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§ 7-211.1. Energy efficiency and conservation programs and services; target annual incremental ...

West's Annotated Code of MarylandPublic UtilitiesEffective: July 1, 2023

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Public Utilities (Refs & Annos)
Division I. Public Services and Utilities [Titles 1-15] (Refs & Annos)
Title 7. Gas, Electric, and Water Companies (Refs & Annos)
Subtitle 2. Electric Generation Facility Planning (Refs & Annos)
Effective: July 1, 2023
MD Code, Public Utilities, § 7-211.1
§ 7-211.1. Energy efficiency and conservation programs and services; target annual incremental gross energy savings
Definitions
(a)(1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.
(2) “Department” means the Department of Housing and Community Development.
(3) “Low-income program” means a program that delivers energy efficiency and conservation measures to reduce utility expenses for building owners, managers, and tenants of housing with residents who qualify for the Department's low-income assistance programs, including:
(i) the EmPOWER Maryland Program;
(ii) the Multifamily Energy Efficiency and Housing Affordability Program; and
(iii) the Weatherization Assistance Program.
(4) “Low-income residential” means a community, building, or household with residents who qualify for the Department's low-income programs.
(5) “Task Force” means the Green and Healthy Task Force established under § 7-211.2 of this subtitle.
In general
(b)(1) For the 2024-2026 program cycle, the Department shall procure or provide for electricity customers energy efficiency and conservation programs and services.
(2)(i) Subject to paragraph (3)(iii) of this subsection, the programs and services required under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be designed to achieve target annual incremental gross energy savings of:
1. 0.53% in 2024;
2. 0.72% in 2025; and
3. 1% in 2026.
(ii) The Department may, when calculating the annual incremental gross energy savings under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph, include savings achieved through all funding sources to the extent consistent with federal law or regulations governing those funding sources.
(3)(i) The energy savings described in paragraph (2) of this subsection shall be calculated as a percentage of the 2016 weather-normalized gross low-income residential retail sales for all electric companies.
(ii) The 2016 weather-normalized gross low-income residential retail sales for all electric companies shall be determined by multiplying the average 2016 residential household electricity usage for all electric companies by the number of households:
1. with incomes below 250% of the federal poverty level as determined by the federal census; or
2. that meet the eligibility criteria approved by the Commission for low-income programs.
(iii) The target annual incremental gross energy savings required under paragraph (2)(i) of this subsection applies to all energy types subject to the targeted annual incremental gross energy savings required under § 7-211(g) of this subtitle.
(4) For weatherization of leased or rented residences, the Department shall adopt regulations to ensure that:
(i) the benefits of weatherization assistance, including utility bill reduction and preservation of affordable housing stock, accrue primarily to low-income tenants occupying a leased or rented residence; and
(ii) the rent on the residence is not increased and the tenant is not evicted as a result of weatherization provided under this section.
(5)(i) Subject to subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph, the programs and services provided under paragraph (1) of this subsection may not use thermal insulating materials for building elements, including walls, floors, ceilings, attics, and roof insulation, that contain formaldehyde.
(ii) Thermal insulating materials for building elements may not contain formaldehyde if the formaldehyde:
1. was intentionally added; or
2. is present in the product at greater than 0.1% by weight.
(6) The Department's approved contractors used for the programs under this section shall meet the following job requirements:
(i) pay at least 150% of the State minimum wage;
(ii) provide career advancement training;
(iii) afford employees the right to bargain collectively for wages and benefits;
(iv) provide paid leave;
(v) be considered covered employment for purposes of unemployment insurance benefits in accordance with Title 8 of the Labor and Employment Article;
(vi) entitle the employee to workers' compensation benefits in accordance with Title 9 of the Labor and Employment Article;
(vii) be compliant with federal and State wage and hour laws for the previous 3 years;
(viii) offer employer-provided health insurance benefits with monthly premiums that do not exceed 8.5% of the employee's net monthly earnings; and
(ix) offer retirement benefits.
Weather-normalized gross retail sales
(c) The weather-normalized gross retail sales against which the savings are measured shall:
(1) reflect sales associated with the low-income residential customer class served by programs administered by the Department; and
(2) be updated by the Department for each plan submitted under subsection (e) of this section.
3-year average
(d) The target annual incremental gross energy savings shall be achieved based on the 3-year average of Department plans submitted in accordance with subsection (e) of this section.
Plans
(e)(1) On or before September 1, 2023, the Department shall submit a plan to the Commission that details proposals for achieving the electricity savings and demand reduction target under subsection (b) of this section for 2024.
(2) On or before September 1, 2024, and every 3 years thereafter, the Department shall submit a plan to the Commission that details proposals for achieving the electricity savings and demand reduction target under subsection (b) of this section for the 3 subsequent calendar years.
(3) The plan shall include:
(i) a description of the proposed energy efficiency and conservation programs and services;
(ii) a description of the steps proposed to ensure insulation materials meet the requirements under subsection (b) of this section;
(iii) anticipated costs;
(iv) projected electricity savings;
(v) a proposed average lifetime measure threshold that encourages the delivery of insulation and weatherization measures, developed through a stakeholder engagement process; and
(vi) any other information that the Commission requests.
(4) The Department shall provide the Commission with an update every 6 months on plan implementation and progress toward achieving the electricity savings and demand reduction target under subsection (b) of this section.
(5) The Commission shall review a plan to determine whether the plan is adequate for achieving the target.
Procedures
(f) The Commission shall work with the Department to establish any procedures necessary to develop and implement a plan for achieving the electricity savings and demand reduction target under subsection (b) of this section, including securing cooperation from electric companies related to:
(1) funding;
(2) communications;
(3) referrals;
(4) data sharing; and
(5) any other cooperation that the Commission determines is necessary to achieve the electricity savings under subsection (b) of this section.
Identification of additional funding sources
(g)(1) The Department shall coordinate with the Department of Budget and Management to identify additional funding sources to support a possible expansion of programs that support a whole-home approach by addressing:
(i) health and safety upgrades;
(ii) weatherization;
(iii) energy efficiency; and
(iv) other general maintenance for low-income housing.
(2) The coordination shall include funding available through:
(i) the Strategic Energy Investment Fund;
(ii) federal weatherization assistance programs;
(iii) ratepayer contributions to:
1. the EmPOWER Maryland Limited Income Energy Efficiency Program; and
2. the Multifamily Energy Efficiency and Housing Affordability Program;
(iv) the Maryland Affordable Housing Trust Fund;
(v) U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development programs, including:
1. Community Development Block Grants;
2. the Home Investment Partnership Grants Program; and
3. Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes Grants;
(vi) U.S. Department of Agriculture programs, including the Home Repair Program;
(vii) the Healthy Homes for Healthy Kids Program;
(viii) the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program;
(ix) State appropriations; and
(x) any other source of funding that the Department or the Task Force identifies.
(3) The Department shall collaborate with the members of the Task Force and identify other interested stakeholders to develop the plan.
(4) On or before December 31, 2023, the Department shall submit the plan to the Governor and, in accordance with § 2-1257 of the State Government Article, the General Assembly.
Reports
(h)(1) The Department shall report to the Commission each year on:
(i) for the programs that contribute to energy efficiency and weatherization, disaggregated by fuel source and funding source or development finance efforts:
1. the number of participants served; and
2. the amount of energy savings; and
(ii) the amount of funding that the Department receives, and is projected to receive, for energy efficiency and weatherization from the funding sources under this section.
(2) The Department may satisfy the reporting requirement under this subsection by including the required information in the 6-month status reports to the Commission.
Application for federal funding
(i) The Department, the Maryland Energy Administration, and other State agencies shall apply for all federal funding that may become available to carry out this section.
Plan to provide energy efficiency retrofits
(j)(1) The Department shall collaborate with the members of the Task Force to develop a plan, including a budget, a timeline, and potential funding sources, to provide energy efficiency retrofits to all low-income households by 2031.
(2) The Department, in collaboration with the Task Force, shall submit the plan to the General Assembly, in accordance with § 2-1257 of the State Government Article, on or before December 1, 2023.

Credits

Added by Acts 2023, c. 572, § 1, eff. July 1, 2023.
MD Code, Public Utilities, § 7-211.1, MD PUBLIC UTIL § 7-211.1
Current with all legislation from the 2023 Regular Session of the General Assembly. Some statute sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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