Maryland PSC approves $95 million in EmPOWER Maryland funding

Empower Maryland Maryland PSC approves $95 million in EmPOWER Maryland fundingBALTIMORE – In two successive orders, the Public Service Commission on Tuesday approved $94,928,882 in funding requests from state utility companies for their EmPOWER Maryland programs.

This amount includes $45.4 million for commercial and industrial (C & I) programs and $35.3 million for residential programs in an order issued today. The Commission also issued a letter order on October 7, 2013, based on the same proceedings, in which it approved an additional $14.2 million for the Baltimore Gas & Electric Company (BGE) Energy Solutions for Business Custom Program.

The EmPOWER Maryland Energy Efficiency Act of 2008 sets targets to reduce both per capita energy consumption and per capita peak demand by 15 percent by the end of 2015. Potomac Edison Company (Potomac Edison), BGE, Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco), Delmarva Power & Light Company (Delmarva) and Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SMECO) filed requests to adjust their respective budgets with the Commission at the semi-annual EmPOWER Maryland hearings held in October.

As noted in today’s order, through the second quarter of 2013, the utilities reported customer savings of 2,729,390 MWh of electricity and 1,097 MW of peak demand reduction as a result of EmPOWER Maryland programs. Collectively, these utilities have achieved 50 percent of the 2015 EmPOWER Maryland energy savings goal and 52 percent of the 2015 EmPOWER Maryland peak demand reduction goal.

Their reports demonstrate improved progress that represents significant energy and economic savings to Maryland ratepayers. However, although installation and participant levels have increased in recent quarters, the programs-to-date have fallen short of the goals established by the EmPOWER Act. Accordingly, the Commission is “seeking a renewed commitment and focus by the utilities in the coming program year.”

“The Commission has seen evidence of much progress, and we believe there is great potential for the State’s consumers and businesses to save money and reduce their energy usage,” said Commission Chairman W. Kevin Hughes. “Our recent rulings demonstrate our ongoing commitment to EmPOWER Maryland and its benefits for our state.”

In its review of the utilities’ requests, the Commission considered each company’s performance metrics and forecasts; the historical performance during the 2012-2014 program cycle; the program’s performance compared to similar programs offered by the other utilities and its success in meeting or exceeding forecasted participation and savings targets; and its cost to achieve the savings compared to other utilities.

The specific allocations to each utility outlined in today’s order are detailed in the tables that follow.

PSC Approvals 1 Maryland PSC approves $95 million in EmPOWER Maryland fundingPSC Approvals 2 Maryland PSC approves $95 million in EmPOWER Maryland funding

The Commission has ordered the utilities and the Department of Housing and Community Development to effectively and aggressively execute the programs associated with the additional approved funding, and the utilities are required to make related compliance filings, including tariff pages and surcharge provisions. In addition, the Commission found that a review and possible changes are warranted for the utilities’ residential appliance rebate programs, to reduce free ridership and increase purchases of higher-efficiency models.

Future orders associated with the EmPOWER Maryland docket (Cases 9153–9157) may be forthcoming. Order No. 85987 is available on the Commission’s website, www.psc.state.md.us.

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