The Maryland Office of People’s Counsel (OPC) is an independent state agency that advocates for the interests of residential utility customers. The purpose of the Maryland Low-Income Market Characterization Study is to furnish data that can be used to understand the energy affordability issues faced by Maryland’s low-income population and to inform the design of existing and future programs. By providing baseline data to OPC, state agencies, utilities, and other interested parties, the study seeks to inform the discussion of how to best meet the energy needs of low-income households.
The research objectives for the Maryland Low-Income Market Characterization Study were as follows:
- Document the composition and energy needs of households who are income-eligible for low-income energy programs.
- Document how energy needs are being met by existing state programs for distinct segments of the low-income population.
- Identify gaps in services and recommend how to build on existing program strengths to target unmet energy needs.