Data Analytics and Statistics Hub

Clean and Sustainable Environment

Reduce facility electricity use (kWh in millions) by 25% by 2025


CY20 Actual

Objective Description

By 2025, Howard County will reduce electricity use of County government operations by 25%. Electricity use represents the majority of the County’s greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing electricity use can come from increasing the energy efficiency of the lighting and equipment used and conserving electricity by turning off equipment when not in use, adjusting building temperatures, and similar measures. In 2019, Howard County achieved designation as a Maryland Smart Energy Community by the Maryland Energy Administration in recognition of the County’s goals, policies, and progress in saving energy and using renewables.

Trend Analysis

By FY20, actual annual electricity use for County government operations decreased 9.5 percent from 2007 levels. After normalizing for differences in weather over this same time period, the annual electricity use decreased 12.5 percent. While some of this decrease may be explained by COVID-19 related shutdowns and telework during the last quarter of FY20, the majority of this decrease is due to the County’s efforts to decrease electricity use and increase energy efficiency. The County is currently conducting a routine, systematic, and detailed investigation of energy use at all County buildings to identify and address energy inefficiencies as they occur. Information will be used to identify and track energy-saving projects and to fine-tune smart building controls to optimize energy efficiency and decrease electricity use. In 2020, the County upgraded indoor and outdoor lighting and tuned up heating and cooling systems in targeted facilities. These projects are expected to pay for themselves through energy savings in less than two years. Howard County also upgraded water distribution and wastewater reclamation equipment to reduce energy use, increase energy efficiency, and provide even higher standards of treatment for water reclamation.


  • Implement utility bill management tool that will find energy and cost inefficiencies in County buildings and prioritize sites for energy efficiency projects.
  • Expand and improve continuous real-time energy use data collection and individual heating and cooling component data in County buildings to pinpoint causes of energy use spikes and immediately implement low- and no-cost solutions to improve energy efficiency.
  • Conduct full scale energy use investigations and implement building tune up as needed to reduce energy use in priority buildings.
  • Obtain grants and rebate funds whenever possible to offset costs of installing more energy efficient equipment.
  • Design and implement employee engagement program to reduce energy use through individual actions, such as turning off lights and computer monitors when not in use.
  • Maximize energy efficiency when designing new buildings.
  • Consolidate two inefficient data centers into one, highly energy efficient data center in 2019.

Source: Office of Sustainability

Detailed Analysis

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