Although O’Malley’s bill would mandate that the cost be no more than $2 per month, that per household price would have to be estimated up front on a 20-year prediction of future energy prices — a term twice as long as the state’s Public Service Commission typically forecasts.
The model is one that Republican Gov. Chris Christie has backed in New Jersey, but Maryland’s version would come with an explicit requirement that the cost of the credits add no more than the $2 a month to residents’ bills. Although the arrangement is highly complicated, Maryland lawmakers are familiar and more comfortable with it. The state has a similar renewable energy credit requirement that subsidizes solar power generation, albeit at a much smaller cost to ratepayers.