- Purchase Green and Renewable Power in Maryland
- Save Energy Through Your Utility Company
- High Performance Homes Tax Credit
- Energy Conservation Devices Property Tax Credit
- Do-It-Yourself Home Energy Audit
- Reusing and Recycling Unwanted Household Items
Residents, businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations in Maryland and Washington D.C. have the option of switching from their electric utility to a "green" energy supplier. The energy suppliers supply power generated from renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, geothermal, hydropower and various forms of biomass. Delivery of the electricity to your home and all necessary service is still provided by your local utility. However, the 'green' energy suppliers provide renewable energy to the grid and your utility delivers that energy to your home or business. These green energy suppliers are licensed by state and federal agencies and are not in competition with the local utility. The local utility does not profit from the energy. Instead they profit from the delivery and service of electricity, which would remain the same.
The Department of Energy has additional information about purchasing green power in Maryland. Companies offering green power in Maryland include Viridian Energy, Clean Currents, and Washington Gas and Electric Services. Purchasing green power helps support increased development of renewable energy sources, which can reduce the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas.
All five of Maryland's utility companies offer programs to help save you energy and money in your home or business. Programs include lighting and appliance rebates for homeowners, Home Performance with Energy Star (including home energy assessments and rebates for energy improvements like air sealing, insulation, and installing gas tankless water heaters), commercial lighting rebates, and energy efficiency services for industrial facilities. Find out more through the Maryland Energy Administration's EmPower Maryland website.
In April 2012, Baltimore County Council passed a revised Property Tax Credit for high performance homes that are LEED certified, achieve at least a silver rating according to the International Code Council's 700 National Green Building Standard (NGBS), or have certified energy efficiency improvements made by an approved building modeling system. The tax credit is for new or existing homes in the residential sector which are being renovated. All applications for the High Performance Home Tax Credit should follow the application instructions carefully, and submit their application to the Office of Budget and Finance in person or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions about the application can be answered by email or by calling Customer Service at 410-887-2404.
Tax Credit Percentage for LEED Certified Homes
For a high performance home that is LEED for Homes certified or certified by the NGBS Rating System, the tax credit is a percentage of the total County property tax assessed on the home as follows:
- LEED Silver Homes or NGBS Silver - 40 percent tax credit
- LEED Gold Homes or NGBS Gold - 60 percent tax credit
- LEED Platinum Homes or NGBS Emerald - 100 percent tax credit
Energy Efficient Improvements
- For a high performance home with certified energy efficiency improvements to qualify for the tax credit, the amount of increased energy efficiency achieved by renovations or construction is a minimum of 30 percent.
- The amount of increased energy efficiency must be measured by a certified passive house consultant, or a certified home energy rating system (HERS) rater. The consultant or rater must use an approved building modeling system. This includes any software program approved for HERS or the passive house planning package. For multi-family housing, energy modeling should use applicable Residential Energy Service Network (RESNET) or American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) modeling systems or the passive house planning package.
- For existing homes, energy efficient measurements must be made prior to renovations to establish a baseline. A second measurement is to be made after renovations to determine if the project is eligible.
- New construction must follow design phase energy modeling.
- The baseline energy efficiency measurement for new construction is the existing requirements of the County.
Download and complete the application (PDF). The application should include the Baltimore County Inspection Certification (not the State of Maryland), and a detailed payment listing. The application can be dropped off at the Office of Budget and Finance at 400 Washington Avenue, Towson, Maryland or may be emailed to email@example.com.
For more detailed information, review the latest tax credit information in the Baltimore County Code.
The allocated budget for the Energy Conservation Property Tax Credit has been met. There is currently a waiting list until 2018. All new applicants will be placed on a waiting list.
Baltimore County offers a Property Tax Credit for solar energy devices or geothermal energy devices for residential or multi-family residential application. Eligible solar devices include that those heat or cool a structure, generate electricity for use in a structure, or provide hot water for use in a structure. Eligible geothermal devices may be used to heat or cool a structure or provide hot water for use in a structure. The amount of the property tax credit is set at the lesser of 50 percent of the cost of the system or $5,000 for heating devices and $1,500 for devices which supply hot water.
The credit claimed during any year may not exceed the amount of County property taxes owed during that year, and excess credits may be carried forward for up to two additional years. Costs must have been incurred during the 12 months prior to the initial application for the credit. The total volume of credits granted during any fiscal year may not exceed $250,000. If successful applications exceed this aggregate limit during a given fiscal year, they will be granted during the next fiscal year or years in the order received. Applications must be filed on or before June 1 of the year immediately preceding the first taxable year for which the property tax credit is sought.
To apply and be put on the waiting list, contact the Office of Budget and Finance's Customer Service for instructions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling Tax Payer Services at 410-887-2404.
Check out the Do-It-Yourself Home Energy Audit (PDF) to find out ways to save money in every part of your home.
Using our home energy audit will help you investigate parts of your home that you might not know affect your energy bill. Some of the factors contributing to your bill include insulation levels, tightness of windows and doors, what types of appliances you’re using, and other elements.
Source 2007 Buildings Energy Data Book, Table 4.2.1., 2005 energy cost data.
If you have items to donate, look through the Reuse Directory (PDF) provided by Baltimore County's Bureau of Solid Waste Management. It provides locations and businesses that accept used items such as small and large appliances, cell phones, clothing, books, paints, and toys etc. Donating your items will not only conserve space in our landfills, but they will supply people with resources they might not otherwise be able to obtain.
Disclaimer: This information is offered as guidelines. Links to various sources are included when available. Baltimore County does not endorse nor recommend specific products.
Revised September 12, 2013