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Maryland Smart Energy Communities Program Celebrates Four Years and Five New Participants

Baltimore, MD –Governor Larry Hogan today announced awards for the FY2017 Maryland Smart Energy Communities (MSEC) Program grant program. A total of 26 communities will receive $1.169 million dollars in grants via the Maryland Smart Energy Communities grant program this year. Since the MSEC grant launch in 2013, a total of 69 communities across the state have joined the program, and the State has awarded $13.1M to increase energy efficiency and renewable energy generation, petroleum and on usage reduction, which leads to an increase in Maryland’s communities. Five new communities are joining the program this year: the City of Annapolis, and the towns of Indian Head, Middletown, New Carrollton and Walkersville.

“These communities are leading by example by promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy policies,” said Governor Hogan. “The savings generated from the Maryland Smart Energy Communities program enable local governments to plan for a more sustainable future.”

In order to earn the Smart Energy Community designation, a county or local government must enact a set of policies, prescribed by the Maryland Energy Administration, in at least two of three specified areas: energy efficiency, renewable energy or alternative fuels. Once applicants have adopted the policies, submitted baseline energy data, and formulated an action plan for each policy tract, a community will earn the designation of Maryland Smart Energy Community and become eligible for grant funds to assist with implementation of the policies. This program encourages communities to take the necessary steps in the effort to reduce energy usage, pollution and GHG emissions.

“This program enables local governments to save energy and money, increase renewable energy measures and lower the fossil fuel consumption of their fleets,” said Mary Beth Tung, Director of the Maryland Energy Administration. “It is encouraging to see the number of Maryland’s Smart Energy Communities grow annually.

Frederick County has been an MSEC member since 2014 and will use their current award of $65,855 to off-set the purchase price of an all-electric transit bus and a lighting upgrades. Previously, the Maryland Energy Administration helped to fund all-electric transit buses for the county with MSEC funds in FY14, FY15, and FY16. The expected payback for this investment in clean transportation is 3.8 years and the expected energy savings is approximately 7,533 gasoline gallon equivalent/year per bus.

Baltimore City is an existing MSEC grantee and will use their 2017 award of $132,000 to upgrade energy efficiency improvements for the city library annex and Northern District Police Station. The improvements to both buildings include retrofitting T8 fixtures with LEDs, and adding daylighting and occupancy control systems, weather stripping, and air sealing. The Northern District Police Station project will cost $59,194 after rebates and cost share, with savings of 151,396 kWh/year and combined payback of 2.85 years. The library annex upgrades will cost $60,075 after rebates and cost share with expected savings of 195,326 kWh/year. The combined payback period for both of these projects is 2.65 years.

The goal of the MSEC program is to have local governments adopt and implement policies that promote energy efficiency and renewable energy in their jurisdictions. Past awardees have used funds towards cleaner public transportation and the installation of a solar farm, for example. A full list of this year’s awardees here MEA MSEC 2017 Award Listing. Funding for the program comes from the Strategic Energy Investment Fund, which was created from public auctions of carbon credits through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. A list of all the 2017 awardees is attached. For more information on the program please visit: http://energy.maryland.gov/govt/Pages/smartenergycommunities.aspx

 

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Maryland Energy Administration On behalf of Governor Hogan the mission of the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) is to promote affordable, reliable and cleaner energy for the benefit of all Marylanders.  To achieve its mission, MEA advises the Governor, General Assembly on matters relating to energy policy.  MEA administers grant and loan programs to encourage clean energy technologies in all sectors of Maryland’s economy: Residential, Commercial, Agricultural, and Transportation. For more information about the Maryland Energy Administration, visit www.energy.maryland.gov and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.