Energy policy in Maryland

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Energy policy in Maryland
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Quick facts
State population:
5.9 million
Per capita income:
Energy consumption
Total energy consumption:
1.426 trillion BTU[1][2]
Per capita energy consumption:
244 million BTU
Energy spending
Total state energy spending:
$23,204 million
Per capita energy spending:
Residential natural gas price:
$11.49 per thousand cubic foot
Residential electricity price:
13.15 cents per kWh
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Energy PolicyEnergy policy in the United StatesFracking in MarylandEnergy and environmental news
Energy policy in Maryland depends on geography, natural energy resources, how electricity is generated, how much energy consumers use, politics and the influence of groups such as environmental and industry organizations. Decisions by policymakers, such as state and local governments, utilities and regulatory agencies, affect all citizens economically and environmentally, and are generally geared toward providing reliable, affordable energy. The cost of energy affects not only home heating and electricity bills, and thus disposable income, but also economic growth, including jobs, investment and the cost of doing business in the state.

How energy is produced and consumed also has an impact on the environment and pollution. Energy policy in Maryland is primarily focused on obtaining a higher amount of cost-effective renewable energy. As the infrastructure for producing and delivering renewable energy sources is not as advanced as it is for energy generation from traditional sources, these policies often require subsidies to make the produced energy affordable, and their effects are difficult to measure.

Energy policy involves trade-offs between providing an affordable, consistent energy supply on the one hand, and limiting pollution and protecting the environment, on the other. How states attempt to balance these two differs between states, and often boils down to costs to consumers versus costs to the environment. This article provides general energy information about the state as the context within which energy policy is made, as well as information about major legislation and public and private groups that play a role in setting energy policy in the state.

See also: Energy policy in the United States for more information on energy policy.
See also: Fracking in Maryland

Energy overview

State facts

Below are quick facts about Maryland's energy climate.


  • is a net electricity importer.
  • has fossil fuels in the form of natural gas and coal.
  • has renewable energy in the form of hydroelectric energy, biomass, wind and solar.
  • has one nuclear plant, no major coal mines and no oil refineries.
  • produces small amounts of coal.
  • has some electric utility-scale wind potential in its western mountains.
  • has several small waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities.[3]

In Maryland

  • coal and nuclear power generates three fourths of the state's electricity.
  • the two westernmost counties overlie part of the natural gas-rich Marcellus Shale.
  • the transportation sector consumes more than four-fifths of the petroleum used.
  • about three-fourths of the natural gas is consumed by the residential and commercial sectors.
  • more than four-fifths of the energy consumed comes from out of state.
  • independent power producers provided 99 percent of the net electricity generation in 2011.[3]

Available energy resources

Maryland’s traditional energy resources consist of coal and natural gas. Maryland has no petroleum resources. Maryland has fewer than two dozen surface and underground mines in its Appalachian west. They produce a small share of U.S. coal, and the state holds less than 1 percent of estimated recoverable U.S. coal reserves. Maryland produces minimal amounts of natural gas, all from small, older wells in the state's far west. Maryland's two westernmost counties, Garrett and Allegany, overlie part of the Marcellus Shale.[3]

Maryland has renewable energy resources in the form of wind, solar, biomass and hydropower. Hydropower is the leading renewable resource, followed by biomass. The Conowingo hydroelectric plant was built in the late 1920s and is one of the largest non-federal dams in the United States. It provides almost all of the state's hydroelectricity. There are seven other small hydroelectric plants across the state that date back to 1909. Maryland's biomass electric generating capacity is provided by two facilities, one in Montgomery County, near Washington D.C., and the other in Baltimore City. Maryland has some electric utility-scale wind potential in its western mountains.[3]

Energy consumption in Maryland
MD energy consumption chart.png

     Transportation       Residential     Industrial       Commercial
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Consumption and prices

The transportation, commercial and residential sector each consume nearly equal amounts of energy at approximately 30 percent each. The industrial sector is relatively small, only accounting for about ten percent of total energy consumption. Petroleum is the leading source of energy consumption in Maryland followed by coal, natural gas and nuclear electric power. The transportation sector consumes more than four fifths of the state's petroleum in the form of motor oil.[3]

Generally the price of gasoline in Maryland tracks closely to the national average.[5] According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's (EIA) February 2014 report, the federal excise tax is 18.40 cents/gallon of gasoline and 24.40 cents/gallon of diesel fuel. In addition to that, Maryland collects a total tax of 27.14 cents on every gallon of gasoline or gasohol and 27.89 cents on every gallon of diesel fuel, which ranks it at the 29th highest in the United States.[6][7]

Comparisons tables

The table below compares Maryland’s consumption and spending for energy, as well as prices for gas and electricity, and carbon emissions to those of New Jersey, which has similar population, resources and consumption needs because of climate and geography. Also given are the U.S. averages and the state rankings. All rankings are from highest to lowest, so, for example:

  • Maryland’s rank of 30th in carbon emissions means that carbon emissions are different than in New Jersey, which has a ranking of 16th.
  • Per capita income in Maryland is higher than the national average, and similar to New Jersey, which (at fourth) ranks two places behind Maryland’s ranking of sixth for per capita income.
  • These two states are somewhat similarly placed in the top 20 most populous states.
  • Overall consumption and overall spending rank lower in Maryland than in New Jersey.
  • Per capita energy consumption in Maryland (at 40th) is similar to New Jersey (at 37th), but per capita spending in Maryland is different because it ranks 39th to New Jersey’s ranking of 19th.
Consumption and Expenditures Comparisons Summary
Type MarylandNew JerseyU.S. Figures
FigureU.S. Rank*FigureU.S. Rank*Totals
Population5.9 million198.9 million11313.9 million
Per Capita Income Average$51,9716$53,6284$42,693
Total Consumption1,426 trillion BTU272,438 trillion BTU1397,301 quadrillion BTU
Per Capita Energy Consumption244 million BTU40276 million BTU37312 million BTU
Total Spending on Energy$23,204 million22$43,214 million9$1,394,088 million
Per Capita Spending on Energy$3,97439$4,89119$4,474
Price of Residential Natural Gas, dollar per thousand cubic feet$11.4917$10.4327$12.48
Price of Electricity, cents per kWh13.151515.331012.31
Total Carbon Dioxide Emissions, million metric tons (2010)70.530115.4165,631
*Rank is from highest to lowest.
See also: State Energy Rankings to compare all 50 states
Consumption of energy for heating homes in Maryland
Source Maryland 2011 U.S. average 2011
Natural gas 44.1% 49.5%
Fuel oil 10.5% 6.5%
Electricity 40.1% 35.4%
Liquid Petroleum Gases (LPG) 3.1% 5%
Other/none 2.2% 3.6%

Production and transmission

Maryland produced 273.4 trillion BTU of energy in 2011. Of that over 50 percent come from nuclear power and a quarter came from coal. One fifth came from what the U.S. Energy Information Administration classifies as 'other,' which is "assumed to equal consumption of all renewable energies except biofuels." Maryland produced a very small amount of natural gas in 2011, The exact amount was not specified by the EIA, as it was less that 0.05 billion BTU.[8]

Energy production by type in Maryland, 2011
Type Amount Generated
(trillion BTU)
% of State % of USA
Natural gas 0.05 0.02% 0%
Coal 65.9 24.1% 0.3%
Nuclear 150.7 55.12% 1.82%
Other 56.9 20.81% 0.8%

Just under one half of the electricity generation in Maryland is produced from both nuclear electric power and coal. Petroleum, natural gas, hydropower what the EIA classifies as “other” renewable energy resources each account for small amounts of electricity production.[9]

Where electricity comes from in Maryland[10]
Type Amount generated (MWh) % of state** % of U.S.**
Petroleum-fired 9,000 0.31% 0.03%
Natural gas-fired 79,000 2.72% 0.01%
Coal-fired 1,349,000 46.42% 0.08%
Nuclear 1,279,000 44.01% 0.16%
Hydroelectric 77,000 2.65% 0.02%
Other renewables 89,000 3.06% 0.04%
Total net electricity generation 2,906,000 100% 0.07%
**Note: Because the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) does not include all of a state's energy production in these figures, the EIA totals do not equal 100 percent. Instead, we have generated our own percentages.

Energy policy

Policy Issues

Maryland has a goal to have 20 percent of energy be from renewable sources by 2022. They are not on track to reach this goal. They barely missed their goal of having 4.51 percent energy from renewable sources in 2009, coming only 0.32 percent short.[11]

Energy policy is made, executed and influenced by many organizations, both public and private, and is codified in the laws and regulations of the state. Each state’s energy policy involves trade-offs in which energy production and prices are weighed against environmental concerns and efficiency. Energy efficiency and demand response programs running in the 1980s and 1990s were discontinued due to utility restructuring in the late 1990s. Legislation in 2008 called the "EmPower Maryland Energy Efficiency Act" "set a statewide goal of reducing per capita electricity use by 15 percent by 2015 with targeted reductions of 5 percent by 2011."[12][13][14][15]

According to the "2013 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard" published by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Maryland ranked ninth in energy efficiency with a score of 27.5 out of 50.[16]The state has a goal to have 20 percent of energy be from renewable sources by 2022.[17] There are differing estimates about the economic impact of these mandates in terms of costs that may affect prices and jobs, as well as the impact on the environment and pollution. Thus, for example, there are many new studies of what is called the "rebound effect" which refers to the fact that "some of the theoretically estimated gains in energy efficiency will be eroded as consumers consume additional goods and services."[18][19]

Major legislation

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State energy policy

State fracking policy

Energy policy terms

Fracking in the U.S.

Energy use in the U.S.

Energy policy in the U.S.

State environmental policy

Energy and Environmental News

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  • MD Code: Real Property § 2-119, (1980) protects the rights of solar energy system owners. The original law became effective after July 1, 1980 and prohibited restrictive land use covenants that imposed unreasonable limitations on the installation of solar collection panels on the roof or exterior walls of improvements.[20]
  • Executive Order 01.01.2001.02, (2001) called for renewable energy resources such as wind, solar, landfill gas and other biomass resources to account for at least six percent of the electricity consumed by state-owned facilities. Municipal solid waste facilities can only supply less than 50 percent.[21]
  • MD. Public Utility Companies Code § 7-701, (2004) sets out the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard. Electricity suppliers were required to provide 1 percent of retail electricity sales in the state from Tier 1 renewables and 2.5 percent from Tier 2 renewables beginning in 2006.[22]
  • MD. Code: State Government § 9-2006, (2004) establishes minimum energy efficiency standards on nine separate products. Five of these were covered by the Federal Energy Policy Act of 2005.[23]

Energy policy ballot measures

Voting on Energy
Energy policy
Ballot Measures
By state
By year
Not on ballot
See also: Energy on the ballot and List of Maryland ballot measures

Ballotpedia has tracked no ballot measures relating to state and local energy policy in Maryland.

Utility policy ballot measures

See also: Local utility tax and fees on the ballot

Ballotpedia has tracked no ballot measures relating to local utility tax and fees in Maryland.

Government agencies and committees

  • The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) seeks "to promote affordable, reliable, clean energy." Their programs and policies aim to help make energy more cost-effective, increase the numbers of jobs in the renewable energy industry, encourage energy independence and seek to solve environmental problems.[25]
  • The Maryland Public Service Commission aims to ensure safe, reliable and economic public utility and transportation services to the citizens of Maryland. The commission regulates rates, creates standards and policies that protect the safety of the public and explore innovations that will encourage the efficient delivery of public utility services. They seek to consider the economic and environmental impacts of all issues they oversee.[26]
  • The Department of Natural Resources oversees the state's natural resources. This department has three main programs: aquatic restoration, land resources and mission support. The department is managed by the Secretary of Natural Resources.[27]

Major organizations

  • The Maryland Clean Energy Center was created in 2008. It encourages a "green" economy through increasing the number of businesses and employment involved in renewable energy. They also seek to make clean energy products and services more "affordable, accessible and easy to implement for Maryland residents."[28]
  • Maryland Environmental Service is an independent state agency. They are self-supporting and have no regulatory authority. Their mission statement is "to provide operational and technical services to protect and enhance the environment for the benefit of the people of Maryland."[29]

In the news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Maryland+Energy+Policy"

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See also

External links


  1. These figures come from the EIA State Profiles and Energy Estimates, Maryland Overview. Statistics for population and per capita income are for the year 2012; consumption and spending estimates are for 2011; and prices are for October 2013
  2. U.S. Energy Information Administration, “Maryland Overview,” accessed March 3, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 U.S. Energy Information Administration, "Maryland Profile Analysis," December 18, 2013
  4. This chart depicts the state's energy consumption as reported by the EIA for 2011. Click the image to enlarge.
  5. Gas Buddy, “Historical Gas Charts,” accessed March 4, 2014
  6. U.S. Energy Information Administration, "Petroleum Marketing Monthly,” February 2014
  7. The Tax Foundation, "State Gasoline Tax Rates, 2009-2013," March 21, 2013
  8. U.S. Energy Information Administration, “State Energy Data System, Production,” accessed March 4, 2014
  9. U.S. Energy Information Administration, “Maryland Overview,” accessed March 4, 2014
  10. These figures come from the EIA State Profiles and Energy Estimates U.S. Energy Information Administration, "Maryland Overview," accessed March 4, 2014
  11. Institute for Energy Resources, "The Status of Renewable Energy Mandates in the States," accessed March 4, 2014
  12. State Energy Policy Database, "Maryland Utility Policies," accessed March 4, 2014
  13. According to a report called "The Status of Renewable Electricity Mandates in the States," by the free-market Institute for Energy Research, the cost of electricity in states with RPS were on average 38 percent higher in 2010 than in states without a RPS.
  14. Institute for Energy Research, "The Status of Renewable Electricity Mandates in the States," accessed March 24, 2014
  15. Manhattan Institute, "The High Cost of Renewable-Energy Mandates," February 2012
  16. American Council for an Energy Efficient-Economy, "State Energy Efficiency Policy Database," accessed February 27, 2014
  17. Institute for Energy Research, "The Status of Renewable Energy Mandates in the States," accessed March 4, 2014
  18. International Risk Governance Council, "The Rebound Effect: Implications of Consumer Behavior for Robust Energy Policies," accessed March 3, 2014
  19. Scientific American, "How Bad Is the Rebound from Energy Efficiency Efforts?," May 21, 2013, accessed March 3, 2014
  20. Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy, "Solar Easement and Rights Laws," accessed March 4, 2014
  21. Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy, "Clean Energy Procurement," accessed March 4, 2014
  22. Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy, "Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard," accessed March 4, 2014
  23. Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy, "Appliance Energy Efficiency Standard," accessed March 4, 2014
  24. Maryland Manuel On-Line, "Legislative Committees," accessed March 4, 2014
  25. Maryland, "Energy Administration," accessed March 4, 2014
  26. Maryland, "Public Service Commission," accessed March 4, 2014
  27. Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Functions
  28. Maryland Clean Energy Center, "About Us," accessed March 4, 2014
  29. Maryland Environmental Service, "About Us," accessed March 11, 2014