by Laurel Peltier, Church of the Redeemer
Living our daily faith and being good stewards of our environment can take many forms. The over-arching goal is to take steps that lessen our church, business and home carbon footprints.
Using less electricity and natural gas coupled with transitioning from fossil-fueled energy to renewable energy, will drastically reduce your church, business and home’s carbon pollution.
You may be fortunate enough to have a solar-friendly rooftop and the financing needed to go solar at your parish, residence or business. If not, don’t worry. Maryland offers some of the country’s best energy efficiency rebate programs which are detailed below. Maryland is also a deregulated energy market meaning that your church building, business and home can choose an affordable and 100% clean energy supplier.
Switching to Climate-Friendly Energy the Smart Way:
The GreenGrace team has vetted the options below. Feel free to email GreenGrace volunteer Laurel Peltier, at [email protected] with any questions.
Switch Your Church or Business to Renewable Supplier
GreenGrace has partnered with the non-profit Groundswell experts to help parish treasurers or clergy choose the lowest priced energy supplier, and manage the switching process. Groundswell’s mission is to empower faith-based communities to come together as a buying group and negotiate low prices and fair contracts for clean energy.
Another key benefit is Groundswell’s experts can walk church decision makers through all facets of the purchase decision. And, as yearly electricity contracts expire, Groundswell will ensure that churches are re-enrolled with the lowest cost suppliers.
Contact Groundswell’s small business team directly: call Ann Li at 240.242.5653.
Switch Your Home To Renewable Supplier
Did you know that Maryland’s electricity is deregulated? This means that while BGE, PEPCO, Potomac Edison and Delmarva distributes your electricity and natural gas through their lines, and these utilities service and bills your home, you as a consumer can choose a different electricity or natural gas supplier. When you switch suppliers, nothing changes. You still get the same utility bill, but you will see an additional line item calculating your kilowatt usage multiplied by your supplier’s locked-in fixed price.
The best news is that Maryland homes can choose a 100% renewable supplier. As of August 2017, Clearview Energy offers Maryland residential accounts the lowest FIXED rate for a 12 or 18-month contract for your home.
To switch, visit Clearview’s web site, enter your zip code, and choose the rate that matches the price chart below. Clearview is lowest price winner in all four Maryland utility areas and sometimes beats your utility’s rate.
Best Practices for switching your home account:
- For complete details, read this article written by GreeenGrace member Laurel Peltier.
- Email Laurel Peltier any questions you may have [email protected]
- If you do switch, alert Laurel that you switched. At the end of your contract, she will suggest best clean energy product to switch to.
- Do not switch natural gas, it’s pricey and risky. If you want to choose a more eco-friendly natural gas product, check out WGL’s Carbon Steps offering.
- When you enroll, choose the Church of Redeemer “how did you hear” option and your account will be “tagged” as a GreenGrace account.
- If you have already switched to a supplier, DO NOT switch to Clearview until you know when your current supplier contract ends as you’ll get charged an early termination fee.
- If you have already switched suppliers, consider asking Laurel to review your bills to ensure that your account hasn’t been switched to risky and pricey variable rates. Only choose fixed rates that stay the same each month.
EmPOWER Maryland Energy Efficiency Rebates Programs
Gov. Martin O’Malley’s administration initiated EmPOWER Maryland in 2008. The goals were to reduce per-capita electricity use by 15 percent, fund a pot of money to support energy efficiency programs and require Maryland’s five utilities to use two percent less electricity each year thereafter.
Every Maryland home, business and nonprofit funds EmPOWER Maryland through a small surcharge based on usage. The surcharge funds the energy saving programs that our state’s five utilities manage.
Check out the GreenGrace’s complete list below by utility for fabulous and important energy efficiency rebate programs for your home, church building and business.