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Maryland Senate OKs energy efficiency bill



ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland Senate has approved a measure to require the state’s five largest electric utilities to provide customers with energy-efficiency programs and services to cut energy consumption by 2 percent a year.

The Senate voted 32-14 for the bill Tuesday, along party lines. The House passed a similar bill last week 92-46.

The measure extends the EmPower Maryland initiative, which was enacted in 2008. It helps homeowners and businesses save energy by offering incentives and technical assistance for adding insulation, sealing air leaks and installing efficient appliances.

EmPower Maryland set reductions of 15 percent in per capita electricity consumption and peak demand by 2015.

Companies would have to submit plans to the PSC by Sept. 1 for the program’s cycle from 2018 to 2020.