Renewable Energy


Renewable energy is power generated by fuel sources that naturally restore themselves over a short period of time and do not diminish. Examples of renewable energy sources include sunlight, wind, geothermal heat, biomass, and tidal waves. Although some renewable energy technologies have an impact on the environment, renewables are considered environmentally preferable to conventional sources and have significant potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions when replacing fossil fuels.


What are the Benefits?

Renewable energy is becoming a larger piece of our energy pie and a growing market in the U.S. economy Benefits of switching to renewable energy include:

  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change
  • Improved public health due to fewer pollutants in the air and water from fossil fuel power production
  • Increased economic development from innovation in clean energy technology and jobs in manufacturing, installation, and education
  • Enhanced national security by diversifying energy supply and reducing dependence on imported fuels
  • Reduced impact on our natural resources and environment


Types of Renewable Energy:


Purchasing Clean Electricity

Since the energy market in Maryland is deregulated, you can choose your electricity supplier and the source of the electricity you want to buy. As a result, you do not need to install special equipment to receive clean energy. Through a competitive electricity supplier, you can choose to buy a percentage (or all) of your electricity from clean energy sources like wind or solar. This "clean" electricity is delivered to your house by your local utility, in the same way it provides fossil fuel generated electricity. You can switch electricity suppliers at any time—if you have an existing contract with an electricity supplier, be sure to check it before you switch products or suppliers to avoid penalties!



Purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates from a Third-Party Retailer

Renewable energy certificates (RECs) monetize the environmental benefits of clean energy that a generator has produced from a clean, renewable source (such as wind or solar) and transmitted to the power grid. When buying a REC through a third-party retailer, you're purchasing the environmental benefit of the clean energy without electricity service. This flexibility allows even those who do not directly communicate with their energy suppliers to offset the pollution from the fossil-fuel-sourced electricity they buy and use. Purchasing RECs creates the demand for more renewable energy, adding clean power to the electricity grid and decreasing the amount of electricity generated from fossil fuels.

Both purchasing options - purchasing clean electricity directly from a utility company or purchasing RECs— help support clean energy development. By purchasing clean electricity from your utility or another retailer, you're creating a market for renewable energy and pushing energy suppliers to purchase more electricity from clean energy sources. Use the Green Power Locator to find a renewable energy retailer in your area. You are directly affecting the amount of clean electricity available in the grid and supporting suppliers of sustainable, renewable electricity!


Renewable Energy Success Stories:


Visit My Green Montgomery for residential incentives for renewable energy systems and technologies.   Have a renewable energy system on your home or business in Montgomery County?  Tell us your story and appear on our blog!