Maryland has a reputation for being one of the greenest states, energy wise. In fact, the Green Building Counsel named Maryland second in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. With its long-standing policies protecting the rights of solar energy system owners, The Maryland Energy Administration is one of the most proactive agencies for facilitating economic growth through renewable energy supplies, making this state an advocate for inclusive energy efficiency, which is why the Solar Access Law in Maryland is so important.
Supporting renewable energy growth is an investment in the future’s environmental and economic solutions. Maryland’s legislators are championing the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) and the solar access law to fulfill their big plans for renewable energy. Here’s why:
If you haven’t got your health…
When we say independence from fossil fuels benefits everybody, we mean air pollution is a health risk affecting every body. The epidemic of 7 million deaths attributed to air pollution annually is a public health crisis worthy of significant response. Reducing coal, oil, and gas consumption reduces pollution in the air and water, which correlates to lower instances of chronic illnesses.
Green jobs are a safer alternative to jobs in mining and drilling. Careers in renewables like solar and wind do not expose workers to toxic substances like mining dust, petroleum residue and other known carcinogens. Plus, the jobs are as reliable, if not more secure depending on the future of the fossil fuel market.
Going green for the greenbacks
Grant programs, rebates, and bureaucracy-reducing policies enable growth that creates a ripple effect. The return on investment from going solar makes a big difference to all kinds of property owners. Maryland has a mandate to have 25% renewable energy by 2020 (recently increased from 20% by 2022). For businesses, this undertaking is an effort to evade the uncertain future of fossil fuels, and a boon for commercial properties that use a lot of power.
Nobody makes quite as big an impact after going solar as small and medium-sized business owners. More operating cash allows SMEs to grow, directly benefiting their employees, nearby businesses, and the community overall.
The unilateral support for getting the benefits of adopting renewable energy is evident in the solar access law in Maryland. Now that we have explored the intentions behind state-supported green energy, we have the resulting policies.
Renewable portfolio standard
In 2004, the MEA enacted the renewable portfolio standard in order to protect Marylanders’ interests in solar access. The goal of the RPS is to recognize and develop different sourcing of renewable energy supplies. Since then, its terms have undergone revisions, and in 2012, the state’s solar power target increased 2% which put Maryland two years ahead of schedule in meeting its goals.
Read about participating in the RPS program from the Maryland Public Service Commission.
Solar Access Law in Maryland
Maryland’s legislature passed a bill in 2008 to amend the Maryland Real Property Code to accommodate renewable energy investments including solar power systems. The Solar Access Law in Maryland protects property owners from undue restriction. The bill, HB 117, specifically limits the power of local municipalities and homeowners associations from regulating or prohibiting renewable energy systems like water, wind, and solar energy.
Everybody wins with renewables. Whether or not you believe that it is your social responsibility to adopt solar power and other renewable energy sources, the financial rewards of going solar justify the investment.