Powering down MD one house at a time

May 6, 2014
  |   1 Comment

Your house, my apartment, his condo, her house, and all our combined residences account for 20% of the country’s energy use — and consequently, 20% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

Cutting that percentage is easy — and if you live in Maryland, it won’t cost you anything out of pocket — because you’ve already paid for it. Included in your monthly utility bill is an “EmPower MD Charge,” which typically runs between $2-$3. This is funding an effort to reduce emissions statewide 15% by 2015, in part, by giving every Marylander living in a multi-family or single family property a “Quick Home Energy Check-up” .

Image of a sample BG&E Bill

Marylanders’ utility bills include the EmPower Md. Charge (Sample BG&E Bill)


Evaluate Your Home

This Quick Home Energy Check-up (QHEC) is done by a certified analyst who will spend about an hour visually inspecting your home, and who will most likely install efficiency upgrades, such as CFL light bulbs, efficient-flow showerheads, water heater tank wraps, pipe insulation, and more.

“The service and the products require no extra cost,” said Julie Keylon, a marketing manager at greeNEWit, a local energy auditing company. “Residents who take part in this program save on average $162 annually on electricity, water, and gas.”

Marylanders who want a more comprehensive energy assessment can schedule an Energy Audit, which takes two to four hours and has a fee. During this audit, an analyst will go up in the attic, down in the crawl spaces, and search for air leaks using infrared cameras and blower door testing. You’ll get a full report on how to improve your home’s energy efficiency and lower your energy bills. The analyst will also describe rebates and tax credits available if you complete the recommended improvements.

Contact your utility company for more information: Pepco, BG&E and Potomac Edison.

Good stuff.


Solar Mowing is a Certified Green Business based in Bethesda.  Solar Mowing uses emission-free equipment to provide lawn-cutting and trimming services. Learn more at solarmowing.com.

By Lyn Dewitt of Solar Mowing


Image of Solar Mowing Logo

Logo of the Certified Green Business program

One comment on "Powering down MD one house at a time"

  1. Christine Fagerlund says:

    This is all well and good, to promote progress in converting to solar energy collection. I am a staunch supporter of such programs.

    However, my husband and I installed solar panels on our house in January of 2010, and expected to receive our county credit that year. We were told that the program had been oversubscribed — that the county had not prepared for such demand. Have you fulfilled your financial responsibility to all previous solar adopters?

    We are still residing in our house, but we had to sell it in late winter of 2012, in no small part due to the lack of payment of these credits by the county, state, and federal governments. The current owner will move in at the beginning of July. The owner is in agreement that we are due the funds of this solar credit. We would definitely like to have this addressed before we move. And I am now in a position where I was not previously, to pursue this matter more vigorously, and publicly, if that will aid in its resolution for ourselves, and others in the same predicament. (I doubt this is a topic for posting on your blog . . . .)

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