The $113.5 million that
Exelon's Maryland regulator, the Public Service Commission, decided how to distribute the money after receiving 98 proposals. Baltimore will receive the largest single piece of the fund — nearly $53 million will go to the city government for projects to permanently lower energy bills through energy efficiency work such as weatherization, upgrades and lower-usage education.
Projects by other groups will include cost-reduction measures for renters, manufacturers, small businesses and schools in the Baltimore region.
"Today is a great day for the customers of
BGE's residential customers each received a $100 credit on their May bills as part of the merger agreement. Critics had asked for that credit to be doubled, but the PSC ordered the creation of the fund instead in the hopes of producing longer-lasting results.
The commission said Thursday that the newly funded projects "offer an all-upside-and-no-downside opportunity to do real and durable good in and for Central Maryland."
The city's approach is a coordinated effort to reduce energy bills, such as converting residents from oil heating systems to less expensive natural gas, fixing energy-guzzling homes and teaching people simple ways to reduce energy consumption. The city will also help nonprofits reduce energy costs so they can plow more money into community work.
"We have some success stories already," said
The city received nearly all the money it had requested. Baltimore Mayor
The Maryland Energy Administration will receive $42.5 million for programs to cut bills for low-income people outside of Baltimore, apartment residents, manufacturers, small businesses and schools. The agency intends to create several "net zero" schools that generate all of their own energy.
The PSC was particularly struck by that last proposal, saying that "only six net zero schools exist nationwide."
•The Fuel Fund of Maryland, which will get nearly $14.9 million to create an endowment and give more BGE customers bill assistance.
•Comprehensive Housing Assistance Inc., which will receive $2 million for its no-interest loan fund for energy upgrades and renovations in the city and northwest
•Baltimore County's Sustainable
The remainder — about $902,000 — will go to BGE for administrative costs that the PSC said the utility would see as a result of funded programs.