Smart Energy Solutions

By adopting consumer oriented rules to govern our electric system, making smart investments in energy efficiency and clean local sources of energy, decision-makers can lower bills, create local clean energy jobs, reduce our dependence on expensive and unsafe sources of energy, and improve the reliability of our electric grid.

Safe and Efficient Energy for Maryland

More than a decade ago, powerful energy companies rewrote the rules that dictate how energy is bought and sold in Maryland. That decision continues to haunt us today.

Marylanders pay high electric bills, suffer from unfair pricing mechanisms that gouge consumers without offering benefits, and our electric grid is strained to the point where we could be facing brown-outs in the coming years.

There is a better way. By adopting consumer oriented rules to govern our electric system, making smart investments in energy efficiency and clean local sources of energy, decision-makers can lower bills, create local clean energy jobs, reduce our dependence on expensive and unsafe sources of energy, and improve the reliability of our electric grid.

Energy Efficient Maryland

Being wasteful with energy raises bills and drains money out of our economy. Meanwhile, energy companies want to use rising demand for electricity as an excuse to fast-track expensive new power lines and power plants in Maryland that we have to pay for.

The fastest and most affordable way to get Maryland’s energy use under control is to make our homes, businesses and communities more energy efficient.

Maryland PIRG advocates real solutions such as insulating homes and businesses, making sure that appliances that are turned off don’t drain power, and requiring utility companies to offer effective energy efficiency programs to consumers.

Maryland has a great deal to gain from smart investments in improved energy efficiency. In fact, every dollar invested in energy efficiency can yield up to $4 in savings for individual consumers.

In order to take advantage of its full potential for energy efficiency, the state adopted the Maryland PIRG-backed EmPOWER Maryland Act in 2008, establishing clear energy efficiency goals for the state. However, the Public Service Commission (PSC), the agency responsible for overseeing the bulk of EmPOWER Maryland’s energy savings goals, has failed to properly manage efforts by the state’s five investor-owned utilities to meet efficiency targets.

To get Maryland back on track, the Public Service Commission must do more to extend the EmPOWER Maryland proram with new targets and approve all efficiency programs that deliver a net benefit to Maryland and our economy.

Issue updates

Texas Chemical Explosions: More Safety Needed Now

Two small explosions last night at a Texas chemical facility highlight that comprehensive emergency regulations need to be enforced more strictly at chemical plants.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Maryland PIRG | Consumer Protection, Safe Energy

Maryland PIRG Applauds DC PSC for Rejecting Exelon Pepco Merger

We are thrilled that the D.C. Public Service Commission voted to reject the merger between Chicago-based nuclear power giant Exelon Corp. and Pepco Holdings Inc. Today they stood up for D.C. ratepayers and rejected the anti-consumer merger, in so doing they also helped ratepayer in MD, NJ, DE and VA.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Maryland PIRG | Safe Energy

Statement in Response to Maryland PSC Ruling on Exelon Pepco Merger.

“We are disappointed that the Maryland Public Service Commission voted 3-2 to approve the merger between Chicago-based nuclear power giant Exelon Corp. and Pepco Holdings Inc. They should have stood up for Maryland ratepayers and rejected the anti-consumer merger.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Safe Energy

Still a bad deal. | Emily Scarr

Feeling the pressure from communities across the state, Exelon has reached a settlement with some of the parties challenging its acquisition of Pepco. The Chicago-based mega-utility then asked Maryland regulators to approve the takeover, claiming that the settlement resolves all the contested issues in the proposal.

But despite the new deal, this merger is still bad for Maryland.

> Keep Reading

Marylanders Tell Regulators: Reject the Exelon Takeover of Pepco

Marylanders from across the state registered their opposition to Exelon’s takeover of Pepco on the final day for public comment on the proposed merger before the Maryland Public Service Commission.

> Keep Reading

Pages

Texas Chemical Explosions: More Safety Needed Now

Two small explosions last night at a Texas chemical facility highlight that comprehensive emergency regulations need to be enforced more strictly at chemical plants.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Maryland PIRG | Consumer Protection, Safe Energy

Maryland PIRG Applauds DC PSC for Rejecting Exelon Pepco Merger

We are thrilled that the D.C. Public Service Commission voted to reject the merger between Chicago-based nuclear power giant Exelon Corp. and Pepco Holdings Inc. Today they stood up for D.C. ratepayers and rejected the anti-consumer merger, in so doing they also helped ratepayer in MD, NJ, DE and VA.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Maryland PIRG | Safe Energy

Statement in Response to Maryland PSC Ruling on Exelon Pepco Merger.

“We are disappointed that the Maryland Public Service Commission voted 3-2 to approve the merger between Chicago-based nuclear power giant Exelon Corp. and Pepco Holdings Inc. They should have stood up for Maryland ratepayers and rejected the anti-consumer merger.

> Keep Reading

Marylanders Tell Regulators: Reject the Exelon Takeover of Pepco

Marylanders from across the state registered their opposition to Exelon’s takeover of Pepco on the final day for public comment on the proposed merger before the Maryland Public Service Commission.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Maryland PIRG | Consumer Protection, Safe Energy

Regional Opposition to Exelon’s Takeover of Pepco Is Strong

Maryland PIRG joined organization from DC, MD, and DE today to oppose the Exelon Pepco merger. Read Emily Scarr's statement.

> Keep Reading

Pages

Result | Safe Energy

Commission Renews and Expands Commitment to EmPOWER Maryland

The Maryland Public Service Commission has ordered a series of measures that will expand and refocus—and ultimately improve—programs designed to meet the goals of the EmPOWER Maryland Energy Efficiency Act of 2008.

> Keep Reading
Report | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Consumer Protection, Safe Energy

Stepping Up to Bigger Savings

Energy efficiency is one of the best investments Maryland can make in its electricity system. Energy efficiency saves money on energy, increases the reliability of the state’s electricity supply, and reduces harmful pollution from power plants. Recognizing these benefits, the state passed the EmPOWER Maryland Act in 2007, which directs utilities to cut per-capita energy use 15 percent below 2007 levels by 2015.

> Keep Reading
Report | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Safe Energy

Too Close to Home

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, which took place in March 2011, delivered a reminder to the world that nuclear power comes with inherent risks. Among the risks demonstrated by the Fukushima crisis is the threat of water contamination—including contamination of drinking water supplies by radioactive material.

> Keep Reading
Report | Safe Energy

Unacceptable Risk

American nuclear power plants are not immune to the types of natural disasters, mechanical failures, human errors, and losses of critical electric power supplies that have characterized major nuclear accidents such as the one at Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan. Indeed, at several points over the last 20 years, American nuclear power plants have experienced “close calls” that could have led to damage to the reactor core and the subsequent release of large amounts of radiation.

> Keep Reading
Report | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Safe Energy

A Smart Solution

Maryland electricity consumers are beginning to reap the benefits of the state’s ambitious efforts to improve energy efficiency and measures to cut peak demand. Consumers are saving money and avoiding paying for expensive new infrastructure projects, while employers have been able to increase their competitiveness and hire new staff.

> Keep Reading
Report | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Safe Energy

Falling Behind on Energy Efficiency

Maryland has a great deal to gain from smart investments in improved energy efficiency. Energy efficiency can address many of the problems the state faces from high electricity use, including high energy bills, pollution, and reliability issues, while boosting the economy.

> Keep Reading

Pages

Blog Post | Safe Energy

Still a bad deal. | Emily Scarr

Feeling the pressure from communities across the state, Exelon has reached a settlement with some of the parties challenging its acquisition of Pepco. The Chicago-based mega-utility then asked Maryland regulators to approve the takeover, claiming that the settlement resolves all the contested issues in the proposal.

But despite the new deal, this merger is still bad for Maryland.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Safe Energy

What Are the Main Threats Posed by the Crisis at Fukushima?

The unfolding events in Japan are a sobering reminder that nuclear power is inherently dangerous.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Safe Energy

What Do the Radiation Levels Reported in the Media Mean?

News agencies have reported radiation measurements from nearby the Fukushima nuclear reactor, as well as in other locations in Japan, such as Tokyo. The following is an attempt to explain those measurements and put them in context.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Safe Energy

What Level of Radiation Exposure Is "Safe"?

Japanese officials and outside experts have repeatedly stated that levels of radiation found in areas surrounding the Fukushima nuclear power plant pose no “immediate risk to human health.” This has often been misinterpreted to mean that this level of exposure to radiation is “safe.”

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Safe Energy

How Are Other Countries Advising Their Citizens to React to the Fukushima Disaster?

Today (March 16), various foreign governments encouraged their nationals to consider relocation in response to the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

> Keep Reading
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