RENEWABLE ENERGY REQUIREMENTS

STATE OF MARYLAND RENEWABLE ENERGY REQUIREMENTS

 Maryland Renewable Portfolio Standard

In 2004, the State of Maryland legislature passed legislation requiring all electric utilities in the State to comply with the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)*.  This new regulation requires that the electric utilities incorporate a mix of renewable energy sources into their generation mix.  The RPS requirements increase the amount of renewable energy that must be part of the mix from 1% of the electric utilities’ total sales in 2006 to 20% in 2022.

Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from natural resources that are continually replenished.  Sources of renewable energy include sun, wind, tides, waves, and geothermal heat.  Energy generated from renewable sources replace energy produced from more traditional sources; such as coal, natural gas, or nuclear.  Since the Town of Berlin purchases the vast majority of the electricity sold to the customers it serves, the Town must ensure that the purchased power contracts it enters into with suppliers includes enough renewable energy in the generation mix to meet Maryland’s RPS.

Why Is Renewable Energy Important?

Energy has emerged as a critical economic issue and top priority for the public.  Unsustainable energy supply and demand have serious implications for everything from household budgets to international relations.  Renewable energy sources can be replenished in a relatively short period of time, are not tied to volatile foreign energy market conditions, and have less environmental impact than traditional energy sources.

What Does This Mean For You?

This means you and future generations can enjoy plentiful energy resources, energy security, and a cleaner environment.  Focusing on renewable energy sources means that each individual has a greater opportunity to make a difference, which can translate to a more secure energy future and environmentally friendly future for all.

The increased governmental regulation does, however, come at a cost.  The Table below shows the projected impact meeting the Maryland RPS will have on the annual bill of the Town’s typical residential electric customer:

Year[1]

Estimated

Increase

$/kWh[2]

Estimated

Annual Bill

Increase[3]

2011

$ 0.00028

$ 3.39

2012

0.00028

3.36

2013

0.00082

9.79

2014

0.00091

10.94

2015

0.00121

14.55

2016

0.00165

19.83

2017

0.00275

32.95

2018

0.00428

51.37

2019

0.00558

67.00

2020

0.00668

80.16

2021

0.00728

87.41

2022

0.00731

87.72

[1] 2011-13 based on actual cost.

[2] Included in PCA charge of customer’s electric bill.

[3] Based on an average Residential customer with 1,000 kWh of electric use per month.

Expanding on Note [2] from above, the Town’s electric supplier complies with the Maryland RPS on behalf of the Town.  They, in turn, pass the cost of compliance to the Town in their charges.  The Town sees it as an increased power cost and passes the cost of compliance to the customer in the PCA charge.  Power costs are expected to increase in future years, but keep in mind some of the increase is attributed to the increased cost of compliance with Maryland RPS.

What Can You Do To Help?

The Town of Berlin currently has an electric service tariff for customers that supply all or a portion of their energy requirements through on-site renewable generation; see Rider NM “Net Metering” in the Town’s Electric Tariff.  

 Efficient energy use goes hand in hand with renewable energy.  The goal is to reduce the amount of energy required to perform tasks.  Small changes add up: seal some cracks, use a CFL or LED light, install a programmable thermostat, etc.  There are numerous sources on the internet that you can research to determine some simple and inexpensive ways to conserve energy; use caution when making any purchase or hiring independent consultants or contractors. Berlin Electric can also perform a home-energy audit and make recommendations on energy conservation.  Reduced energy consumption reduces the Town’s overall requirement and reduced use pays off on your energy bill as well.

For more information, please contact our Electric Utility Department at 410-629-1713, or email tlawrence@berlinmd.gov.

*   Annotated Code of Maryland

PUBLIC UTILITIES

DIVISION I. Public Services and Utilities

TITLE 7. Gas, Electric, and Water Companies

SUBTITLE 7. Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard

§ 7-701 through § 7-713

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