As Prepared for Delivery
Thank you Doug Bookman and thanks to everyone with the Affordable Comfort Institute.
By applause, how many of you are Marylanders? And how many of you are visiting from out of town? Welcome to the Greatest City in America! The original land of the free and home of the brave. It’s my sacred obligation as Governor to encourage you to invest in our local economy while you’re here.
For those of you who are visiting Maryland, we have a little game – some trivia. Can anyone here tell us what Maryland’s nickname is? Follow-up question. Who here can tell us why we’re called the Old Line State?
It’s because of the 400 brave Marylanders that held the line at Brooklyn in 1776, and allowed George Washington’s Army to fight another day. The flag they carried was like the other Revolutionary flags of the time 13 stripes of red and white, and 13 stars arranged in a circle but the Maryland 400 added one single star in the center and that star was Maryland the middle state the leader the state that sacrificed 256 of its sons so that our young country could grow into the haven of freedom and democracy that it is today.
In Maryland we take this Revolutionary heritage very seriously, We always strive to be that center state around which other states can rally.
As that center star – that center state – we have the fourth highest percentage of workers employed in green jobs – and the highest in the mid-Atlantic region.
As that center state, we have the most LEED projects per capita among the states (second only to DC), we’re in the top 10 for LEED certified buildings, and the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy says we’re one of the 10 most energy efficient states in America.
And we’ve set 15 big, enterprise wide strategic, policy goals so that we can continue to lead by creating jobs, expanding opportunity, and protecting our quality of life.
Job creation, including green job creation, is our topline goal. Connected to this, is the goal we’ve set of reducing per capita electricity consumption and demand 15% by 2015 through an initiative we call EmPOWER Maryland. To our knowledge, this is the most ambitious goal of its kind in the United States of America.
We also have goals for reducing Maryland’s greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2020, and for increasing Maryland’s in-state renewable generation 20% by 2022.
Those of you who are from Maryland may be familiar with the legislation we’ve proposed to the General Assembly this session to move forward on off-shore wind and the 1,300 jobs it will support during construction, and 480 good, local, permanent jobs thereafter.
Off-shore wind is one of the ways we can reach our goals. Energy efficiency is another, and this afternoon I thought I’d share with you a few of the ways we’re working to advance energy efficiency through the most powerful place in the State of Maryland, the family home.
MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT HOMES
For families in Maryland and throughout our country, the work that you do matters. It makes a difference for job creation, and therefore to our state and national economies. It makes a difference for our planet. It makes a difference in allowing us to prevent the brownouts and rolling blackouts we risked at the time we created EmPOWER Maryland.
And it makes a difference for moms and dads as they sit around the kitchen table trying to figure out how to afford this month’s electric bill, while they’re still a little behind on last month’s mortgage or rent.
Studies show that lower income families pay 17% of their total income on energy. The average household pays 4%. And as you all know, the cheapest kilowatt of energy for a family, for a business, or even for a state government is a kilowatt we don’t have to use.
We created EmPOWER Maryland because all of these things are connected, and progress on one requires progress on all.
And for this same reason, we’ve chosen to create new incentives for constructing green, high-performance homes, we’ve chosen to be the first state in America to adopt the International Green Construction Code, we’ve chosen to require new public building to earn LEED Silver Certification, and we’ve chosen to create a Sustainable Communities Tax Credit to revitalize our downtowns in clean, green, sustainable ways.
MEASURING MARYLAND’S PROGRESS
We can measure the progress we’ve been making in a number of ways:
We can measure our progress in the 3,700 jobs we’ve created and supported with $250 million of public and private investment in energy efficiency initiatives;
We can measure our progress by the 400,000 of our fellow citizens who participated in energy efficiency initiatives through the end of last year;
We can measure our progress by the more than $10 million that 1,800 Maryland families will save on their energy bills over the next 15 years, thanks to comprehensive home energy upgrades, and rebates administered by the Maryland Energy Administration to make them more affordable;
We can measure our progress by the nearly 11,000 homes we’ve weatherized since the summer of 2009, by the $437 each year that families will save on their energy bills because of this, and by more than 1,200 fossil fuel and electric heating units we’ve been able to replace, thanks to resources from President Obama’s Recovery & Reinvestment Act. We can also measure our progress by the energy savings this is producing – which is equivalent to more than 23,000 tons of coal, or 3.35 million gallons of gas;
What’s more, we can measure our progress in the 750 jobs supported by Maryland weatherization agencies and their network of contractors. And by the 790 Marylanders who have participated in weatherization skills-training;
We can measure our progress in the 5,180 rental housing units being weatherized through the Multifamily Energy Efficiency and Housing Affordability initiative for working families, senior citizens and Marylanders living with disabilities;
We can measure our progress in the $40 million in net payments that Marylanders have received from participating in so-called “demand response” initiatives, where homeowners and businesses voluntarily reduce electricity consumption on hot summer days;
We can measure our progress in the 1600 megawatts of energy – the equivalent of 10 coal-powered peaking plants – we’ve saved through these initiatives which we worked with the utilities to create;
We can measure our progress in the 6% reduction in peak demand we achieved between 2007 and the end of 2010;
We can measure our progress by the brownouts and blackouts that families in other states were subjected to, while Maryland families were able to keep the lights and air conditioning on, last summer.
But you don’t just have to take my word for it. If you log into energy.maryland.gov/map you can see on a GIS-map where we are investing to advance energy efficiency along with cleaner, greener, renewable energy.
It’s been written that “…there is an absolute direction of growth… Life advances in that direction. Life is never mistaken, either about its road or its destination,… it tells us toward what part of the horizon we must steer if we are to see the dawn light grow more intense.”
Thank you for your work to create jobs and move our country forward toward a cleaner, greener future.