Wind power is exciting, but don't forget energy efficiency

February 16, 2011

Gov. Martin O'Malley has set many strong clean energy goals for the state. He continues to wisely push for the development of wind energy off our shores ("Md. governor readies offshore wind power mandate, turbines could be spinning by 2016," Feb. 9), but let's not leave energy efficiency in the dust. Efficiency remains one of our best strategies for boosting the economy and providing clean, reliable energy to Marylanders.

The Maryland state legislature has already dedicated money for energy efficiency through the Strategic Energy Investment Fund that pays for most of the Maryland Energy Administration's programs, including efficiency. However, much of this money has been diverted over the past two years to one-time energy bill assistance to individuals. We should certainly help the neediest consumers with electric bills, but we should do it in a way that lowers monthly bills in the long-term, provides jobs for Marylanders and promotes the expansion of Maryland's new energy efficiency industry.

We appreciate Governor O'Malley's budget action to restore some of this dedicated funding to clean energy and energy efficiency programs. We should ensure that it is going to efficiency projects rather than covering the costs of other state programs.

Danielle Scorrano, Baltimore

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