Senator Garagiola has consistently been a champion of renewable energy in Maryland. He believes that it is critical to encourage the development of a vibrant renewable energy industry in the state -- one that will provide thousands of high-tech jobs while ensuring a stable and secure energy future. He has sponsored legislation to:
* Create a solar energy grant program, which provides financial incentives to homeowners, businesses, local governments and non-profit organizations that install solar water-heating systems or solar-electric (PV) systems.
* Require utility companies to incorporate solar energy into their portfolio of energy over several years. Once fully implemented, Maryland solar energy output will be greater than the energy output of several of state's existing power plants.
* Require Maryland state government to reduce its energy consumption by 10% from 2005 levels by 2010.
* Promote alternative renewable fuels for automobiles.
* Establish a tax credit for individuals and corporations that purchase Bio-Heating Oil for space and water heating.
* Promote clean fuel cell energy use in Maryland.
* Make it easier for Maryland schools and State agencies to obtain solar and other renewable energy through public/private partnerships.
In addition, Senator Garagiola successfully advocated for Maryland's Clean Energy Center to be located in Montgomery County at the Universities at Shady Grove campus in Rockville. The Center is charged with transforming the energy economy in Maryland. It is the largest green higher education building in Maryland and is Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified.
The Interstate Renewable Energy Council had this to say about Senator Garagiola:
Beginning with his development of the state's solar grant program and through to 2007, Senator Garagiola spearheaded the effort for a historic 'all in one' bill -- Maryland's Senate Bill 595 -- bringing interconnection, net metering, and a gigawatts-class best practices solar standard. From square one through a tough fight in the dramatic final hours, Senator Garagiola was a true leader. More than any other individual, his technical savvy, personal conviction, and tactical brilliance brought Maryland from the 'back of the pack' to a position of national leadership."
For additional information about the Solar Energy Grant Program please visit the Maryland Energy Administration website. You can also contact MEA by phone, 1-800-72ENERGY, or e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.