Maryland Ranks 9th for Energy Efficiency
Each year since 2006 the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy has released The State Energy Efficiency Scorecard report. The report measures the energy efficiency policies of each state and awards scores out of 50 points to each state. Points are available to states for the following categories:
Utilities (20 points)
Transportation (9 points)
Building Codes (7 points)
Combined Heat & Power (5 points)
State-led Initiatives (7 points)
Appliance Standards (2 points)
For the second year in a row, Maryland ranked 9th in the nation, although the state earned 2.5 points less than in 2012. Maryland scored 27.5 points.
Maryland garnered 8.5 points in the Utility category. The state has electricity savings that are below average but are rising steadily. Utilities have also begun offering natural gas efficiency programs.
For transportation policies, Maryland earned 6 out of 9 points. The state has great tailpipe emissions standards, integrates transportation and land use planning, and has devoted a significant amount of funding to transportation projects.
Building Energy Codes
Maryland attained 5.5 points for the dedication of its energy code and compliance policies. The 2012 Maryland Building Performance Standards are required across the state and utilize the 2012 IECC for residential and commercial buildings. With oversight from the stakeholder advisory group, training and outreach, and a baseline compliance study, Maryland has delivered strong attention to building energy codes. With the new Building Performance Standards, it will be easier than ever for new buildings to achieve Green Building certifications including LEED, ENERGY STAR, or Passive House.
Combined Heat & Power
Maryland has an interconnection standard, and includes combined heat and power within its energy efficiency resource standard, which helped the state earn a score of 2 for CHP. However, the interconnection standard is a lower tier resource and no new CHP installations were completed in 2012.
State Government-Led Initiatives
The Smart Energy Communities Program offers a spectrum of incentives for energy efficiency investments. Maryland has energy requirements for public buildings, benchmarks energy usage, and encourages the use of energy savings performance contracts. Two research centers in Maryland focus on energy efficiency. Maryland scored 5 out of 7 points for the state led category.
Maryland most recently updated its appliance standards in 2007, earning 0.5 points. An update here is likely necessary and might improve the state’s policy score.
Looking forward we are optimistic that Maryland will continue to lead the way in energy efficiency policy, especially amongst the Mid-Atlantic states. Hopefully, Maryland can improve the policy work it has done to provide incentives for utilities to make energy efficiency improvements easier for residents and businesses.