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Maryland Moves Up to #7 in National Energy Efficiency Rankings + Named “Most Improved” for 2019

by Kaymie Owen, CMP, Communications Manager


Maryland is once again in the Top Ten for national energy efficiency rankings put out by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). ACEEE began their national energy scorecard listing in 2006 and Maryland has been in the Top Ten listing for the past nine consecutive years. To read the full report, click here. Here is a video spotlight from ACEEE about the report.

Maryland is frequently listed as a state example of proactive and reliable energy code adoption. Maryland law requires that the State adopt the International Building Code, including the International Energy Conservation Code, as part of the Maryland Building Performance Standards. The law also requires that the Maryland Building Performance Standards be kept current with each new version of the International Building Code. This mechanism for “automatic” code adoption helps keep Maryland in the forefront of energy conservation progress.

Maryland is this year’s most-improved state. Utility efficiency programs, delivered through the EmPOWER Maryland initiative, have steadily evolved in recent years, spurred by robust legislative savings targets. Meanwhile the state continues to strengthen efficiency in the buildings and transportation sectors, establishing strong building energy codes, directing funding toward public transportation, and seeking to accelerate adoption of electric vehicles.

Empower Background

In 2008, the State of Maryland enacted the Empower Maryland Energy Efficiency Act(or “Empower Maryland”) that established statewide goals for electricity efficiency on a per capita basis. In 2017, the state updated Empower Maryland energy savings goals and required participating electric companies to provide cost-effective energy efficiency and conservation programs that are designed to achieve additional targeted annual incremental gross energy savings of 2%, with a “ramp up” of 0.2% per year until the 2% goal per year savings rate is achieved. EmPOWER Maryland continues to address the needs of the residents of Maryland by providing cost-effective energy efficiency programs that reduce the need for new generation and delay transmission and distribution upgrades.

The expected life cycle energy savings for EmPOWER are estimated at over $9 billion program-to-date; and, in 2018, the lifecycle cost per kWh for utility programs was $0.023 (or 2.3 cents)—which is a fraction of the cost of Standard Offer Service (SOS) in Maryland ($0.074 to 0.081 per kWh)(alternatively stated: 7.4 cents to 8.1 cents)[1]. Also, the State of Maryland continues to ensure that all segments of the population are able to participate in EmPOWER energy efficiency programs by administering programs for historically under-served households in the state. In the first half of 2019, the Department of Housing and Community Development continued to work with the utilities to leverage funds to reduce the energy burden of limited income households[2]. Over 1,600 households were served in 2018 with average savings per participant of 1,296 kWh[3].

The slides below show how the country ranks efficiency levels between appliance standards, building codes, combined heat and power (chp), state led initiatives, transportation and utilities region to region. All of this data is from ACEEE’s October 1, 2019 scorecard webinar.