Timeline of Past Maryland Policy Decisions & State Energy Goals

The Maryland legislature has a long track record of dealing with energy-related policy and regulation. In past sessions, the Maryland General Assembly has established goals related to energy consumption and supply, as well as to the associated emissions.

This timeline highlights of some past policy decisions, but it is not a complete record of those decisions.

View the latest MCEC Policy updates and resources, here.

  • Apr 5, 2022

    2022 Public Utilities - Electric School Bus Pilot Program

    Establishes an electric school bus pilot program; requires the Public Service Commission to implement and administer the pilot program; authorizes investor-owned electric companies to apply to the Commission to implement an electric school bus pilot program with a participating school system if the pilot program meets certain standards; authorizes investor-owned electric companies to recover costs under the pilot program, with approval of the Commission; etc.

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  • Apr 4, 2022

    Clean Cars Act of 2022

    Establishes the Medium-Duty and Heavy-Duty Zero-Emission Vehicle Grant Program for certain vehicles and equipment to be administered by the Maryland Energy Administration; alters, for certain fiscal years, the vehicle excise tax credit for the purchase of electric vehicles; decreases the maximum base purchase price to $50 K for purposes of the electric vehicle excise tax credit and reduces the vehicle excise tax credit for certain electric drive vehicles; etc.

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  • Apr 3, 2022

    2022 Property Tax - Community Solar Energy Generating Systems – Agrivoltaics

    Exempts community solar energy generating systems from personal property taxes; requires the Department of Assessments and Taxation to assess land used by a community solar energy generating system; requires counties or municipalities to grant a property tax credit against the property tax imposed on property where a community solar energy generating system is installed; establishes a tax credit against the State property tax imposed on real property; etc.

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  • Apr 3, 2022

    2022 Maryland Department of Emergency Management - Office of Resilience

    Establishes the Office of Resilience in the Maryland Department of Emergency Management; requires the Secretary of Emergency Management to appoint a Chief Resilience Officer to direct the Office of Resilience; and requires the Office of Resilience to coordinate with appropriate State agencies and State entities to meet certain goals.

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  • Apr 2, 2022

    2022 Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard and Renewable Energy Credits - Offshore Wind

    Alters the application of the offshore wind energy component of the renewable energy portfolio standard to apply only to distribution sales of electric companies; alters the manner in which an electric company may reflect and recover offshore wind renewable energy credit costs; alters certain compliance fees for shortfalls from the offshore wind energy component of the renewable energy portfolio standard; etc.

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  • Apr 2, 2022

    2022 Community Solar Energy Generating Systems - Exemption From Property Taxes

    Exempts from personal property taxes a community solar energy generating system that provides at least 50% of the energy it produces to low- or moderate-income customers at a cost at least 20% less than the amount charged by the electric company serving the area where the system is located and is installed on a rooftop, parking facility canopy, or brownfield; requires the county or a municipality to accept applications after December 31, 2024; etc.

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  • Apr 2, 2022

    2022 Residential Construction - Electric Vehicle Charging

    Requires a builder of new housing units including single-family detached homes and townhomes or a builder's agent to provide each buyer or prospective buyer with the option to include on or in a garage, carport, or driveway an electric vehicle charging station or a dedicated electric line capable of providing at least level 2 charging; requires a builder or builder's agent to give to buyers and prospective buyers notice of options and information about rebate programs.

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  • Apr 1, 2022

    2022 Vehicle Laws - Plug-In Electric Drive Vehicles - Reserved Parking Spaces

    Prohibits a person from stopping, standing, or parking a vehicle that is not a plug-in electric drive vehicle plugged into charging equipment in a parking space that is designated for the use of plug-in electric drive vehicles; establishes standards for signage designating reserved parking for plug-in electric drive vehicles; requiring that a parking space that is for the use of plug-in electric drive vehicles be counted as part of the overall number of parking spaces for purposes of complying with laws; etc.

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  • Apr 1, 2022

    2022 Electricity - Community Solar Energy Generating Systems - Generating Capacity

    Alters the maximum generating capacity of a community solar energy generating system for purposes of net energy metering; increases the maximum generating capacity of a community solar energy generating system to 5 megawatts; and specifies that a community solar energy generating system is not a generating station if the generating capacity of the community solar energy generating system does not exceed 2 megawatts.

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  • Mar 27, 2022

    2022 Maryland Energy Administration – Resiliency Hub Grant Program and Fund

    Establishes the Resiliency Hub Grant Program in the Maryland Energy Administration to develop resiliency hubs that serve low- and moderate-income households at no cost to the households; defines "resiliency hub" as a location where solar photovoltaic and battery energy storage are designed to provide electricity during extended grid outages; requires the Administration to establish procedures and criteria for the Program; requires that fines and penalties be credited to a certain fund; etc.

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  • Mar 26, 2022

    2022 Maryland Transit Administration - Conversion to Zero-Emission Buses (Zero-Emission Bus Transition Act Revisions)

    Requires the Maryland Transit Administration to provide safety and workforce development training for its operations training workforce and its maintenance workforce; requires the Administration's annual report on the implementation of the conversion of the State's transit bus fleet to zero-emission buses to include a plan that ensures employee protections and certification that the Administration is adhering to the plan.

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  • Mar 19, 2022

    Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022

    Requires the State to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions by altering statewide greenhouse gas emissions goals, establishing of a net-zero statewide greenhouse gas emissions goal, developing energy efficiency and emissions reduction requirements for buildings, requiring electric companies to increase their annual incremental gross energy savings, establishing zero-emission vehicle requirements for the State fleet, and establishing an electric school bus pilot program; etc.

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  • Mar 27, 2021

    2021 Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard - Wastewater, Thermal, and Other Renewable Sources

    Expands the types of energy sources qualifying as Tier 1 renewable sources under the renewable energy portfolio standard; alters the types and uses of methane made from certain sources that qualify as Tier 1 renewable sources; adds certain wastewater used in certain manners to the definition of a "Tier 1 renewable source"; authorizes energy from a wastewater heating or cooling system to be eligible for inclusion in meeting the renewable energy portfolio standard under certain conditions.

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  • Mar 27, 2021

    Clean Cars Act of 2021

    Extends and alters, for FY 2021 through FY 2023, the Electric Vehicle Recharging Equipment Rebate Program and the vehicle excise tax credit for the purchase of electric vehicles; increases the amount of rebates issued by the Maryland Energy Administration to $1.8 M; increases the maximum total purchase price of certain electric vehicles; and reduces the vehicle excise tax credit for certain electric drive vehicles.

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  • Mar 24, 2021

    2021 Electricity - Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard - Qualifying Biomass

    Alters the definition of "qualifying biomass" to exclude energy derived from certain material being eligible for meeting Tier 1 criteria under the renewable energy portfolio standard; provides that existing obligations or contract rights are not affected by the Act; and applies all renewable energy portfolio standard compliance after January 1, 2022.

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  • Mar 24, 2021

    2021 Maryland Transit Administration - Conversion to Zero-Emission Buses (Zero-Emission Bus Transition Act)

    Requires the Maryland Transit Administration to purchase zero-emission buses for the Administration's State transit bus fleet beginning FY 2023. Requires the Administration to submit a report to the General Assembly by January 1, 2022, and each January 1 thereafter, on the implementation of the Act. The report includes a schedule for converting to zero-emission buses and a plan for transitioning adversely affected State employees.

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  • Mar 17, 2021

    2021 Energy Efficiency - Net-Zero Homes - Contract Preferences

    Requires the Department of Housing and Community Development to give preference to applications for funding for a net-zero home from the Energy-Efficient Homes Construction Fund using services of small, minority, women-owned, and veteran-owned businesses in the clean energy industry, and businesses providing employment for individuals trained through workforce development programs supported by the Strategic Energy Investment Fund and the Clean Energy Workforce Account.

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  • Mar 12, 2021

    2021 Utilities - Net Energy Metering

    Increases the maximum generation capacity of an electric generating system used by eligible customer-generators for net metering to 5 megawatts; and prohibits the Public Service Commission from prohibiting the construction or operation of multiple net metered solar generating facilities located on contiguous lots owned by a local government solely because the capacity of the combined net metering systems exceeds the 5-megawatt limit.

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  • Mar 16, 2020

    2020 Income Tax – Energy Storage Tax Credit – Alterations

    Defines "taxpayer" as the owner of residential or commercial property who purchases and installs an energy storage system or an individual that owns or pays for the installation of an energy storage system that supplies energy for use on a residential or commercial property; provides a state income credit for the install costs of the storage system; and increases the maximum tax credit certificate to $150 K.

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  • Apr 2, 2019

    2019 Clean Energy Jobs

    Establishes criteria for qualified offshore wind projects applied for after July 1, 2017, termed Round 2 offshore wind projects; alters and extends the minimum required percentage of energy derived from Tier 1 renewable sources in the State's renewable energy portfolio standard; and alters and extends the minimum required percentage of Tier 1 renewable energy derived from solar energy in the State's renewable energy portfolio standard.

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  • Apr 2, 2019

    2019 Public Safety - Solar Photovoltaic Systems - Lockout Tag Requirement

    Requires a company that leases solar photovoltaic systems to install a lockout tag containing a safety warning; requires a company to provide customers with lockout tags for solar photovoltaic systems previously installed; provides for the enforcement of the Act through a civil penalty of at least $100 but not more than $500, and specifies that local governments shall retain the funds.

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  • Apr 1, 2019

    2019 School Bus Purchasing - Zero-Emission Vehicle – Requirement

    Requires that each school bus purchased after October 1, 2022, be a zero-emission vehicle. The law includes county boards of education and individuals providing contract transportation services.

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  • Mar 30, 2019

    2019 Plug-In Electric Drive Vehicle Excise Tax Credit

    Provides a permanent tax credit for the purchase of electric vehicles while authorizing individuals or business entities that do not receive a tax credit in a fiscal year to claim the credit during the next fiscal year. It authorizes the tax credit, up to $1.5 K for certain used vehicles and limits the total amount of credit per year to $8 M.

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  • Mar 30, 2019

    2019 Electricity - Community Solar Energy Generating Systems Pilot Program – Extension

    Prohibits a maximum number of subscribers to a community solar energy generating system under the Community Solar Energy Generating Systems Pilot Program; provides for an increase in the generating capacity and capacity limits to be included in the pilot program; alters the termination date of the pilot program to between December 31, 2024, through July 1, 2022. A report is due to the General Assembly at the end of the pilot program.

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  • Mar 30, 2019

    2019 Vehicle Laws-HOV Lanes-Plug-In Electric Drive and Hybrid Vehicles

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

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  • Mar 29, 2019

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

    Authorizes the Governor to include the State as a full participant in an initiative, agreement, or compact that limit or reduces greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector; authorizes the Governor to impose a greenhouse gas emission fee on the sale or distribution of motor fuel and requires the Department of the Environment and the Department of Transportation to submit a report to the General Assembly on or before November 1, 2019.

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  • Apr 4, 2018

    2018 Offshore Drilling Liability Act

    Establishes offshore drilling as an ultrahazardous and abnormally dangerous activity; establishes that a person causing a spill of oil or gas during offshore drilling is strictly liable for damages; and provides that provisions concerning a certain bond do not apply to a judgment in a civil action for damages relating to offshore drilling.

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  • Apr 4, 2018

    2018 Real Property - New Home Sales - Information on Energy-Efficient Options

    Requires a developer of 11 or more homes to provide a purchaser with written information on energy-efficient options, including tax credits that may be available and requires a contract for a new home contain acknowledgment that the purchaser was provided with the information.

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  • Mar 31, 2018

    2018 Solar Electric Generating Facility – Notice of Sale or Transfer

    Requires that an owner of a certain solar electric generating facility provide certain notice of the sale or transfer of the facility to certain persons within a certain period of time.

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  • Mar 28, 2018

    2018 Zoning Amendments – Energy Generating Systems

    Prohibits a local legislative body from granting an amendment to change certain zoning classifications on parcels of land based on findings if the primary reason for the proposed amendment is the existence of a certain energy generating system; applies the Act to certain home rule counties and Baltimore City; and defines a certain term.

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  • Apr 4, 2017

    Clean Cars Act of 2017

    Extends the Electric Vehicle Recharging Equipment Rebate Program and authorization to issue motor vehicle excise tax credits for qualifying plug-in electric drive vehicles through FY 2020 while increasing the amount of rebates to $1.2 M; increases the amount of funds transferred from the Strategic Energy Investment Fund to the Transportation Trust Fund and increases the amount of motor vehicle excise tax credits issued during a fiscal year.

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  • Apr 3, 2017

    2017 Income Tax Credit - Energy Storage Systems

    Allows a tax credit for the total installed costs paid by a taxpayer that installs an energy storage system and obtains a tax credit certificate from the Maryland Energy Administration; requires the Administration to issue tax credits not to exceed specified amounts; prohibits the issuance of an aggregate amount of certificates exceeding $750 K in a taxable year and applies to years after December 31, 2017.

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  • Apr 3, 2017

    2017 Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard

    Requires the Power Plant Research Program to conduct a comprehensive review of the history, implementation, costs and benefits, and effectiveness of the renewable energy portfolio standard related to State energy policies while requiring cooperation of State and local units. It requires presentation of the report to the Governor General Assembly by specified dates.

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  • Apr 3, 2017

    2017 Clean Energy - Energy Storage Technology Study

    Requires the Power Plant Research Program to conduct a study of regulatory reforms and market incentives necessary to increase the use of energy storage devices in the State; requires consultation with specified entities and interests in conducting the study; prohibits the cost of the study from exceeding $125K per fiscal year; and requires the final report and recommended policy actions presentation to the General Assembly by December 1, 2018.

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  • Mar 31, 2017

    2017 Economic Development - Maryland Energy Innovation Institute

    Establishes a Maryland Energy Innovation Institute to collaborate with academic institutions on clean energy programs in the State and to attract private investment to clean energy innovation and commercialization in the State. It establishes the Maryland Energy Innovation Fund allocated to the Institute and the Maryland Clean Energy Center; requires the Center to develop a plan to become self-sustaining 5 years after the effective date of the Act and alters the purposes of the Center.

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  • Apr 5, 2016

    Maryland Clean Energy Incentive Act of 2016

    Extends a credit against the State income tax for electricity-producing facilities using qualified energy resources and placed in service between January 1, 2006, and January 1, 2019; extends the period the Maryland Energy Administration may issue certifications to December 31, 2018; establishes the Maryland Clean Energy Incentive Tax Credit Reserve Fund; and authorizes an appropriation to the Reserve Fund for fiscal years 2018-2019.

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  • Mar 27, 2016

    2016 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act – Reauthorization

    Repeals the termination date for a provision of law requiring the State to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions by 25% from 2006 levels by 2020 to a 40% reduction from 2006 levels by 2030; and requires MDE to submit plans to the Governor and the General Assembly on or before specified dates; and requires the Maryland Commission on Climate Change to oversee a study of the economic impact of required reductions on the manufacturing sector.

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  • Mar 26, 2016

    2016 Local Government - Clean Energy Loan Programs - Commercial Property Owners - Renewable Energy Projects

    Removes the limitation that renewable energy projects by commercial property owners financed through a clean energy loan program have an electric generating capacity of not more than 100 kilowatts.

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  • Apr 8, 2015

    2015 Electricity - Community Solar Energy Generating System Program

    Establishes a pilot program on community solar energy generating systems through the Public Service Commission; provides for the structure and operation of the program, including generation of electricity and allocation of costs to subscribers; requires the Commission to limit the program, allowing a meaningful study of the program's results; and requires the Commission to adopt regulations on or before May 15, 2016.

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  • Apr 4, 2015

    2015 Environment - Hydraulic Fracturing

    Requires the Department of the Environment to adopt regulations that provide for hydraulic fracturing for exploration or production of natural gas in the State; prohibits specified regulations adopted by MDE from becoming effective until October 1, 2017; prohibits the Department from issuing permits authorizing hydraulic fracturing for the exploration or production of natural gas in the State until October 1, 2017.

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  • Apr 2, 2015

    2015 Maryland Commission on Climate Change

    Establishes the Commission on Climate Change in the Department of the Environment to advise the Governor and General Assembly on ways to mitigate the causes of, prepare for, and adapt to the consequences of climate change; establishes the membership of the Commission; requires the Commission to establish working groups; requires Commission members and working group members to be appointed and convene on or before July 1, 2016; etc.

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  • Apr 3, 2014

    2014 Sustainable Communities Tax Credit Program – Extension and Alteration

    Extends and alters Sustainable Communities Tax Credit Program; providing for a tax credit for the rehabilitation of small commercial properties; repeals a tax credit for qualified rehabilitated structures; alters the tax credit for high performance buildings; etc. 

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  • Apr 1, 2014

    2014 Electric Vehicles and Recharging Equipment – Rebates and Tax Credits

  • Mar 29, 2014

    2014 Maryland Clean Energy Center- Green Bank Financing Study

    Directs the MCEC to study gaps in the marketplace, identify the potential to develop green bank financing, and recommend an implementation strategy based on identified needs.

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  • Mar 28, 2014

    2014 Agriculture - Easements – Renewable Energy Generation Facilities

    Authorizes the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation to amend an easement to allow the landowner to use the land subject to the easement for renewable energy generation. 

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  • Mar 22, 2014

    2014 Clean Energy Loan Programs - Private Lenders - Collection of Loan Payments

    Establishes a regulatory framework for the implementation of PACE loans. Allows a private lender to provide capital for a commercial loan, with the consent of any holder of a mortgage or deed of trust on the property and allows collection of the loan payments through a private lender or county or municipality surcharge on the owner’s property tax bill.

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  • Mar 28, 2013

    2013 School Buildings - Solar Technology – Design Development Documents

    Requires the Board of Public Works to adopt regulations requiring design development documents for the construction or renovation of school buildings to include the use of solar technology; requires the Interagency Committee on School Construction to submit a report on the use of solar technologies in specified public school construction and renovation.

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  • Mar 28, 2013

    2013 Thermal Energy - Task Force and Regulations

    Creates a task force to evaluate amending the RPS to Include Wood and Plant Derived Biomass Systems. 

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  • Mar 15, 2013

    2013 Offshore Wind Act

    This act expands the RPS to include a “carve-out” for offshore wind starting in 2017. It does not specify the percentage of electricity sold in the state generated from offshore wind but leaves it to the PSC to determine each year. It provides protections and alternate scenarios allowing flexibility, keeping rate impacts for ratepayers to a minimum. 

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  • Feb 22, 2013

    2013 Gas Companies - Rate Regulation - Infrastructure Replacement Surcharge

    Allows a gas company to recover costs associated with infrastructure replacement projects through a gas infrastructure replacement surcharge on customer bills. 

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  • Apr 6, 2012

    2012 Renewable Energy Credits-Qualifying Thermal Biomass Systems

    Allows energy from a specified qualifying thermal biomass system to be eligible for inclusion in meeting the RPS, restricted incineration from types of eligible technologies, and identified poultry litter with associated bedding as a qualified feedstock. 

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  • Apr 7, 2011

    2011 Renewable Energy Portfolio – Waste-to-Energy and Refuse-Derived Fuel

    Adds grid tied waste-to-energy to the category of energy generation technologies eligible for Tier I credit in the RPS. 

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  • Apr 5, 2011

    2011 Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard – Renewable Energy Credits – Solar Water Heating Systems

    In 2011, the legislature amended the RPS to add solar thermal technology, typically used to heat water, into the solar carve out. Previously, the solar carve out only included solar photovoltaic, or “PV,” typically used to create electricity. 

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  • Apr 4, 2011

    2011 Maryland Quiet Vehicles and Pedestrian Safety Task Force - Reconstitution

  • Apr 3, 2011

    2011 Income Tax – Tax Credit for Electric Vehicle Recharging Equipment

    Creates a tax credit program for the installation of electric vehicle recharging equipment.  The program is administered by the Maryland Energy Administration with funds from the SEIF.

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  • Apr 10, 2009

    2009 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act

    The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act set a goal for Maryland to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases 25% by 2020 (based on 2006 levels). It directs the Maryland Department of the Environment to develop a plan to meet the goals and promulgate regulations with defined terms for compliance. 

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  • Apr 5, 2008

    2008 Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative – Maryland Strategic Energy Investment Act

    Established the Maryland Strategic Energy Investment Program and Fund (SEIF) managed by an appointed board and administered by the Maryland Energy Administration. This legislation structured the collection formula and codified the terms of the Alternative Compliance Payments (ACP) collected, as well as the allowed uses for and formula for distribution of the funds collected. the collection formula and codified the terms of the Alternative Compliance Payments (ACP) collected, as well as the allowed uses for and formula for distribution of the funds collected. 

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  • Apr 4, 2008

    2008 EmPOWER Maryland Energy Efficiency Act of 2008

    This legislation set a goal for the state to reduce energy use by 15% and reduce peak demand per capita by 15% by 2015 (based on 2007 levels) through energy efficiency programs. It also established a process by which utilities could collect and utilize a surcharge on ratepayer bills to fund rebates and other implementation strategies approved in advance by the PSC. 

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  • Mar 30, 2008

    2008 Maryland Clean Energy Center

    Enabled the creation of the Maryland Clean Energy Center in statute as a corporate instrumentality of the state to promote economic development and jobs in the clean energy industry sector, promote the deployment of clean energy technology in the state and serve as an incubator for its development; collect, analyze and disseminate industry data; and provide outreach and technical support to further the clean energy industry in the state. 

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  • Apr 3, 2007

    2007 Electricity – Net Energy Metering – Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard – Solar Energy

    Amended the Renewable Portfolio Standard in 2007 to expand the requirement to generate 20% of electricity from renewable sources by 2022, up from the original 7.5% goal while increasing the size of eligible systems to 2 MW and the quantity of net meters in the state to 1,500 MW.  This allows non-utility generators of renewable energy to receive a monetary credit for power directed to the grid.

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  • Apr 4, 2006

    2006 Healthy Air Act

    The Healthy Air Act addressed air pollution from power plants by requiring reductions in nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, and mercury. It also required Maryland to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a regional pact of northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states to reduce greenhouse gases from power plants. 

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  • Apr 7, 2006

    2006 Community Energy and Economic Development Grant Program

    In 2006, the legislature amended the RPS to create a so-called “Solar Carve-Out” for solar energy within Tier 1. The solar carve out effectively created a new tier for solar, with its own alternative compliance payment and own percentages.

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  • Apr 10, 2004

    2004 Electricity Regulation – Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard and Credit Trading – Maryland Renewable Energy Fund

    The 2004 Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) set the stage for much of the future sustainable energy legislation over the past decade. The RPS set a certain percentage of renewable and/or clean energy that had to be sold by electricity suppliers in the state. Maryland is one of many states that use this policy tool to spark the growth of renewable energy facilities.  One of the key features of the Maryland RPS was the separation of energy sources into Tier 1 and Tier 2.

    Tier 1 sources were generally defined at the time as sources that had no or very little emissions and very little environmental impact, and were industries that were not yet established in Maryland. Tier 1 included wind, solar and sustainable biomass. Black liquor, a byproduct of paper manufacturing, was also inserted into Tier 1 by the legislature.

    Tier 2 included Municipal Solid Waste Incineration (MSW) and large scale hydro power.

    The RPS set an Alternative Compliance Payment (ACP) for entities that did not meet the standards. The ACP is meant to allow market forces to play a role by giving electricity suppliers flexibility in how they meet the standard. The ACP acts as a price ceiling for RECs.

    The original RPS legislation in Maryland started slowly and ramped up over time to max out at 7.5%. This means that 7.5% of electricity sold to consumers in the state must come from renewable and/or clean energy sources.

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