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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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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News Release | Safe Energy

Nuclear Power Plants Threaten Drinking Water for 200,000 Marylanders

The drinking water for 200,000 people in Maryland could be at risk of radioactive contamination from a leak or accident at a local nuclear power plant, says a new study released today by Maryland PIRG Foundation (Maryland PIRG) and Environment Maryland Research and Policy Center.

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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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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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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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Blog Post | Safe Energy

What Level of Radiation Exposure Is "Safe"?

Japanese officials and outside experts have repeatedly stated that levels of radiation found in areas surrounding the Fukushima nuclear power plant pose no “immediate risk to human health.” This has often been misinterpreted to mean that this level of exposure to radiation is “safe.”

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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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