Nuclear and coal are the most common sources of electricity in Maryland. In 2015, the Calvert Cliffs facility – Maryland’s only nuclear power plant – supplied 40% of the state’s net electricity generation. Coal plants provided about 38% of the electricity generated in Maryland in the same year. However, it should be noted that Maryland imports a significant portion of its electricity. According to the Energy Information Administration, 43% of the electricity consumed in Maryland in 2012 was imported from other states.
In 2004, Maryland adopted a Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard. The standard requires all electricity suppliers in Maryland to procure a minimum portion of their electricity from renewable sources. The standard has been updated several times, but the most recent version (as of February 2017) requires that by 2020, all electricity suppliers use at least 25% renewable sources.
Over the past 5 years, electricity production in Maryland from coal has decreased more than 34%. Natural gas, solar energy, and wind power have all grown rapidly over the same time period. This is great news for the environment, because coal is one of the dirtiest ways to produce electricity.
Maryland Electricity Prices
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average retail price of electricity for Maryland residents in December 2016 was 14.01¢ per kWh, a whopping 1.8¢ above the average U.S. electricity price of 12.21¢ per kWh.
Residential electricity prices are on the rise in Maryland, having increased more than 46% over the past 10 years. This trend has led to higher electricity bills for Maryland residents, motivating many to switch to renewable energy (i.e. go solar) to save money.
Maryland Energy Mix
Net Electricity Generation By Source:
Source: Energy Information Administration, 2016
Maryland has more than doubled its electricity production from natural gas over the past 5 years. Over the same period, electricity production from coal has fallen over 34%.
Maryland Energy Sector Employment
According to the 2016 National Solar Jobs Census, the Maryland solar industry employs more than 5,429 people, up 27% from 2015. There are two main ways solar energy creates jobs in Maryland. Rooftop solar has exploded in popularity recently, and employs thousands of installers, engineers, salespeople, etc. Utility scale solar farms are also a major source of jobs for Marylanders. In 2012, First Solar completed construction on a solar farm in Hagerstown that has enough capacity to power more than 2,200 homes. Construction of the farm created 125 jobs, and several full-time jobs that will last for the lifetime of the panels.
Wind power is also a big job creator in Maryland. Wind is a cheap, scalable way to produce electricity, which makes it appealing to utilities who need to increase their renewable energy sources. The Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard is expected to create roughly 4,600 direct jobs in Maryland from the wind industry alone. Some of the largest Maryland renewable energy employers are Standard Solar, Vivent Solar, and SolarCity.
Fun fact: more Americans are employed by renewable energy than coal, oil, and gas combined, despite wind and solar energy only making up 5% of the total U.S. energy mix. According to a study from the University of California, Berkeley, solar energy creates over 7 times more jobs than coal or oil per MWh produced. The employment estimates for wind power differ from source to source, but most agree that it also produces more jobs than fossil fuels.
Maryland Utility Companies
The largest utility companies in Maryland are Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE), Potomac Electric Power Co. (Pepco), and Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO). Previously in Maryland, one utility company controlled the entire flow of electricity, from production to distribution. However, the Maryland energy market has since been “deregulated,” meaning that some elements of the service, such as electricity prices, can be set by other companies. This gives Maryland businesses and homeowners the power to choose their electricity supplier.
Your local utility is still responsible for distributing electricity to every home in your area. In return, they send you a monthly bill, which you must pay to keep the electricity flowing. By default, they also produce or purchase your electricity. However, Maryland’s deregulated energy market allows you to switch electricity suppliers to take advantage of lower electricity prices.
Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE)
- Headquartered in Baltimore, MD
- Serves over 1.25 million Maryland business and residential electricity customers
- Approximately 3,200 employees
- First Gas Utility in the U.S., founded in 1816
Potomac Electric Power Co. (Pepco)
- Headquartered in Washington, DC
- Serves over 842,000 customers in the District of Columbia and Maryland
- Approximately 1,506 employees
Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO)
- Headquartered in Hughesville, MD
- Serves approximately 144,000 customers in Southern Maryland
Arcadia Power’s Maryland Renewable Energy Services
With Arcadia Power’s clean energy offerings, homeowners and renters across the state can now sign up to reduce their impact, be more energy efficient, and save on their energy bills while keeping their same utility company. Here are three programs currently available to Maryland residents:
As a Maryland utility customer, you can reduce your impact by matching your home’s electricity usage with renewable energy certificates from wind farms. You can sign up for our 50% Wind Energy plan for free, and begin service with your next utility bill. All you need is your local utility login to link up with Arcadia’s platform and start supporting wind farms each month at no extra cost to you.
We offer a community solar-savings program to homeowners and renters in Maryland. No matter where you live, you can subscribe to community solar projects across the country and start saving on your utility bill each month. There aren’t any installations, site visits, or equipment necessary, and if you move, your savings will even move with you.
Zero-down Energy Efficient Products
Our pay-as-you-save energy program enables Maryland utility customers to access energy efficient products for $0 down. We will offer LED light bulbs, Wiser Air Smart Thermostats, and other home energy products to help you be more efficient and save on your utility bills. As an Arcadia customer, you can simply pay for your efficient products over time using the energy savings you’ll start seeing each month.