Policymaker Education Day in Annapolis, Maryland & the Benefits of the EmPOWER Program
March 31, 2017
Efficiency First Maryland (EF-MD) and Building Performance Association Hosted a Policymaker Education Day in Annapolis Maryland Highlighting the Economic Development Benefits of the EmPOWER Program
Two days ago, over twenty Efficiency First Maryland members, small businesses, and contractors, visited 37 legislative offices in Annapolis demonstrating the significant number of Maryland jobs that are supported through residential energy efficiency retrofits and programs supported by EmPOWER. During Policymaker Education Day, the Maryland House and Senate delivered approved legislation to the Governor’s Office that would extend the EmPOWER program and make sure Maryland remains a national leader on job creation and residential energy efficiency.
Since its creation in 2008, EmPOWER has helped consumers save more than $4 Billion on electric bills, avoiding the construction of three to five new power plants in Maryland and helping to create hundreds of small businesses in the energy efficiency industry sector. One recent national study by E4TheFuture highlighted the 46,724 Maryland jobs supported by energy efficiency businesses and industries in Maryland, many of whom are small contractors like the EF-MD members that participated in Policymaker Education Day.
While meeting with Maryland legislators, EF-MD also distributed a letter of support for the EmPOWER legislation that was signed by over 225 businesses from around Maryland that are members of EF-MD, the Association of Air Conditioning Professionals and the Heating and Air Conditioning Contractors of Maryland. Legislators also received copies of a March 2017 Report from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy finding that the EmPOWER legislation will save Marylanders over $3.75 billion and support more than 68,000 new jobs.
“Now that the Maryland legislature has passed SB184/HB514, we need to educate policymakers in the state capitol that this is a jobs program that creates small business opportunities, reduces consumer bills and makes Maryland’s electric grid more reliable and resilient” said Brian T. Castelli, President and CEO of the Building Performance Association. “Hopefully, the Governor will get that message directly from the legislators who met with our stakeholders and contractors.”
“Maryland’s residential energy efficiency businesses creates jobs, saves consumers money on their heating bills and is ready to grow and expand along with a continuation of the EmPOWER program” added Brian Toll, Founder and President of ecobeco and Policy Chair of MD-EF.
Legislation extending the Maryland EmPOWER and codifying a Public Service Commission Order from July 2015 that requires utilities to reduce electricity usage 2 percent annually by 2020 and reforms cost effectiveness testing passed through the Maryland legislature this week and is awaiting Governor Hogan’s signature.