GOIT
&E ITEM 2
January 23, 2014
Worksession
MEMORANDUM
TO:
/'
~~
Government Operations and Fiscal Policyl
Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee
Michael Faden, Senior Legislative Attorney
&Leslie Rubin, Legislative Analyst, Office of Legislative Oversight
Worksession:
Expedited Bill 22-13, Taxation
Energy Sources
Fuel Energy Tax
Renewable
FROM:
SUBJECT:
Expedited Bill 22-l3, Taxation
Fuel Energy Tax
Renewable Energy Sources,
sponsored by the Council President at the request of the County Executive and Councilmember
Leventhal, was introduced on July 9, 2013. A public hearing was held on July 30 (see testimony,
©12-14).
Bill 22-l3 would exempt from the County fuel-energy tax any energy produced and
delivered in the County and generated from a renewable energy source. A renewable energy source
is defined by reference to the definition of a "Tier 1 renewable source" in the state Public Utilities
law (see ©1O-11), which includes solar and wind power, biomass, and geothermal energy, among
other sources.
The OMB fiscal impact statement estimated an annual revenue loss of $1 08,500 in the near
term, although this appears to be based only on energy generated by solar electric systems. This
number could rise substantially as more homeowners and businesses install various forms of
renewable energy sources.
Issues
1) Should this exemption be limited to power consumed on the site where it is
generated?
As introduced, Bill 22-13 would exempt from the County fuel-energy tax energy generated
from a renewable source (as defined in
§
7-701 (1) of the Maryland Public Utility Article) if:
• the energy is generated in the County, and
• the energy is delivered to or used by an end user in the County. See ©2, lines 29-31.
At the hearing Councilmember Leventhal, who signed on as a co-sponsor of this Bill,
noted that the now-unfunded County Clean Energy Rewards program was adopted because, at
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the time, the Council was advised that it could not exempt energy from renewable sources from
the fuel-energy tax. Stan Edwards of the County Department of Environmental Protection
responded that the proposed exemption in this Bill is limited to on-site, "behind the meter"
production that Pepco (or another carrier) does not transmit.
The Executive's fiscal and economic impact statements (see ©6-9) note that its purpose is to
exempt from the fuel-energy tax those residential and commercial energy providers who generate
energy (for their own or others' use) by installing certain renewable energy sources, such as solar
photovoltaic panels. If, however, a business or residence generates more electricity that it uses, the
excess power is sent through the electrical grid and distributed to other customers.
If that excess power is later delivered to or used by an end user in the County, Bill 22-13
would exempt it from the fuel-energy tax. However, distributors (such as Pepco) argue that they
cannot identify the end user of any specific electricity and cannot determine whether that end user is
located in the County. Since under the current law (see ©3, lines 27-28), the tax is applied to
quantities of energy measured at the point of delivery for final consumption in the County, this
language does not seem to pose a problem.
Pepco suggested an amendment to work around this issue and clarifY which electricity is
taxed by inserting the following sentence on ©3, line 28:
For an electric compactlY (as defined in state law),
the
rates of tax applv to the net
consumption that is used to calculate each consumer bill.
Consistent with the original intent of this Bill, this amendment would exempt "behind the meter"
electricity from the fuel-energy tax. Executive branch staff and the County Attorney confirmed that
this amendment is consistent with, and does not change their interpretation of, current County law.
2) Should this exemption be limited to power produced
by
residential and other small
producers?
Bill 22-13
as
introduced is drafted broadly enough to exempt a large commercial producer
of renewable energy located in the County from the fuel-energy tax. One speaker at the hearing
(see Breiner testimony, ©14) noted that the exemption in this Bill could benefit, for example, the
Town of Poolesville if it goes ahead with plans to lease a large solar array to provide power for
town government users. Depending on
the
degree of future development of on-site solar and
wind power sources in the County, especially by non-residential users such as shopping centers,
the fuel-energy revenue loss (and the incentive for renewable energy use) could be substantial.
This
packet contains:
Expedited Bill 22-13
Legislative Request Report
Memo from County E;{ecutive
Fiscal and Economic Impact Statements
Md. Code Public Utilities Article §7-701
Hearing testimony
F:\LAW\BILLS\1322
TaxatIon -
Fuel Energy
Ta~.\GO-T
&E
'VICl11u.Doc
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1
4
5
6
10
12
2
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Expedited Bill No.
==22=--...:..;13~
______
Concerning: Taxation - Fuel Energy Tax
Revised:
7-1-13
Draft No.
_1_
Introduced:
July
9,2013
Expires:
January
9,2015
Enacted: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Executive: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Effective: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Sunset Date:
--,-"N=on,::",e~_::--
_ _ __
Ch. _ _, Laws of Mont. Co. _ __
COUNTY COUNCIL
FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND
By: Council President at the Request of the County Executive and Councilmember Leventhal
AN EXPEDITED ACT
to:
(1)
exempt energy that is generated from certain renewable energy sources from the fuel
energy tax; and
(2)
generally amend County law regarding the fuel energy tax.
By amending
Montgomery County Code
Chapter 52, Taxation
Section 52-14
Boldface
Underlining
[Single boldface brackets]
Double underljning
[[Double boldface brackets]]
* * *
Heading or defined term.
Added to existing law by original bill.
Deletedfrom existing law by original bill.
Added by amendment.
Deletedfrom existing law or the bill by amendment.
Existing law unaffected by bill.
The County Council for Montgomery County, Maryland approves the following Act;
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Expedited Bill 22-13
1
Sec.
1.
Section 52-14 is amended as follows:
52-14.
(a)
Fuel-energy tax.
2
3
4
5
6
ill
A tax is levied and imposed on every person transmitting,
distributing, manufacturing, producing, or supplying electricity,
gas, steam, coal, fuel oil, or liquefied petroleum gas in the
County.
7
8
9
10
11
12
ill
The County Council must set the rates for various forms of fuel
and energy by
~
resolution adopted [according to the
requirements of] under Section 52-17(c). The Council may, from
time to time, revise, amend, increase, or decrease the rates,
including [establishing] setting different rates for fuel or energy
delivered for different categories of final consumption, such as
residential or agricultural use.
[The rates] Each rate must be
13
14
15
16
based on a weight or other unit of measure regularly used [by
such persons] in the conduct of [their] business. The rate for each
form of fuel or energy should impose an equal or substantially
equal tax on the equivalent energy content of each form of fuel or
energy for a particular category of use.
17
18
19
ill
The tax does not apply to the transmission or distribution of
electricity, gas, steam, coal, fuel oil, or liquefied petroleum gas in
interstate commerce through the County if the tax would exceed
the taxing power of the County under the United States
Constitution. The tax does not apply to fuel or energy converted
to another form of energy that will be subject to a tax under this
Section. The tax must not be imposed at more than one point in
the transmission, distribution, manufacture, production, or supply
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
0-
F:ILaw\BillslI322 Taxation - Fuel Energy TaxlBill.Doc
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Expedited Bill 22-13
27
28
system. The rates of tax apply to the quantities measured at the
point of delivery for final consumption in the County.
(±)
The tax does not
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
mmlY
to energy that is generated from
~
renewable source in the County and delivered to or used
Qy
an
end user in the County.
Renewable source means
~
1
renewable source" as defined in Section 7-701(1) of the Public
Utilities Article of the Maryland Code or any successor
prOVISIon.
..
*
Sec. 2.
(a)
*
*
36
37
38
39
Expedited effective date; applicability.
The Council declares that this legislation is necessary for the immediate
protection of the public interest. This Act takes effect on the date when
it becomes law.
40
(b)
Approved:
This Act applies to energy delivered before or after this Act takes effect.
41
42
43
Nancy Navarro, President, County Council
Date
44
45
Approved:
Isiah Leggett, County Executive
Date
46
This is a correct copy ofCouncil action.
47
Linda M. Lauer, Clerk of the Council
Date
F:\Law\BiI1s\1322 Taxation - Fuel Energy Tax\Bill.Doc
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LEGISLATIVE REQUEST REPORT
Expedited Bill 22-13
Taxation - Fuel Energy Tax - Renewable Energy Sources
DESCRIPTION:
PROBLEM:
Bill 22-13 will create an exemption from the fuel energy tax for
energy that is generated from a renewable energy source.
The current version of the fuel energy tax imposes the tax on all
energy that is generated, manufactured or supplied from a renewable
energy source.
To exempt energy from the fuel energy tax that is generated from a
renewable energy source.
Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Finance.
To be requested.
To be requested.
To be requested.
To be requested.
Bob Hoyt, Department of Environmental Protection
Applicable.
GOALS AND
OBJECTIVES:
COORDINATION:
FISCAL IMPACT:
ECONOMIC
IMPACT:
EVALUATION:
EXPERIENCE
ELSEWHERE:
SOURCE OF
INFORMATION:
APPLICATION
WITHIN
MUNICIP ALITIES:
PENALTIES:
None.
F:\Law\Bills\1322 Taxation· Fuel Energy Tax\Lrr.Doc
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c·:.
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OFFICE OF THE COUNTY EXECUTIVE
ROCKVILLE. MARYLAND 20850
lsiah Leggett
County Executive
073040
MEMORANDUM
.::'~:
. ""r"l
• -"'\;'1
'-.'Q
June 21, 2013
TO:
FROM:
RE:
Nancy Navarro, Council President
Isiah Leggett, County Executive
"""'---~
Proposed Legislation - Fuel Energy Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy
Sources
I am transmitting for Council introduction a bill that creates an exemption from
the County's fuel energy tax for energy that is generated from a renewable energy source
provided the energy is generated within the boundaries of the County and is used by an end user
in the County. I am also attaching the Legislation Request Report and Fiscal and Economic
Impact Statements for the bill.
The bill will create an exemption from the fuel energy tax for energy that is
created by a renewable energy source. The renewable energy sources are defined in Section 7­
701(1) of the Public Utilities Article, which include among other things, electricity that is created
by solar energy.
I would appreciate your consideration of this bill and jfyou have any questions or
need additional information, do not hesitate to contact Bob Hoyt, Director, Department of
Environmental Protection, at 240-777-7781.
Attachments: (4)
c:
Joseph Beach, Director, Department of Finance
Marc Hansen, County Attorney
Bob Hoyt, Director, Department of Environmental Protection
Jennifer Hughes, Director, Department of Management and Budget
montgomerycountymd.gov/311
240-773-3556 TTY
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Fiscal Impact Statement.
Council Bill xx-13, Taxation - Fuel Energy Tax
1.
Legislation Summary.
The legislation exempts from the fuel energy tax energy that is generated from a renewable
energy source. The legislation would exempt solar electricity from the fuel tax.
2. An estimate of changes in County revenues and expenditures regardless of whether the
revenues or expenditures are assumed in the recommended or approved budget.
Includes source of information, assumptions, and methodologies used.
The Bill does not have an expenditure impact. Currently, the County does not collect the fuel
energy tax on energy generated by solar electricity systems. The County Attorney, however,
has determined that electricity generated by solar systems is subject to the tax. Based on
currently available industry data, the best estimate is that $108,500 in fuel energy tax revenue
would be exempt under this Bill. Since the solar industry continues to expand, the tax
exemption could increase over time.
3. Revenue and expenditure estimates covering at least the next 6 fiscal years.
Revenues for the next six fiscal years are difficult to project, given that solar energy
generation is a relatively small segment of energy generation in the County. Assuming
annual growth of 10 percent, uncollected fuel energy tax revenue is estimated to be $837,170
over six years.
4. An actuarial analysis through the entire amortization period for each bill that would
affect retiree pension or group insurance costs.
This legislation does not affect retiree pension or group insurance costs.
5. Later actions that may affect future revenue and expenditures if the bill authorizes
future spending.
The legislation does not authorize future spending.
6. An estimate of the staff time needed to implement the bill.
There is no additional staff time needed to implement the bill.
7. An explanation of how the addition of new staff responsibilities would affect other
duties. '
The legislation does not establish new staff responsibilities.
8. An estimate of costs when an additional appropriation is needed.
Not applicable.
9. A description of any variable that could affect revenue and cost estimates.
A key variable would be the, number of solar electricity systems installed in the County. The
estimate is based on Maryland Energy Administration data indicating 6500 kW of solar
capacity in 2012. Growth in solar electricity capacity will result in increased fuel energy tax
exemptions.
1
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10. Ranges of revenue or expenditures that are uncertain or difficult to project.
See item number 9 above.
11.
If
a bill is likely to have no fiscal impact, why that is the case.
See numbers 2 and 3 above.
12. Other fiscal impacts or comments.
Not applicable.
13. The following contributed to and concurred with this analysis:
Erika Lopez-Finn, Office of Management and Budget;
Robert Hagedoorn, Department of Finance;
David Platt, Department of Finance
Date
Office of Management and Budget
2
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Economic Impact Statement
Bill xx-13, Fuel Energy Tax
Background:
This legislation would create an exemption from the fuel energy tax for energy that is
generated from a renewable energy sources located within the County, primarily solar
photovoltaic panels, and generally amend County law regarding the fuel energy tax
1. The sources of information, assumptions, and methodologies used.
• Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) solar grant database and Montgomery
County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) data on large systems
being installed.
• DEP estimates that as of2013 current installed solar panel capacity is 6,500
kilowatts (kW), of which approximately 5,500 kW is residential and 1,000 kW is
commercial.. A precise forecast of additional installed capacity is difficult;
although it is expected to increase through 2016, when current federal incentives
are due to expire. Other sources' of clean energy subject to the exemption are
minor compared to solar.
2. A description of any variable that could affect the economic impact estimates.
• The amount of additional capacity from the installation of solar panels.
• The price of electricity from energy distributors to residential and commercial
customers.
• The County's tax rate for electricity usage by residential and commercial
customers.
3. The Bill's positive or negative effect, if any on employment, spending, saving,
investment, incomes, and property values in the County.
• The legislation may stimulate investment for solar panels by residential and
commercial users because it clarifies the imposition of the County's energy tax on
the generation of electricity from solar panels. The Bill exempts the generation of
electricity from solar panels from the.County's energy tax. That exemption
would decrease energy expenses and increase incomes for both residential and
commercial users of solar panels all other things being equal.
• With the exemption from the County's energy
tax,
the demand for solar panels
could increase all other things being equal. Such an increase in demand would
benefit local supply and construction companies and increase business income.
Page 1 of2
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Economic Impact Statement
Bill xx-13, Fuel Energy Tax
• While the stimulation in investment for solar panels may have an economic
impact attributed to the exemption, the total impact on the County's economy
through employment, spending, investment, incomes, and property values may be
modest.
4.
If
a Bill
is
likely to have no economic impact,' why
is
that the case?
• The Bill could have a modest positive economic impact.
5. The following contributed to and concurred with this analysis:
David Platt and
Mike Coveyou, Finance
Page 2 of2
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§
7-701
PUBLIC UTIUTIES
yard materials, grain, legumes, sugar, and other crop by-products or residues;
or
4. gas produced from the anaerobic decomposition of animal waste or
poultry waste; or
(ii) a plant that is cultivated exclusively for purposes of being used at a
Tier 1 renewable source or a Tier 2 renewable source to produce electricity.
(2) "Qualifying biomass" includes biomass listed in paragraph (1) of this
subsection thaUs used for co-firing, subject to
§
7-704(d) ofthis subtitle.
(3) "Qualifying biomass" does not
~clude:
.. (i) unsegregated solid waste or postconsumer wastepaper; or
(ii)
an invasive exotic plant species.
(D
Renewableenergy credit:
-
"Renewable energy credit" or "credit" means
a credit .equal to the generation attributes of 1 megawatt-hour of electricity
that is derived from a Tier 1 renewable source or a Tier 2 renewable source that
is located:
(1)
in the PJM region; or
(2) outside the area described in item (1) ofthis subsection but in a control
area that is adjacent to the PJM region, if the electricity is delivered into the
PJMregion..
(j)
Renewable energy portfolio standard.
-
"Renewable energy portfolio
standard" or "standard".means the percentage of electricity sales at retail in
the State that is to be derived from Tier 1 renewable sources and Tier 2
renewable sources in accordance with § 7-703(b) of this subtitle.
(k)
Renewable on-site generator.
-
"Renewable on-site
gene~ator"
means a
person who generates electricity on
SW3
from a Tier 1 renewable source or a
Tier 2 renewable source for the person's own use.
(k-1)
Solar water heating system.
-
(1) "Solar water heating system" means
a system that:
. (i)
is comprised of glazed liquid-type fiat-plate or tubular solar collec­
tors as defined and certified to the OG-100 standard of the Solar Ratings and
Certification Corporation;
(ii) generates energy using solar radiation for the purpose of heating
water; and·
(iii) does not feed electricity back to the electric grid..
(2)· "Solar water heating system" does not include a system that generates
energy using solar radiation for the sole purpose of heating a hot tub or
swimming pool.
(1)
Tier 1 renewable source.
-
"Tier 1 renewable source" means one or more
of the following types of energy sources:
(1) solar
e~ergy,
including energy from photovoltaic technologies and
solar water heating systems;
(2) wind;
(3) qualifying biomass;
(4) methane from the anaerobic decomposition of organic materials in a
landfill or wastewater treatment plant;
(5) geothermal, including energy generated through geothermal exchange
from or thermal energy avoided by, groundwater or a shallow ground source;
48
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2012
~s;
SUPPLEMENT
§
7-701
or
;a
lis
ns
ty
at
(6) ocean, including energy from waves, tides, currents, and thermal
differences;
(7) a fuel cell that produces electricity from a Tier 1 renewable source
under item (3) or (4) of this subsection;
. (8) a small hydroelectric power plant of less than 30 megawatts in
capacity that is licensed or exempt from licensing by the Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission;
(9) poultry litter-to-energy;
(10) waste-to-energy; and
(11) refuse-derived fuel.
(m)
Tier
2
renewable source.'
"Tier 2 renewable source" means hydroelec­
tric power other than pump storage generation. (2004, ch: 487,§
1;
ch. 488,
§
'I;
2005,ch. 266; 2007, chs. 119, 120; 2008, 6h. 125, § 2; ch.126,
§
2; chs. 127,
128, 135, 136; 2011, chs. 65, 407, 408, 519; 2012, chs. 556, 557.)
Effect of amendments.
Section 2, chs. 125 and 126, Acts 2008, effec­
tive January 1, 2011, made identical changes.
Each reenacted (a) without change; and deleted
"or in a state that is adjacent to the PJM
region" at the end of (i)(1). '
",
Chapter 65, Acts 2011, enacted April 12,
2011, and effective from date of enactment, '
substituted "subsection" for "section" in (h)(2).
Chapter 519, Acts 2011, effective OCtober 1,
2011, added (1)(10) and 0)(11); rewrote (m); and
made related changes.
Chapters 407 and 408, Acts 2011, effective
January 1, 2012, made identical changes. Each
reenacted (a) without change; added (k-l); and
in
(1)(1)
added "energy, including energy from
photovoltaic technologies and solar water heat­
ing, systems."
Chapters 556 and 557, Acts 2012, effective
October 1, 2012, made identical changes. Each
reenacted (a) without change; added (c-l); and
in 0)(5) added "including energy generated
through geothermal exchange from or thermal
energy avoided by. groundwater or a shallow
ground source."
Editor's note.
Section 4, ch. 65, Acts 2011, provides that
"the provisions of
this
Act are intended solely to
correct technical errors in the law and there
is
no intent to revive or otherwise affect law that '
is the subject of other acts, whether those acts
were signed by the Governor prior to or after
the signing of this Act."
'
Section 2, chs. 407 and 408, Acts 2011, pro­
vides that "this Act shall apply only to solar
water heating systems that are commissioned
on or after June 1, 2011."
,
Section 3, chs. 407 and 408, Acts 2011, pro­
vides that the acts shall take effect January 1,
2012.,
.
'
Chapters 407, 408, and 519, ACts 2011, all
amended
(1).
None of the chapters referred to
the
oth~rs,
and effect has been given to all, as
they amended different portions of
(1).
"Section 2, chs. 556 and 557, Acts 2012, pro­
vides that "this Act shall apply only to geother­
mal heating and cooling systems that are com­
missioned on or after January 1, 2013."
Bill review letter. Chapters 556 and 557,
Acts 2012 (S.B. 652 and H.B. 1186), effective
October 1, 2012, was approved for constitution­
ality and legal sufficiency, even though a sever­
able portion may violate the Commerce Clause
of the United States Constitution. The bills add
geothermal heating and cooling pumps that
must be connected
to
the distribution grid serv­
ing Maryland as RPS resources that qualify for
REC credits. A Commerce Clause issue is
raised because the bills appear to prohibit cer­
tain types of out-of-state geothermal heating
and cooling systems that are not connected to
the distribution grid serving Maryland from
qualifying forREC credits. Even though the
size of the impact of this limitation upon inter­
state commerce co::rldbe minimal,
it
is possible
a court would find that the bills, in part, violate
the Commerce Clause. (Letter ofAttorney Gen­
eral dated May 10, 2012.)
University of Baltimore Law Forum.
For an article, "Protecting Maryland's Environ­
ment: A Holistic Solution," see 40 U. Balt. L. F.
205 (2010).
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Testimony on Behalf of County Executive Isiah Leggett
Regarding Expedited Bill 22-13, Fuel Energy Tax - Renewable Energy Resources
Stan Edwards, Chief
Division of Environmental Policy
&
Compliance
Department of Environmental Protection
July 30,2013
Good afternoon. My name is Stan Edwards. I am the Chief of the Division of Environmental Policy and
Compliance in the Department of Environmental Protection. I am testifying on behalf of the County
Executive in support of Expedited Bill 22-13, Fuel Energy Tax Renewable Energy Resources.
Under current law, the fuel-energy tax applies to all electricity that is delivered for final consumption in
the County, and the tax is imposed on persons who distribute, produce, transmit, manufacture or supply
electricity in the County. When the tax was adopted in 1971, electricity subject to taxation was generated
by large, fossil fuel-based power plants and distributed to users in the County by regulated public utilities.
To a large extent, this remains true today. However, with the advent of new technologies and financing
mechanisms for solar photovoltaic systems, a number of homes and businesses in the County are now
generating electricity on-site, supplementing the power delivered by their utilities. Because this on-site
power does not come through the utility grid, it has not historically been taxed.
However, based on a recent review ofthe fuel-energy tax law by the Office of the County Attorney, it
was determined that electricity generated by such systems is subject to the tax. Although electricity
produced by these systems does not come through the utility grid, which is the only current mechanism
for imposing the tax, current law does not expressly exempt this method of electricity production from
taxation.
To our knowledge, when the fuel-energy tax was created in 1971, its applicability to on-site soJaI'
generated electricity was not considered by the County Council -- and the County has never collected
revenues on this kind of electricity. Applying the fuel-energy tax to this kind of solar generated
electricity would raise several issues. First, imposition of the /:ax could dramatically decrease demand for
solar, which is contrary to previous County policy positions encouraging such systems. The solar
industry has been marketing systems assuming the tax does not apply, since it has never been charged.
This has been a significant incentive to install solar, including systems on County facilities.
Second, since these systems are "off the grid," collection of the tax would require the filing of some form
of tax return and tax remittance to the County. Enforcement would require development of a system to
track solar installations and confirm their generating capacity. While collection of the tax might result in
additional revenue to the County, currently estimated to be $100,000 to $200,000, much ifnot all of this
would be spent to collect, verify, and enforce the tax.
Exempting on-site solar systems from the tax would encourage continued expansion of solar systems in
the County. Such systems benefit the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and local
criteria air pollutants, create jobs for local companies and reduce the strain on the utility grid, which is a
priority in the region. Larger solar systems combined with new storage technologies may allow some
organizations to minimize the risk of power failures. Finally, solar energy may provide more predictable
energy costs for businesses and individuals.
I urge you to support Expedited Bill 35-12 and would be happy to address any questions the Council may
have about the bill.
@
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Ipepco
A PHI Company
Jerry Pasternak
Vice President Pepco Region - Maryland
Maryland Affairs
701 Ninth Street, NW
Washington. DC 20068
202-872-2524 Phone
July 30, 2013
The Honorable Nancy Navarro
President, Montgomery County Council
100 Maryland Avenue
Rockville, Maryland 20850
Re: Expedited Bill 22-13, Taxation - Fuel Energy Tax - Renewable Energy Sources
Dear President Navarro:
The Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco) submits the following comments on
Expedited Bill 22-13, Taxation - Fuel Energy Tax - Renewable Energy Sources.
At Pepco, environmental stewardship and sustain ability are fundamental principles that
guide our business and enable our success, both for today and into the future. We are
committed not only to delivering safe and reliable electricity, but also to helping the
jurisdictions we serve become models of innovative environmental policies and practices.
Renewable energy, such as wind and solar, has the potential to provide us with cleaner air,
a more diverse energy portfolio, and less dependence on foreign fossil fuels. Many of our
customers generate their own electricity using"green" or renewable resources, such
as
solar panels. We partner with customers who want to install renewable-powered
generators through our Green Power Connection
TM,
a team of specialists dedicated to
working with customers to ensure safety and compatibility of their systems with ours, as
well as the installation of a net energy capable meter.
We support the intent of this bill to encourage generation and consumption of renewable
energy by lowering its cost through fuel-energy tax relief. We have been working with
both Executive and Council staff on how to best implement that laudable goal, and we look
forward to continuing that dialogue so that we can agree on amended language that
establishes a mechanism to implement the goal in a manner that addresses our concerns.
Lastly, given the County's fuel-energy tax, we support the dedicated use of those revenues
on energy-related matters, rather than on General Fund expenditures. Incentivizing county
residents to generate and consume renewable energy is one such measure and a step in the
right direction.
Sincerely,
~temak
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Testimony of Joyce Breiner
Public Hearing - Expedited Bill 22-13, Taxation - Fuel Energy Tax - Renewable Energy
Sources
July 30,2013
Council President Berliner and members of the County Council, thank you for the
opportunity to testify in favor of the proposed Expedited Bill 22-13, Taxation - Fuel
Energy Tax Renewable Energy Sources.
In Feb 2013, my husband and I had a 12.48 kW residential solar system installed on our
home by Standard Solar whose headquarters is in Rockville. As of yesterday, we have
produced 7,506 kWh of electricity and currently carry a credit with the electric utility of
980 kWh. In addition to being on target to produce 95% or more of our home's annual
electricity needs, the solar system meets most of our transportation fuel needs as well,
in the form of electricity for our two electric cars.
We chose Standard Solar, in part, because they are a local company with local jobs we
could support.
Promoting distributed renewable energy sources is the name of the game in this time of
increased awareness of the urgent need to do what individuals can do to address
climate change. This bill does that.
With fiscal budgets still tight, one of the most effective and advantageous things the
county government can do to promote this effort is to refrain from taxing residents,
businesses and local governments who take these bold moves toward renewables.
As you may know, the Town of Poolesville is also negotiating the lease of a 1.1 mWh
solar array to produce enough energy to cover the town government's 6 largest electric
bills. Passing Bill 22-13 would benefit my town and its citizens as well.
To address the climate change issue, individuals, towns, and governments from the
county to the national level all need to step up to the plate. Our children and
grandchildren will one day be asking what we did when we understood the challenges
of climate change. The passing of this bill will be one of the many things we hopefully
will be able to point to having accomplished.
Please pass this bill without delay. Thank you.