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Download MD-PIRG-EE-scorecard-web-version.pdf - Frontier Group

Download MD-PIRG-EE-scorecard-web-version.pdf - Frontier Group

ments to programs that

ments to programs that can be structuredto allow all ratepayers to participate ignoresthe fact that energy efficiency opportunitiesare not evenly distributed. Olderhomes, appliances and equipment use energymore inefficiently and present greaterpotential for savings. For Maryland to meetthe goals of EmPOWER Maryland, thestate will have to focus resources where themost power is currently being wasted—andthus those consumers will experience thegreatest bill relief.“The Commission’s desire to craft theperfect program has led it to reject goodprograms,” Commissioner Allen Freifeldsaid in his 2008 opinion. “The Commission’sdesire to have ‘better’ programs islaudable but is not a reason to turn downthe best programs available. Unless anduntil clearly superior alternatives are beforeus, we should be willing to adopt programsthat have been shown time and again towork.” 58Public Service Commission Fails to Ensure Energy Savings 23

Policy RecommendationsIf Maryland is to achieve its 2015 goal toreduce per capita electricity consumption15 percent below a 2007 baseline,the Public Service Commission must movemore quickly, help utilities develop moreambitious efficiency programs, and requireutilities to fulfill their plans. More and betterefficiency programs, in turn, will lead togreater benefits for job creation and reductionsin consumers’ electricity bills.The overall EmPOWER Marylandshortfall of 52 percent cited in this reportassumes that state or federal programswill achieve at least half of the 2015 electricitysavings goals for which utilitiesare not responsible under EmPOWERMaryland. Despite this generous assumption,the overall EmPOWER Marylandshortfall clearly indicates that the PSCmust change the way it evaluates futureutility programs to take advantage ofall the energy-saving opportunities thestate offers. If Maryland is to get back ontrack, the PSC must approve all efficiencyprograms that deliver a net benefit to thestate and economy.In order to achieve the goals outlined inthe EmPOWER Maryland Act, the PSCmust do more to ensure that utilities meettheir share of the EmPOWER Marylandgoals. The PSC should:1) Recognize all the benefits ofenergy efficiency – The PublicService Commission should followthe lead of states that have adopteda broader cost-effectiveness test tocapture benefits of energy efficiencythat include avoided costs of buildingtransmission lines and power plants,as well as public health benefits ofusing less energy.2) Enforce timelines and targets –Utility failure to meet electricitysavings targets or reporting deadlinesset by the PSC should have clearconsequences for the utility.The state should:1) Restore state funding for energyefficiency – Of the money the statereceives for selling carbon allowancesin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative(RGGI), the General Assemblyset aside 46 percent for energyefficiency investments in 2009. In24 Falling Behind on Energy Efficiency

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