TESTIMONY FOR HB0074

Income Tax - Credit for Energy Efficiency Upgrades - Passive Houses

Bill Sponsor: Delegate Brooks

Committee: Ways and Means

Organization Submitting: Lower Shore Progressive Caucus

Person Submitting: Michaela Moses

Position: FAVORABLE

I am submitting this testimony in favor of HB0074 on behalf of the Lower Shore Progressive Caucus. The Caucus is a political and activist organization on the Eastern Shore, unaffiliated with any political party, committed to empowering working people by building a Progressive movement on the Lower Eastern Shore.

The Lower Shore Progressive Caucus and its members recognize the dangers posed by climate change and the particular vulnerability of our state to its disastrous effects. HB0074 promotes climate change mitigation and incentivizes Marylanders to reduce their negative impact on the environment with energy-efficient upgrades to their homes. Adding insulation, replacing windows, weather stripping, and other updates mentioned by this bill can significantly increase a building’s energy efficiency, thus decreasing energy consumption and reliance on unclean energy sources.

In addition to reducing energy consumption, energy efficiency can also reduce costs. Using less energy per household also means paying less and easing the fiscal burden felt by working class households who spend a disproportionate amount of their income on energy. In fact, some passive houses or energy-efficient buildings can achieve net zero or even net positive emissions, meaning the building’s presence can actually create an environmental benefit. Owners of net zero or net positive homes pay far less for energy than other homeowners and are also protected from rising energy costs.

Passing HB0074 allows Maryland to renew their commitment to energy efficiency and build upon existing environmental programs by incentivizing homeowners to update their homes. With the looming threat of climate change, the state of Maryland must remain on the forefront of innovation and equitable climate policy that prioritizes mitigation and efficiency. The adoption of passive house principles and other energy efficiency solutions recommended in HB0074 means a cleaner, safer state for all. 

The Lower Shore Progressive Caucus supports this bill and recommends a FAVORABLE result in committee.

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