The end of 2015 marked the conclusion of the first phase of the EmPOWER Maryland energy efficiency programs. The first phase of this effort began in 2008 following the passage of the EmPOWER Maryland Energy Efficiency Act. This act established energy efficiency savings goals for the five largest electric distribution companies in the state and the Maryland Energy Administration. This report reviews the costs and benefits of the first phase from 2008 through 2015.
Our review of the costs and benefits of programs implemented thus far show these programs produced substantial benefits to the state of Maryland. These benefits included reduced utility system costs, lower customer bills, and diminished emissions of harmful pollutants. The programs also increased net jobs in Maryland and boosted the state’s gross domestic product (GDP). The cost of saved energy for these programs was also lower than the market price for electricity, reducing Maryland’s dependence on costly electricity imports from other states.
The programs produced the following results:
- Total lifetime energy savings of over 51 million MWh, equivalent to the electricity used by 850,000 residential customers in five years
- Savings at a levelized cost of 3.4 cents per kWh
- Total demand savings of more than 2,000 MW in 2015, equivalent to the output of four large power plants
- Benefits of $2.4 billion at a cost of $1.3 billion, a cost–benefit ratio of 1.81
- More than $4 billion in total customer bill savings over the life of the measures
- Installation of more than 26 million energy efficiency measures
- Avoided emissions of nearly 19 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, more than 34 million pounds of nitrogen oxides, and nearly 78 million pounds of sulfur dioxide over the lifetime of the programs
- Nearly $392 million in wholesale market revenues from participation in regional generating capacity auctions, which reduce the ratepayer costs of the programs
- A 9.5 million therm reduction in natural gas consumption, equivalent to the annual usage of 11,600 residential customers
- More than 2,000 new jobs and an $80 million increase in state GDP in 2011 alone