All Electric In Montgomery County
It’s hard living in MD, especially with rising electricity rates. And it may not get better in 2023, because of the volatile natural gas market. But Montgomery County law markers have passed a bill requiring new buildings to be all electric by 2026. Some critics scowl at the ban in the face of the county’s energy demands. But supporters think the move will improve the county’s quality of life and even dent climate change.
Montgomery County All Electric Bill
Lawmakers introduced Bill 13-22 in June of this year. The bill required the county executive to issue all-electric building standards by January 1, 2024. These rules would force all new buildings to only use electric heating systems. As a result, building rules would ban using fossil fuel and natural gas systems. In effect, this pushes for carbon-free building standards in the near future.
Concerns About The New Bill
The bill passed with a unanimous vote. It then became law on December 12. However, it came with several concerns. First of all, rising natural gas prices are a problem. The volatile market keeps prices high with no end in sight. In fact, SoS rates are increasing this summer.
Next, there are several health and safety risks with natural gas. For example, the county has experienced many recent natural gas explosions. Additionally, research also shows natural gas use can also impact indoor air quality.
Council members also agreed to push back the deadline to issue new regulations to the end of 2026. For some supporters, this is almost three years too long.
The law also exempts several industries due to last minute changes in the bill. This includes exempting major renovations and new additions to buildings. It also extended the deadline for affordable housing projects and schools to meet compliance.
Maryland Offshore Wind to the Rescue?
But is going all electric even possible? It is hard to believe when you consider that 38% of US electricity comes from natural gas. However, reports suggest that investing in offshore wind could reduce costs, especially to residential rate payers. According to the report, MD could cut SoS rates from 8 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to 4 cents per kWh. And MD could do this by approving 6000 megawatts of offshore wind projects. That’s triple what MD currently has approved.
All Electric In 2026
It’s no secret that MD’s electricity rates are on the rise. And the state’s reliance on natural gas isn’t helping lower costs. It’s true many environmentalists don’t love the extended deadline. But Montgomery County’s new law eventually could make for safer and healthier living.
You can keep up with the news that affects your bills at https://www.mdenergyratings.com. You can also shop for great plans and find ways to save money on lower electricity rates.