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 | 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

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

Pages

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
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.

> Keep Reading
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.

> Keep Reading
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.

> Keep Reading
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.

> Keep Reading

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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

> Keep Reading
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.”

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Safe Energy

How Are Other Countries Advising Their Citizens to React to the Fukushima Disaster?

Today (March 16), various foreign governments encouraged their nationals to consider relocation in response to the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

> 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.

> Keep Reading
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

As the state's small donor funded public interest advocacy organization we are working hard on behalf of thousands of members across the state to protect public health, foster a stronger democracy, reduce waste, and more.

Blog Post

Below, please find our testimony in opposition to SB265, Governor Hogan's so-called "Clean and Rewewable Energy Standard." Unfortunately, the Governor's plan relies on dirty, dangerous, and expensive energy sources incuding gas and nuclear.

News Release | Maryland PIRG

Annapolis — Governor Hogan has joined the rapidly growing movement across the United States calling for a transition to 100% clean, renewable energy. Unfortunately, his proposal falls short on delivering the clean energy future its title suggests.

Blog Post

Maryland's 2020 Legislative session begins on January 8th. We'll release a full agenda soon, but in the mean time here are our top priorities.

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:

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