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Maryland Energy Administration Debuts Ambitious Program to Help Public Schools Reduce Carbon Emissions


Contact: Tim Zink | 443-758-7344

Incentives will help build next generation of net zero energy schools, which produce as much renewable energy as they use 

BALTIMORE – The Maryland Energy Administration today unveiled an ambitious plan to help K-12 public schools across the state reduce and eliminate carbon emissions. The Decarbonizing Public Schools Program will provide capital to help local education agencies more fully incorporate a wide range of clean energy and energy efficiency measures into Maryland’s public schools. 

The program provides incentives for a comprehensive suite of grants focused on capacity building, infrastructure upgrades, renewable energy adoption and the use of new, sustainable construction methods. Notably, the Decarbonizing Public Schools Program will expand statewide construction and access to net zero energy schools – school buildings that create and save as much renewable energy as they use. 

Under a precursor to this program, Maryland built and opened its first three net zero energy schools. The first was Wilde Lake Middle School in Howard County, followed by Holabird Academy and the Graceland Park/O’Donnell Heights Elementary/Middle School, both in Baltimore City. This new initiative will help local education agencies retrofit, design and construct state-of-the-art, net zero energy campuses that produce enough on-location renewable energy to meet their total annual electricity demands. 

“The Decarbonizing Public Schools Program is a cornerstone in Maryland’s commitment to sustainable energy. It helps create learning environments that are more energy efficient, while they serve as living laboratories for renewable energy technologies,” said Maryland Energy Administration Director Paul G. Pinsky. “This holistic approach will advance our environmental and educational goals alike.”

Program funds will enable varied activities like benchmarking energy use, directly reducing emissions and updating key policies. From boiler and HVAC system replacements to advanced metering and controls, targeted facility improvements are expected to yield substantial financial savings over time.   

The Maryland Energy Administration and the Interagency Commission on School Construction jointly developed the Decarbonizing Public Schools Program as part of statewide efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and expand use of clean energy sources. Program funding for Fiscal Year 2024 is approximately $24 million. 

Maryland’s local education agencies have until March 15, 2024 to review detailed program guidelines and submit applications for consideration.

For more information, including program terms, conditions and instructions how to apply, visit the Decarbonizing Public Schools Program webpage

The mission of the Maryland Energy Administration is to promote clean, affordable, reliable energy and energy-related greenhouse gas emission reductions to benefit Marylanders in a just and equitable manner. For more information about the agency, visit us on our website at, and follow us on social media: LinkedIn | X | Facebook.