Energy News

UMD Extension's Energy News is a quarterly newsletter providing unbiased and research-based information related to energy conservation, energy efficiency and clean energy relevant to Maryland.

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Archived Newsletters


Energy News: Issue 12, July 2023 (Download PDF | View Online)
Topics include: a new "Working with Solar" publication, upcoming home energy workshops, poultry energy video, wind energy article, home cooling tips, solar panel recycling, hydrogen microgrid for a bus depot, and updates on all things energy in Maryland.
Energy News: Issue 11, April 2023 (Download PDF | View Online)
Topics include: a new "Working with Solar" publication, solar leasing video, tips to avoid solar shading, recommendations for heat pump sizing, EV charging using hydropower, and updates on all things energy in Maryland. 
Energy News: Issue 10, January 2023 (Download PDF | View Online)
Topics include: a new solar inverter video series, new IRA resource, an upcoming solar leasing workshop, efficient wood and pellet burning, thermostat recommendations, automated solar mowing, and updates on all things energy in Maryland.



Energy News: Issue 9, October 2022 (Download PDF | View Online)
Topics include solar+battery videos, a new extension brief, 'Solar on the Farm' resources, preparing for high winter energy costs, saving with the IRA, a zero-emission biomethane and electric tractor, and updates on all things energy in Maryland.
Energy News: Issue 8, July 2022 (Download PDF | View Online)
Topics include solar+battery videos, a new solar fact sheet, an upcoming Solar on the Farm webinar, the cost of electric cars, electric vs gas mowers, a microgrid for cannabis production, and updates on all things energy in Maryland.
Energy News: Issue 7, April 2022 (Download PDF | View Online)
Topics include Solar-Clips video series, a new solar fact sheet, final solar workshop this spring, springtime AC tune up, adapting to high fuel prices, net zero energy schools, and updates on all things energy in Maryland.
Energy News: Issue 6, January 2022 (Download PDF | View Online)
Topics include: home energy recordings, Solar-Clips video series, a new solar fact sheet, upcoming solar workshops, choosing energy suppliers, solar costs, a solar winery, and updates on all things energy in Maryland.



Energy News: Issue 5, October 2021 (Download PDF | View Online)
Topics include: an upcoming home energy webinar series, updates on the Solar-Clip video series, hybrid heat pumps for water heating, farm lighting considerations, cutting the red tape with SolarAPP+, and updates on all things energy in Maryland.
Energy News: Issue 4, July 2021 (Download PDF | View Online)
Topics include: understanding home energy, a new Solar-Clip video series, cooling your home efficiently, agrivoltaics for your farm, self-driving electric tractors, and updates on all things energy in Maryland.
Energy News: Issue 3, April 2021 (Download PDF | View Online)
Topics include: updates to the Maryland Energy Extension webpage, an upcoming Solar-Clips video series, seasonal tractor maintenance, energy assistance programs, saving energy with spring landscaping, solar-powered oyster production, and updates on all things energy in Maryland.
Energy News: Issue 2, January 2021 (Download PDF | View Online)
Topics include: the new YouTube channel for Maryland Energy Extension, on-farm solar resources, winter energy tips for farms, the solar ITC extension, winterizing your windowss, Forest House sustainability, and updates on all things energy in Maryland.


Energy News: Issue 1, October 2020 (Download PDF | View Online)
Topics include: the new Maryland Energy Extension webpage, an ongoing solar webinar series, a new farm energy fact sheet, using a farm energy log, how to save energy on your farm, the Sun Belle rooftop solar, and updates on all things energy in Maryland.

News & Information

National Energy News

State Energy Agencies

  • Maryland Clean Energy Center (MCEC)
    advancing clean energy and energy efficiency products, services, and technologies as part of the Maryland's economic development strategy.     
  • Maryland DHCD: Energy Programs
    providing homeowners of all income levels with the resources to improve their home’s energy efficiency; as well as energy efficiency programs for affordable, multifamily rental properties and contractor partners    
  • Maryland Energy Administration (MEA)
    managing grants, loans, rebates, and tax incentives designed to help attain Maryland's Goals in energy reduction, renewable energy, climate action, and green jobs. MEA programs help Maryland residents, businesses, non-profits, and local governments implement energy efficiency upgrades and install renewable energy systems.
  • Solar United Neighbors (SUN)
    Nonprofit representing the needs & interests of solar owners

UMD Energy Initiatives

  • UMD Green Maryland Tour
    College Park campus green virtual tour    
  • UMD Sustainability Tour
    College Park campus sustainability map    
  • UMD Office of Sustainability
    supports and advances campus environmental performance and literacy, engagement, financial stewardship, and social well-being    
  • SustainableUMD
    UMD strives to empower students, faculty and staff to take sustainable steps by bringing local and global systems into balance, redesigning processes to conserve resources, and experimenting with novel sustainable practices
  • SustainableUMD Network
    many departments are part of the university's green movement, contributing to campus-wide projects and running internal sustainability programs
  • UMD Sustainability Council
    advises the President, the Office of Sustainability, and the campus community about issues related to the integration of sustainability into campus operations

Technical Energy Information

Assessment Tools

Agricultural Tools

  • Energy Self-Assessment
    USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS)
    Various tools to evaluate systems efficiency (i.e., irrigation efficiency) and renewable energy assessment (i.e., solar-powered livestock watering).

Residential Tools

  • Appliance Power Table
    Wholesale Solar

    Determines how much power your appliances use by multiplying the wattage by the hours used on the average day to obtain the watt-hours consumed.
  • Home Energy Saver & Score
    Home Energy Saver (SES)

    Estimates energy consumption based on various end uses or small appliances using the number and approximate age of major appliances.
  • Estimating Appliance and Home Electronic Energy Use
    US Department of Energy (DOE)
    Appliance and electronic energy use calculator to estimate your annual energy use and cost to operate specific products.

Solar Tools

  • In My BackYard (IMBY) 
    National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) 
    Estimates the production and basic cost effectiveness of solar electric and small wind. Allows users to “draw” installations on their own homes or businesses through Google Maps interface.
  • PVWatts® Calcuator
    National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
    Estimates the energy production and cost of energy of grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) energy systems throughout the world. It allows homeowners, small building owners, installers and manufacturers to easily develop estimates of the performance of potential PV installations.
  • Renewable Energy Ready Home Solar Site Assessment Tool 
    Guides home builders in assessing the physical orientation to support the installation of a solar energy system. This tool evaluates the proposed site's solar resource potential based on the home's location and anticipated shading effects at the proposed site.
  • RETScreen 
    Natural Resource Canada
    Clean Energy Management Software system for energy efficiency, renewable energy and cogeneration project feasibility & performance analysis. Decision support to evaluate the energy production, savings, costs, emission reductions, financial viability and risk.
  • Solar-Estimate Calculator
    Solar Investments Inc
    A solar electric, solar thermal, and wind assessment tool supplied by the solar and wind energy industry; provides information on resource and economic return.
  • Solar-Estimate Companies
    Solar Investments Inc
    A solar company assessment tool providing information on companies engaged in solar and solar leasing/PPAs in your area.
  • SolarPILOT
    National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
    Optimizing and sizing rooftop photovoltaic and solar hot water system installations.
  • Solar Production Calculator
    Solar United Neighbors
    Calculate lost electricity savings for solar modules that are not functioning properly

Other Tools

Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Partnership 
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 
This more involved assessment tool allows larger facilities to evaluate their technical and economic suitability for combined heat and power.

Financial Resources

Grants & Loans

  • Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical and Bio-based Products Manufacturing Assistance Program 
    USDA: Rural Development
    Provides loan guarantees to assist in the development, construction and retrofitting of new and emerging technologies of advanced biofuels, renewable chemicals and bio-based products. Application Deadline: April 1, 2021.
  • Commercial, Industrial & Ag Grant (CI&A) 
    Maryland Energy Admin (MEA)
    A competitive program that provides grants for deep energy retrofit projects in commercial, industrial, agricultural, and non-profit facilities.
  • C-PACE
    Maryland Commercial Pace
    Providing turn-key, low cost, standardized C-PACE services to property owners, capital providers, contractors, and local governments in the state
  • Rural Business Energy Efficiency Improvement Loan Fund  
    Low-interest, “micro” loan to enable farmers and rural businesses to implement recommendations of a third-party energy auditor; providing below market rate financing assistance to facilitate the purchase of equipment or technology for lowering energy consumption
  • Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)
    The program provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements. Application Deadline for Loan and Grant Combinations: March 31, 2021. Application Deadline for Loan Guarantees: Ongoing
  • Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP)
    Loans to help rural families and small businesses achieve cost savings to implement durable cost-effective energy efficiency measures

Utility Programs

  • Low Income Energy Efficiency Program
    Maryland DHCD Logo
    Repairs and upgrades to a home can significantly reduce energy use throughout the year, which can give you a more comfortable home, lower monthly power bills and improve air quality and family health. Maryland's EmPOWER Program helps low-income households with installation of materials and equipment at no charge.
  • Smart Energy Savers Program
    BGE logo
    From LED discounts and home energy check-ups to thermostat optimization, these programs can get you started. Receive bill credits for using less energy when you participate in Energy Savings Days.Save on ENERGY STAR® certified products and appliances for your home. Buy ENERGY STAR® certified LEDs, smart thermostats, advanced power strips and other energy-saving products.
  • Energy Saving Programs
    Delmarva Logo
    Learn how to increase efficiency and comfort with an Energy Assessment; save money and energy on Peak Savings Days, and discover rebates and discounts when you buy efficient lighting, appliances and equipment.
  • Energy Saving Programs
    PEPCO Logo

    Learn how to increase efficiency and comfort with an Energy Assessment; save money and energy on Peak Savings Days, and discover rebates and discounts when you buy efficient lighting, appliances and equipment.
  • Smart Energy Saving Programs
    Potomac Edison Logo
    Learn about the Appliance Turn-In Program, energy efficient products, home energy analyzer, home performance with ENERGY STAR®, the HVAC Program, lighting discounts and rebates, the Quick Home Energy Checkup, and the Low Income Energy Efficiency Program (LIEEP).
  • EmPOWER Maryland Programs
    SMECO Logo
    Learn how to save energy and money throught the EmPOWER Maryland initiative which aims to reduce energy consumption in the state each year. SMECO’s EmPOWER Maryland programs help customer-members save energy.
  • Energy Saving Program
    Washington Gas Logo

    Providing residential and commercial rebates, to help you save on high-efficiency natural gas equipment; offering rebates on high-efficiency natural gas equipment, helping to reduce customers’ energy consumption and save money on their utility bills. Washington gas offers an Online Home Energy Profile to educate customers on how to save energy and money in their homes.

County Programs

  • Montgomery County Homeowner Energy Efficiency Program
    The Montgomery County Homeowner Energy Efficiency Program (MCEEP) is a FREE program through the Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs, administered by Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland aimed at reducing home energy usage for qualified PEPCO customers.
  • Prince George's Sustainable Energy Initiatives
    The Clean Energy Program builds on Maryland and Prince George's County's energy-efficiency and carbon reduction goals and will help in making our County more energy resilient, using a holistic approach to break energy injustice and barriers. We offer residents within the Pepco service territory of these nine neighborhoods, classified as Energy Resiliency Communities (ERCs), the ability to apply for grants to perform energy efficiency retrofits and subsequently, install solar photovoltaic (PV) and/or water heater systems.

Other Opportunities

  • New Clean Renewable Energy Bonds
    Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

    tax credit bonds authorized under IRC Section 54A, allowing a credit to investors that hold such bond on one or more of the quarterly credit allowance dates.
  • Energy Performance Contracting
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

    turnkey service providing a comprehensive set of energy efficiency, renewable energy and distributed generation measures; often is accompanied with guarantees that the savings produced by a project will be sufficient to finance the full cost of the project
  • Energy Matrix
    U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

    one-stop-shopping matrix serving the public, private businesses and the government; helping you navigate USDA's energy-related programs. If you are searching for alternative and affordable energy solutions, funding for projects, available programs and program information, or research and development – the matrix is here to assist you
  • Green Energy Loan Program
    FSC First

    The Program was created to advance public and private investment in clean energy and other innovative green technologies in Prince George’s County. This fund is a Pepco/Exelon sponsored program that supports an emerging industry in the County with loans up to $250,000 for commercial building energy efficiency improvements, energy conservation & renewable energy measuresLoan, guarantees or loan loss reserve up to $250,000; Not to exceed 20 years;Interest tates Dependent upon underwriting, typically not exceeding 6%.
  • Sustainable Maryland Grants Portal
    Environmental Finance Center & Maryland Municipal League
    comprehensive listing of resources that can be easily searched and customized to your interests. You can do a quick search, or create a profile that will automatically match your search preferences and will send weekly updates on new resources that match your preferences.

Industry Directory

Inclusion on this list is not a recommendation or endorsement by the University of Maryland. Additional information about choosing a contractor can be found on this Maryland Energy Extension website.


The Geothermal Exchange Organization
non-profit trade association promote the manufacture, design and installation of highly efficient, and environmentally friendly, geothermal heating and cooling systems for residential and commercial systems.

A Quality Heating & Air Conditioning
1584 Deer Park Road
Finksburg, MD 21048
(410) 751-6145

Arctic Heating & Air Conditioning
301 Washington Street
Berlin, MD 21811
(410) 641-1434

Barstow & Sons Heating & Cooling
1825 George Avenue, Suite 6
Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 793-4744

Bay Area Mechanical Services, Inc.
6824 Ft Smallwood Rd, B
Baltimore, MD 21226
(410) 636-6400

Chesapeake Geosystems, Inc.
6720 Fort Smallwood Road
Baltimore, MD, 21226
(410) 789-5050

Coastal Heating & Air Conditioning Co., Inc.
25 Hudston St.
Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 919-0110

Cumberland Valley Heating & Air
11005 Bower Ave
Hagerstown, MD 21740
(855) 576-9240

Earth River Geothermal
1202 West Street
Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 263-8538

GAC Services
227 E. Deer Park Drive
Gaithersburg, MD 20877
(240) 252-4244

Ground Loop Heating & Air Conditioning
1701 Whiteford Road
Darlington, MD 21034
(410) 836-1706

Grove Heating & Cooling
2142 Priest Bridge Ct., Suite 6
Crofton, MD 21114
(301) 327-0995

H.D. Johnson Inc.
5500 MacArthur Blvd, NW
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 470-6620

HGH Mechanical, Inc.
2107 Emmorton Park Rd, #111
Edgewood, MD 21040
(410) 679-3794

James A. Wheat & Sons
7834 Beechcraft Ave.
Gaithersburg, MD 20879
(240) 406-4084

Larry & Sons Plumbing Heating Cooling Drain Electrical
905 W. 7th Street, #206
Frederick, MD 21701
(301) 799-2931

Long Green Heating and Air
12707 Sweet Water Lane
Glen Arm, MD 21057
(410) 824-1523

Loves Heating & Air
763 Route 3 N
Gambrills, MD 21054
(410) 544-5333

Michael Barlow Well Drilling Service, Inc.
522 Underwood Lane
Bel Air, MD 21014
(410) 838-6910

Michael Bonsby Heating and Air Conditioning
7950 Cessna Ave.
Gaithersburg, MD 20879

1049 Ross St.
Hagerstown, MD 21740
(855) 737-1511

Owens Comfort Systems
3586 Patuxent River Road
Davidsonville, MD 21035
(888) 776-9367

Quality Refrigeration Services
3103 Magnolia Ave
Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 355-6010

17816 New Hampshire Ave
Ashton, MD 20861
(301) 364-4660

Simmons Heating and Air Conditioning Corporation
23906 Mervell Dean Road
Hollywood, MD 20636
(301) 373-4780

Supreme Service Today
4401 Eastern Ave, #17
Baltimore, MD 21224
(410) 884-8199

T.N. Bowes
26743 Radio Station Way, #100
Leonardtown, MD 20650
(301) 880-0161

Trenary Service Company
900 Winchester Ave
Martinsburg, WV 25401

Tri-County Aire
29962 Killpeck Creek Court
Charlotte Hall, MD 20622
(800) 890-5123

Tuckers Air Conditioning Heating & Plumbing
4650 Wedgewood Blvd, #102
Frederick, MD 21703
(301) 605-9406

United Service Specialists
5110 Roanoke Place, Suite 104
College Park, MD 20740
(301) 241-9200

Watervale Geothermal & Radiant Heating LLC
2116 Watervale Road
Fallston, MD 21047
(410) 879-0292

Winslow Pump & Well Inc
24700 Sotterly Road
Hollywood, MD 20636
(301) 373-2200

Your Comfort Services, Inc.
360 Dual Highway
Hagerstown, MD 21740
(301) 797-4744

Solar Electric

Solar Reviews 
Search different types of solar companies to find the best near you

21st Century Power Solutions
418 Oella Avenue, Suite A
Catonsville, MD 21228
(410) 418-5650

American Sentry Solar
221 Gateway Drive, Suite G
Bel Air, MD 21014
(410) 557-0555

Aurora Solar
9009 Mendenahall Court, Suite E
Columbia, MD 21045
(410) 505-4848

Celestial Solar Innovations
7820B Wormans Mill Road, Suite 172
Frederick, MD 21701
(240) 409-1148

EastWest Solar
324 Main Street, #518
Laurel, MD 20725
(410) 919-4366

Eco Solar Solutions
703 E Pulaski Hwy
Elkton, MD 21921
(302) 893-0073

Edge Energy
6854 Distribution Drive
Beltsville, MD 20705
(888) 586-3343

KW Solar Solutions
94 Childs Road
Elkton, MD 21921
(302) 838-8400

Lumina Solar
3600 Commerce Drive, Suite 601
Elkton, MD 21227
(800) 971-6118

Maryland Solar Solutions
11436 Cronridge Drive, Suite V
Owings Mills, MD 21117
(410) 363-4300

Maryland State Solar
14502 Greenview Drive, Suite 206
Laurel, MD 20707
(856) 812-0322

Renewable Energy Corporation
9 W. Aylesbury Road
Timonium, MD 21093
(410) 560-9032

Solar Energy Services
1514 Jabez Run, #103
Millersville, MD 21108
(410) 923-6090

Solar Energy World
5681 Main Street
Elkridge, MD 21075
(866) 952-4529