate Shane Robinson's HB878 for 100 percent clean, renewable energy by 2035.

News Release

Two small explosions last night at a Texas chemical facility highlight that comprehensive emergency regulations need to be enforced more strictly at chemical plants.

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