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MARYLAND

In April, 2021, the Maryland General Assembly passed House Bill 768—Montgomery County Community Choice Energy Pilot Program, that will give Montgomery County the authority to implement an opt-out Community Choice Energy program.

In March, 2020, the Maryland House of Delegates passed HB 561 that requires state agencies to draft rules allowing local communities to negotiate directly with energy utilities to set strong renewable energy goals and lower electricity rates. The COVID pandemic forced the General Assembly to end its session early.

Maryland lawmakers passed HB 768 in April, 2021, that will allow a community choice energy pilot program in Montgomery County in the 2021 legislative session. As stipulated in the bill, the County may not establish the pilot program earlier than April 2023. Over the next two years, the County plans to develop an implementation plan and also will participate in a Public Service Commission workgroup that will develop the regulatory framework for the pilot.

 

The County Council also must pass local authorizing legislation for the CCA and the County will conduct extensive outreach during development to ensure the community is aware of the program's values and that special attention is given to the needs to vulnerable communities.


A working group comprised of county staff, retail suppliers, climate action groups, apartment and
building associations and consultants has been set up to draft legislation and develop regulations
that would govern the program. With many varied viewpoints and priorities at the table, it has
been a challenging process, but they are making progress. Consultants involved with the
program launch are assisting with regulation development, educating elected officials, power mix
options and pricing.


A few challenges as of August, 2022:

  • Montgomery County is served by 3 different utilities who serve portions of the county, and also serve outside the county. What are the implications for the customers outside of the county?

  • A County law will need to be passed to establish a CCA, however under state law, municipalities within a county can opt in our out of county laws, with exception of taxation and public health. Will enough municipalities opt in to keep the CCA viable?

  • Once the County law is established, the PUC will need to review and approve

  • Apartment and building associations have their own aggregation programs on behalf of their residents, what will happen to their programs?

LEGISLATION (PARTIAL LIST)

Page last updated 9/6/2021