POLICY

2019 MARYLAND POLICY WATCH SUMMARY

The 2019 Legislative Session of the Maryland General Assembly began with many newly elected Delegates and Senators taking their seats. Retirements and lost elections resulted in changes in leadership on several committees, specifically those that typically address energy policy and funding; House Economic Matters and Senate Finance.

MCEC staff tracked 63 pieces of legislation pertaining to the Clean Energy sec introduced during this session. In summary, 22 bills pertaining to the Clean Energy Sector were returned passed and 39 failed through withdrawal by the sponsor, receiving an unfavorable report or failing to make it out of committee and cross over.

Legislation pending this session focused largely on proposed alterations to the RPS, with the most high-profile bill being the Clean Energy Jobs Act which passed on Sine Die.

Incentives to support electric vehicle adoption and use were also prevalent with the General Assembly electing to pass bills to permanently extend the excise tax credit for purchase, require future school buses purchases to be net zero emissions vehicles and continuing the provision for plug in electric vehicles to use HOV lanes.

Also among the bills that passed were initiatives requiring the Public Service Commission to establish a certain customer choice website for electric customers and to establish an energy storage pilot program. Legislators also lifted the sunset on the Environmental Trust Fund surcharge which funds the Power Plant Research Program at the Department of Natural Resources.

While bills designed to consider plans for regulating solar system siting failed, a bill designed to continue advancing community solar generation passed.

For more information visit www.md.gov.

View the full MCEC Policy Watch Report for the 2019 MD Legislative Session.

2019 PASSED LEGISLATION SUMMARY

SB 52 State Government-Strategic Energy Investment Program-Reporting

Returned Passed

Altering certain planning and reporting requirements for the Strategic Energy Investment Program; repealing a certain reporting requirement; requiring a certain annual report to be provided to the Strategic Energy Investment Advisory Board; and requiring information regarding the status of programs and expenditures in the current fiscal year and possible or expected program initiatives and future changes to be included in the annual report.

SB 53 State Finance and Procurement-Energy Performance Contracts

Returned Passed

Providing that the Department of General Services is responsible for monitoring the status of certain energy performance contracts and reporting on that status to the Board of Public Works annually; requiring a primary procurement unit to consult with the Department before issuing a request for proposals for an energy performance contract; requiring the Department to review certain proposed requests for proposals for energy performance contracts; etc. Maryland Clean Energy Center ● 2019 Policy Watch Report ● www.mdcleanenergy.org

SB 70 Vehicle Laws-HOV Lanes-Plug-In Electric Drive and Hybrid Vehicles

Returned Passed

Altering the termination date for certain provisions of law authorizing certain plug-in electric drive vehicles to use a high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane under certain circumstances regardless of the number of passengers in the vehicle; and altering the termination date for certain provisions of law making certain authorizations regarding the use of certain HOV lanes by plug-in electric drive vehicles applicable to qualified hybrid vehicles.

HB 106 Environmental Trust Fund - Surcharge Extension

Returned Passed

Extending from June 30, 2020, to June 30, 2025, the termination date of a certain environmental surcharge on electrical energy distributed to retail electric customers in the State.

HB 170 Jane E. Lawton Conservation Loan Program- Eligible Borrowers

Returned Passed

Altering the definition of "borrower" for the purpose of provisions of law governing the Jane E. Lawton Conservation Loan Program to include an eligible State agency; altering the purpose of the Jane E. Lawton Conservation Loan Program to include providing certain financial assistance to State agencies for certain projects and to include providing certain financial assistance for projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions; applying the Act prospectively; etc.

HB 221 Prince George's County - Utility Services - Master Meters Task Force - Extension PG 407-19

Returned Passed

Extending the Task Force on the Use of Master Meters for Utility Services in Prince George's County by 1 year; and extending the deadline for the Task Force to report its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the Prince George's County Delegation to the General Assembly by 1 year to December 31, 2019.

SB 249/HB 277 Regional Initiative to Limit or Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Transportation Sector - Authorization (Regional Transportation and Climate Protection Act of 2019)

Returned Passed

Authorizing the Governor to include the State as a full participant in a certain initiative, agreement, or compact that limits or reduces greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector; authorizing the Governor to impose a greenhouse gas emission fee on the sale or distribution of motor fuel under certain circumstances; requiring the Department of the Environment and the Department of Transportation to submit a certain report to certain committees of the General Assembly on or before November 1, 2019; etc.

HB 586 Public Safety - Solar Photovoltaic Systems - Lockout Tag Requirement

Passed Enrolled

Requiring a company that leases solar photovoltaic systems to install a certain lockout tag containing a safety warning under certain circumstances; requiring a certain company to provide a certain customer with a certain lockout tag for a solar photovoltaic system that has previously been installed; providing for the enforcement of the Act; establishing a civil penalty of at least $100 but not more than $500 for certain violations of the Act; and specifying that a local government shall retain certain funds.

SB 425/HB 1189 Home Energy Assistance - Critical Medical Needs Program

Returned Passed

Establishing the Critical Medical Needs Program in the Office of Home Energy Programs of the Family Investment Administration within the Department of Human Services in recognition of the additional challenges with energy bills for individuals with critical medical needs and limited financial resources; requiring the Office to partner with certain agencies and organizations in administering the Program; specifying the duties of the Office in administering the Program; requiring the Department to adopt certain regulations; etc. Maryland Clean Energy Center ● 2019 Policy Watch Report ● www.mdcleanenergy.org

SB 516/HB 1158 Clean Energy Jobs

Passed Enrolled

Establishing certain criteria for qualified offshore wind projects applied for on or after July 1, 2017, termed Round 2 offshore wind projects; altering and extending the minimum required percentage of energy that must be derived from Tier 1 renewable sources in the State's renewable energy portfolio standard in certain years; altering and extending the minimum required percentage of Tier 1 renewable energy that must be derived from solar energy in the State's renewable energy portfolio standard in certain years; etc.

SB 517/HB 689 Electricity - Customer Choice – Education

Passed Enrolled

Requiring the Public Service Commission to establish a certain customer choice website for electric customers; specifying the contents of the website; requiring the Commission to use certain information to maintain the information on the website; requiring the Commission to include certain information on a certain customer education webpage; requiring each electricity supplier that is actively seeking customers in a service territory to maintain at least one open offer on the Commission's website at all times; etc.

SB 520/HB 683 Electricity - Community Solar Energy Generating Systems Pilot Program – Extension

Returned Passed

Prohibiting the imposition of a maximum number of subscribers to community solar energy generating system under the Community Solar Energy Generating Systems Pilot Program; providing for an increase in the generating capacity and capacity limits to be included in the pilot program; altering the termination date of the pilot program to be not sooner than December 31, 2024; and extending to July 1, 2022, the submission date of a certain report on the pilot program to certain committees of the General Assembly.

SB 573/HB 650 Energy Storage Pilot Project Act

Returned Passed

Requiring the Public Service Commission to establish an energy storage pilot program; providing for the structure and operation of the program; requiring the Commission to require each investor-owned electric company to solicit offers to develop energy storage projects for various commercial and regulatory models; requiring each investor-owned electric company to submit an application for projects from at least two models; etc.

SB 634/HB 1357 Electric Cooperatives - Powers - Conducting or Communications Facilities

Passed Enrolled

Authorizing an electric cooperative to construct, maintain, or operate or allow others to construct, maintain, or operate conducting or communications facilities for telecommunications and broadband Internet services along, on, under, or across various types of property.

HB 1105 Investor-Owned Electric Companies - Acquisition of Substantial Influence – Prohibition

Returned Passed

Prohibiting acquisition of substantial influence over an investor-owned electric company if a person would become an affiliate of each investor-owned electric company in the State as a result of the acquisition.

HB 1246 Plug-In Electric Drive Vehicle Excise Tax Credit

Returned Passed Enrolled

Making the vehicle excise tax credit for the purchase of certain electric vehicles permanent; authorizing certain individuals or business entities that do not receive a tax credit in a certain fiscal year to claim the credit during the next fiscal year; authorizing the tax credit, up to $1,500, for certain used vehicles; codifying a limit of $8,000,000 per year on the total amount of credits allowed; etc.

HB 1255 School Bus Purchasing - Zero-Emission Vehicle – Requirement

Returned Passed

Requiring, beginning October 1, 2022, that each school bus purchased by a county board of education be a zero-emission vehicle; and requiring, beginning October 1, 2025, that each school bus purchased by a person for use under a contract with a county board to provide transportation services be a zero-emission vehicle. Maryland Clean Energy Center ● 2019 Policy Watch Report ● www.mdcleanenergy.org

 

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