Maryland Energy Administration Challenges Maryland Businesses to Save Money and Reduce Their Electricity Use; Announces $4.5 Million in Competitive Grant Funding

Annapolis, Maryland (November 7, 2013) -- Today, the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) announces the launch of the EmPOWER Maryland Challenge, a program that encourages commercial, industrial, and non-profit enterprises in Maryland to commit to reducing their electricity consumption to 20 percent by May 1st, 2015. Companies participating in the program will receive technical support for employing low cost/no cost solutions, as well as recognition for their leadership. Additionally, the challenge participants will be elligible for grants to help them cover up to 50 percent of the cost for energy efficiency upgrades after utility uprates, with awards ranging from $20,000 to $500,000.

"By challenging our commercial and industrial sector to make deep energy retrofits, we will create millions of dollars inprivate investment, and accelerate progress towards achieving the O'Malley-Brown Administration's goal of reducing Maryland's electricity consumption 15 percent by 2015," said Abigail Ross Hopper, Director of MEA. "Our future as a smart, green and growing state with affordable and reliable energy grows stronger as our commericla sector innovates to save energy, save money, and create jobs."

Some of the eligible upgrades and changes eligible for challenge grants include, but aren't limited to, building insulation and lighting, controls, motors and variable frequency drives, heating ventilation and air contitioning (HVAC) upgrades, refridgeration, and retro-commissioning. Up to $4.5 million in competitive grant funding is available.

Funding for the program comes from the Stragetic Energy Investment Fund (SEIF), created from the auction of carbon credits through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). In addition to reducing energy costs for the commerical, industrial and nonprofit sector, the program advances the State's complementary stragegic goals of reducing electricity consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

To apply and learn more about the program, please visit http://energy.maryland.gov/Business/empowermdchallenge/. Applications are due by January 15, 2014. Final grant decisions will be announced in March 2014.

Source: MEA