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Elrich Testifies on Possible Local Steps to Help Address Climate Emergency

For Immediate Release: Monday, February 25, 2019

Montgomery County is supporting a bill in the Maryland General Assembly that would provide local governments additional control over their energy provider choices via Community Choice Aggregation (CCA). Through CCA, local governments can negotiate better rates and choose cleaner energy sources.

House Bill 730 is sponsored by Maryland District 20 Delegate Lorig Charkoudian.

“We all know we’re in a climate emergency,” Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich testified at an Economic Matters Committee hearing on the bill in Annapolis. “We, at the local level, have an obligation to move to clean, renewable energy as quickly and broadly as possible. This bill gives us an important tool to purchase and generate clean energy for as many residents and businesses as possible. It also has the potential to lower rates for consumers.”

Montgomery County has committed to zero Greenhouse Gas emissions by 2035, which Elrich describes as an ambitious, but necessary, target.

"The urgency of our climate situation requires that we do everything we can at the State level and that we empower our local governments to do everything they can to combat climate change,” said Charkoudian. “The experience across this country has shown CCAs to be a powerful tool to both increase renewable energy and reduce prices for consumers. I am hopeful that we can provide this tool to local governments in Maryland."

Montgomery County is reducing its carbon footprint by pursuing clean energy, energy efficiency, enhanced building design, reduction of waste, and developing a better transit system for residents.

"This is a smart step for communities to participate in the energy marketplace,” said Adam Ortiz, director of the County’s Department of Environmental Protection. “We can address an urgent environmental issue and be smart with our pocketbooks."

Under a CCA program, the local government purchases power while the incumbent investor-owned utility maintains the grid and provides customer service. 

Although Maryland does not provide this option yet, there are eight states, including California, Illinois, Ohio, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Virginia, have authorized local governments to create CCAs. 

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Release ID: 19-060
Media Contact: Ohene Gyapong  240.777.6507