AGA Survey and Statistics System; AGA-CEE Natural Gas Efficiency Programs Survey: Utility expenditures for gas efficiency programs exclude data that have not been released by participating companies at the state level; U.S. Energy Information Administration; and U.S. Department of Transportation.
Statewide Elected Officials Next Election: 2018
Larry Hogan (Rep.)Governor
Anthony Brown (Dem.)Lieutenant Governor
Brian Frosh (Dem.)Attorney General
Legislature Next Election: 2018Session Dates: 01/13/16-04/11/16
Term: 4 year
President: Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr.
President Pro Tempore: Nathaniel J. McFadden
Senate Majority Leader: Catherine Pugh
Senate Minority Leader: J. B. Jennings
Senate Member Breakdown
House of Delegates
Term: 4 year
Speaker of the House: Michael Busch
Speaker Pro Tempore of the House: Adrienne Jones
Majority Leader: Anne Kaiser
Minority Leader: Nicholaus Kipke
House of Delegates Member Breakdown
Maryland Public Service Commission Commissioners: Gubernatorial appointment, Senate confirmation: 5 year termChairperson: Gubernatorial appointment: 5 year term
W. Kevin Hughes, Chairman Appointed as Chairman by Governor Martin O’Malley in 2011; current term ends in 2018
Tony O'Donnell, Commissioner Appointed by Governor Larry Hogan in 2016; term ends in 2021
Harold Williams, Commissioner Appointed by Governor Paris N. Glendening in 2002; current term ends in 2017
Michael Richard, CommissionerAppointed by Governor Larry Hogan in 2016, term ends in 2020
Jeannette Mills, Commissioner Appointed by Governor Larry Hogan in 2015
In September of 2012, Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) launched the BGE Smart Energy Savers Program, which seeks qualified projects as part of its Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Program.
This program provides incentives to industrial and commercial customers who install an onsite CHP system. In September 2013, BGE received approval from the Maryland PSC to expand this program, due in large part to the positive reception that BGE received from its commercial and industrial customers. The program now offers an additional $10 million in funding (It had originally been approved for $2 million).
These Programs were approved by the PSC in Order No. 84955 as part of a combined filing (case numbers 9153 through 9157) in which Maryland's Electric Utilities applied for approval of their Energy Efficiency, Conservation and Demand Response Programs pursuant to the EMPOWER Maryland Energy Efficiency Act of 2008. Accordingly, in addition to BGE, First Energy, PEPCO, Delmarva and Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative offer CHP incentive programs.
In support of Maryland’s ongoing efforts to enable sustainable energy development, the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) announced a newly enhanced program in fiscal year 2016 (FY begins on 7/1/2015 and ends 6/30/2016) designed to further encourage Combined Heat and Power (CHP) growth. Promoted under the name “MEA CHP FY16 Grant Program”, the FY16 program will target eligible industrial facilities and critical infrastructure facilities (including healthcare, wastewater treatment, and essential state and local government facilities).
The FY16 MEA CHP grant program will provide grants to encourage the implementation of CHP technologies in eligible industrial facilities, critical infrastructure facilities (including healthcare, wastewater treatment, and essential state and local government facilities), and to encourage the implementation of CHP technologies that leverage biogas/biomass as a fuel source in industrial and critical infrastructure facilities.
Individual grants range in size from up to $425/kW to up to $575/kW, based on the size of the CHP system, with a maximum per project cap of $500,000, subject to funding availability.
The Maryland General Assembly passed the EmPOWER Energy Efficiency Act in 2008 which set a target reduction from a 2007 baseline for per capita electricity consumption and peak demand by 2014.
The intent of the EmPOWER report (3.0) was to introduce an analytically rigorous set of procedures and metrics to be applied to demand response and EE and conservation program design and implementation.
Summary of key recommendations from EmPOWER 3.0:
Determine the true lifetime value of saving an MMBTU of natural gas (the avoided cost of supply); Define the parameters of the cost effectiveness test to be used when analyzing a portfolio of programs; Establish the EmPOWER Planning Group to collectively determine the quantity and cost of achievable savings available in Maryland by fuel type and sector; Set achievable EmPOWER goals that specify minimum and annual energy and demand reduction while authorizing the Maryland PSC to approve programs up to the cost effectiveness test threshold; Implement programs through standardized offerings following industry best practices to the greatest extent possible.
Columbia Gas of Maryland has a weatherization program for low-income customers that has been in place since 1995.
In 2008, the Maryland General Assembly passed the EmPOWER Maryland Energy Efficiency Act.
The Act directed the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA), in consultation with the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC), to advise the legislature on the feasibility of setting energy savings targets for natural gas companies.
In March of 2013, MEA issued a final report on EmPOWER Planning, which concluded that natural gas goals should be set beyond 2015 and recommended additional investment in EEC programs for and natural gas.
In August 2012, MEA issued a final report on the Fuel-Switching Potential in Maryland, which outlined options for including fuel switching into existing DSM programs in Maryland.
On February 5, 2016, Senator John Astle (D) introduced SB 778. This bill would authorize gas utilities to defer specified costs for specified projects to extend specified natural gas transmission pipeline, distribution main pipeline, system reinforcement facilities, and associated facilities; specifies the circumstances under which a specified expansion project qualifies for deferral of specified costs; specifies the manner in which a gas company is required to account for specified costs; requires the Commission to take specified action during a specified base rate proceeding. This bill died at the end of the legislative session.
On April 15, 2016, Columbia Gas of Maryland filed a base rate case with the Maryland Public Service Commission. The filing outlines a program outlines incentives which provide a free footage allowance of 100 feet of main line and 150 feet of service line per residential heating applicant. The program would also provide for reimbursement of up to the positive NPV for the installation of house piping to developers of residential buildings with four or more individually-metered units. This matter is presently pending.
On February 22, 2013, the Maryland General Assembly passed SB 8, legislation that allows a gas company to recover costs associated with infrastructure replacement projects through a gas infrastructure replacement surcharge on customer bills. The bill specifies how the pretax rate of return is calculated and adjusted and what it includes, and states that it is the intent of the General Assembly to accelerate infrastructure improvements by establishing this mechanism for gas companies to recover reasonable and prudent costs of infrastructure replacement.
As of November 7, 2013, Washington Gas Light, Baltimore Gas and Electric and Columbia Gas of Maryland had all filed for approval of their STRIDE plans with the Maryland PSC.
On January 29, 2014, The Maryland PSC approved the first phase of Baltimore Gas and Electric’s (BGE) $400 million, 30-year gas STRIDE Plan. BGE's plan targets five specific areas for improvement, including bare steel mains, cast iron mains and bare steel services. It calls for the replacement of the company's 42 miles of bare steel mains within 15 years and 1,292 miles of cast iron mains within 30 years.
On January 31, The Maryland PSC the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) rejected Columbia Gas of Maryland's (CGM's) proposed STRIDE plan and associated rider mechanism, finding that the plan failed to meet certain statutory requirements. In addition, the PSC found that the STRIDE plan would not improve safety and reliability in the gas distribution system, because the plan "does not keep pace" with the company's current replacement rate of aging mains and services and would thus decelerate its infrastructure replacement activity. The Commission noted that it may approve a gas infrastructure replacement plan in accordance with state law if it finds the proposed investments and estimated costs of eligible projects to be: reasonable and prudent; and, designed to improve public safety or infrastructure reliability. The PSC directed CGM to submit an amended application addressing the issues within 60 days; the Commission indicated that it would consider an amended application on an expedited basis.
On May 6, 2014, the Public Service Commission of Maryland (MDPSC) issued an Order conditionally approving Washington Gas’ amended accelerated pipeline replacement plan, commonly referred to as STRIDE, which will accelerate natural gas infrastructure upgrades and replacement projects. The plan will also provide current cost recovery for the company, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and costs to utility customers. Washington Gas has accepted the conditions and will be able to recover eligible infrastructure replacements costs for projects initiated after January 1, 2014, that are not included in current base rates. The STRIDE surcharge will not exceed $2.00 per month for residential customers. Washington Gas will provide the MDPSC with an updated list of planned STRIDE projects for 2014 by June 5, 2014. Audits will be performed following each program year.
On August 18, 2014 the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) conditionally approved Columbia Gas of Maryland's (CGM's) proposed infrastructure replacement and improvement plan (IRIP) and an associated annually-adjusted rider (IRIS). CGM accepted the conditions and the IRIS surcharge will begin recovery of the forecasted $8.9 million of eligible investment. The IRIS mechanism covers investments made from January 1st through December 31st of each year. Audits will be performed following each program year.
In its 2013 Rate filing, Washington Gas Light proposed that it be permitted to convert 2 of its existing CNG fueling stations for public use and recover costs. The Administrative Law Judge and Commission approved section 1 of this proposal (schedule 7), which allows for service at the requested locations. However, the ALJ and Commission ordered that a working group be convened to determine how best to implement section 2 of schedule 7, which will develop guidelines for the company’s service offerings at these locations.
The parties reported on the progress of the working group on June 30, 2014. A final report was issued on November 20, 2014.
WEC Energy Corp. subsidiary Trillium CNG owns and operates a station in Aberdeen.
Trillium and Washington Gas have also partnered to open public stations in Forestville and Frederick.
Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) and Washington Gas Light (WGL) have both had decoupling mechanisms since 2005.
BGE‘s gas decoupling mechanism (Rider 8) is a tariff provision that serves as a "weather/number of customers adjustment clause". That is, when the weather is warmer, Rider 8 will increase BGE's revenues because gas demand is lower than normal. However, when the weather is colder than normal and gas demand is high, Rider 8 decreases BGE's revenues.
Washington Gas has a full revenue decoupling mechanism mitigates sales volume volatility due to weather variability and customer conservation. Columbia Gas of Maryland utilizes a full decoupling Mechanism.
Weather Normalization mechanisms are in place for Chesapeake Utilities and Columbia Gas of Maryland.