Case Study: Maryland’s Permanent Community Solar Law Helps Create Affordable Electricity
Great news, Maryland! In May 2023, Governor Wes Moore signed HB 908 into law. Why is that exciting? Because it means Maryland, like 22 other states across the U.S., now has a permanent community solar program. And that means that solar is no longer available just to people who can afford or are allowed to have solar panels installed on their roofs. Now even more people can have access to more affordable electricity while getting their power from a clean, renewable resource.
Maryland’s Unique Community Solar Program
While several states have permanent community solar programs, Maryland’s is unique in two ways, which makes Nautilus Solar even more proud and excited to be involved.
- Solar access dedicated to lower- and middle-income households | The federal government has a program called the Justice40 Initiative. This is a program that’s set an impressive goal to ensure that 40% of various federal investments (including clean and renewable energy projects, such as community solar) are dedicated to lower- and middle-income (LMI) households. At Nautilus Solar, we love this, because it means far fewer people are held back from enjoying the benefits of clean, renewable, affordable electricity.
- Increased discounts for LMI households | All users of community solar can receive a 10% discount on their utility bills by subscribing to this more affordable electricity source. That’s a big plus for community solar right there. But in Maryland, LMI households can receive a 25% discount. At a time when many households struggle to make ends meet, especially as power prices rise, this can make a significant and positive difference.
Who’s Eligible for the LMI Discounts in Maryland?
The program is available to homeowners, renters, and small businesses in all utility territories in Maryland (Baltimore Gas & Electric, Delmarva, Pepco, and Potomac Edison). Subscribers need to be in the same utility territory as the aligned solar array (check here to see if you are).
Does Nautilus Solar Have Solar Farms in Maryland Yet?
Not only is Nautilus Solar already operating solar farms in Maryland, but we’re also proud to have been an early participant and leader in Maryland’s Community Solar Pilot Program, which began in 2015 after the state government passed legislation authorizing it. The 2023 legislation expands the number of people who can sign up for community solar (and it’s estimated that about 75% of Maryland households aren’t eligible to have solar panels installed on their roofs), as well as the locations where solar farms can be built.
Today nearly 90,000 people in Maryland already benefit from the clean, affordable electricity provided by community solar. Now we’re excited to help even more Maryland residents lower their electric bills, especially those most in need of savings, and benefit from clean energy. Have more questions? Visit our blog. But if you’re ready to subscribe, meet us over here.