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Last Updated October 26, 2018

Program Overview


Regulatory Policy



Incentive Type:

Energy Standards for Public Buildings



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Maryland's policy for energy efficiency in state buildings is governed by a series of related policies adopted at different times. One of the earliest policies, adopted in 1985, established Life Cycle Cost Analysis Standards requiring the Department of General Services (DGS) to include an evaluation of the use of renewable energy systems (including active and passive solar and wind systems) and energy efficient strategies (including the effect of insulation and the amount and type of glass and direction of exposure) in creating standards for determining a building's life-cycle costs. Additionally, in determining life-cycle costs, an energy consumption analysis is required for each major piece of equipment in the building’s chief energy-consuming systems (including cooling, heating, hot water, lighting and ventilation systems).

In 1992 the state enacted legislation requiring the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) and the DGS to set energy performance standards that would reduce energy consumption in state buildings by 15% in 1996 and 25% by 2001 from a 1992 baseline. The law also required each state agency to perform an energy analysis for each building under its jurisdiction. Maryland's governor issued Executive Order 01.01.2001.02 in March 2001 calling for a further 10% reduction of energy use in state buildings by 2005 and 15% by 2010 (relative to a 2000 baseline) and requiring all new energy-using products to carry the "ENERGY STAR" label or be in the top 25% in energy efficiency when products with labels are unavailable.

In 2006, S.B. 267 updated the older statute to require energy consumption in state buildings be reduced by 5% by 2009 and 10% by 2010 relative to a 2005 baseline. The bill also modified the previous energy analysis requirement to provide that a new analysis should be completed each year. The statute passed by the legislature supersedes the Executive Order described above, although the order has not been repealed and thus can still be considered an active part of state administrative law.

In April 2008, Maryland enacted additional laws designed to promote energy efficiency in state buildings. Among these was the Maryland High Performance Buildings Act (S.B. 208), which requires that capital projects involving the construction or major renovation of buildings funded solely with state funds meet the criteria for classification as a "high performance building". New schools being constructed with state assistance must also meet this standard. In 2010 the law was amended to also require that community college capital projects that receive state funding also meet high performance building standards.

High performance buildings are defined as buildings that achieve at least a silver rating the under the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED green building rating system or a comparable numeric rating on an approved and nationally recognized system. A major renovation is considered to be any project that has a scope of 7,500 square feet or greater; reuses the building shell for the new construction; and involves the replacement of the HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems. The law also provides that for fiscal years 2010 through 2014, the state will pay 50% of the local share of extra costs incurred as the result of the requirement for new schools. The Maryland Green Building Council's 2012 Annual Report includes further information on program accomplishments and green building activity in Maryland.

In 2014 the legislature directed the Maryland Green Building Council to develop a list of building types to exclude from the high performance building mandate.

The State of Maryland also has clean energy procurement requirements for state facilities.