As green technology, renewables, and high-efficiency appliances evolve, homeowners in Maryland stand to save huge amounts of money over time—but only by making informed decisions based on the current status of energy in the region.
There are several key factors to consider when making any decision related to heating, cooling, or other energy consumption in your home, including but not limited to regional energy prices, availability in the region, installation costs, and the long-term outlook for a particular fuel source.
Looking for ways to save on energy costs and maximize the HVAC and electrical performance of your Frederick, Montgomery, or Howard County home? Contact GAC Services online today to learn how!
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a very slight decrease in Maryland electricity prices from February of 2016 to February of 2017, a reversal of a trend of slightly increasing electrical prices over the past few years. The average price of electricity in the region remains slightly below the national average, and looks largely stable moving forward—not the most efficient fuel source for heating and cooling, but not as expensive to utilize as it might be in other regions of the country.
In contrast to the stability of electrical prices, the region saw a sharp uptick in the price of utility gas between February of 2016 and February of 2017, jumping from $0.960/therm to $1.205/therm. This widens the existing gap between Maryland utility gas prices and national gas prices, from 7% above the national average to 20% above the national average. This jump comes after several years of steady decline in gas prices both regionally and nationally. This may explain why homeowners have increasingly looked to the advantages of renewables.
Maryland homeowners interested in renewable energy have largely focused on solar energy and geothermal technology, with other technologies making up a narrow percentage of development in the region.
Strong incentives for residential solar within the state have created a booming market for small scale residential installations. Despite reasonable electrical prices and a relatively low amount of sunlight compared to other solar-friendly states, a 2017 residential solar installation in Maryland is estimated to pay for itself within 8 years.
Geothermal heating and cooling also continues to grow in Maryland, thanks in large part to the state’s early adoption of the technology in grant programs and other renewable incentives. Unlike solar, the state’s climate and land is well-suited to the technology, which promises reductions in the range of 40% on monthly energy costs.
Average Residential Energy Costs as of April 2017
- Electricity: $0.130 per kilowatt-hour / 3.7% below national average
- Natural gas: $1.274 per therm / 27.4% above national average
- Heating oil: $2.643 per gallon / 2% above national average
Keeping Your Home Energy Efficient
Maryland residents with an eye to the future should keep in mind the state’s ambitious Renewable Portfolio Standard, which aims to generate 1/5th of the state’s electricity with renewables by 2022 with new milestones every few years. To this end, the state has implemented several incentive programs at both the residential and commercial levels which may shape your planning for heating, cooling, and general energy needs.