Maryland Summit on Energy Democracy & Affordability

Maryland is at a pivotal moment at which it must begin to rapidly transition to clean energy and make communities, infrastructure, and businesses resilient to the increasing impacts of climate change. Yet that transition cannot be at the expense of communities already disproportionately burdened by pollution, disinvestment, inequity, and high energy burdens.

The modernization of the electric grid is an opportunity to transform energy from a necessary evil in people’s lives into an engine of equity, prosperity, health, and empowerment. How can Maryland’s policymakers, regulators, decision-makers and residents work together to leverage this moment of transformation and achieve a just, prosperous, environmentally-friendly energy future?

On Friday, March 24, we enjoyed a day of local and out-of-state perspectives, expert panels, and round table discussions focused on how Maryland’s Grid of the Future can facilitate energy affordability, increased efficiency, responsiveness, resilience, climate and environmental protection, as well as public health and welfare. See the agenda from 2017’s summit below; please click the hyperlinked presentation titles to view or download the presentations.


Time Session Title/Subject Presenter/s
8:00am Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:45am Welcoming Remarks
(introduction by Lyn Griffith Taylor)
Stuart Clarke, Executive Director
Town Creek Foundation
9:00am Keynote address:
Energy Democracy and Renewable Maryland

The energy vision for an affordable, equitable energy future in Maryland, and the roadmap for arriving there.
Arjun Makhijani, President
Institute for Energy and Environmental Research
9:45am Energy Affordability and the Grid of the Future

Why is universal affordability essential? What barriers exist to low-income participation in energy efficiency/ energy savings programs? What considerations must be prioritized as Maryland considers grid modernization?

Jacob Ouslander, Assistant People’s Counsel
Office of the People’s Counsel
Energy Affordability in Maryland

Todd Nedwick, Director of Housing and Energy Efficiency Policy National Housing Trust
Energy Efficiency in Multi-family Homes

Gary Christopher, Weatherization Director
Community Action Council of Howard County
Weatherization in Maryland

Myriam Tourneux, Director of Strategic Initiatives
Fuel Fund of Maryland

10:30am Coffee Break
10:40am The Grid of the Future: A New World of Energy Products and Services

What does the Grid of the Future look like for the consumer? What opportunities await for businesses, and the society at large?

Karl Rábago, Executive Director
Pace Energy and Climate Center at the Pace Law School
The Sharing Utility: An Integrated Energy Vision for Distributed Energy Resources

Robert J. King, Policy Advisor
Whisker Labs
Creating Value: Smart Homes and Information Driven Services

Corey Ramsden, Program Director
Maryland Solar United Neighborhoods

11:30am Climate Change and Grid Resilience/Reliability

How can we secure a resilient energy future that has minimal effect on our climate?

James McGarry, Policy Director
Chesapeake Climate Action Network

Geoff Oxnam, Chief Executive
American Microgrid Solutions

Kate Zyla, Deputy Director
Georgetown Climate Center

Environmental Justice and Public Health

The unequal distribution of environmental harms and benefits further disadvantage communities of color and poverty.
Rebecca Rehr, Public Health Advocacy Coordinator
Maryland Environmental Health Network
12:15pm Lunch

Businesses investing in the economics of clean energy
Dana Sleeper, Director of External Affairs
Solar Energy Industries Association
Solar Means Business: Tracking Solar Adoption by America’s Top Countries

Introduction: Lyn Griffith Taylor

1:00pm Community Planning

How can we plan our amenities, buildings, and communities to reap the full benefits of the Grid of the Future?

Khalil Shahyd, Urban Solutions Project Manager
Natural Resources Defense Council)
Urban Solutions: Community Based Solutions to Protect Our Planet and Create Just, Sustainable Cities

Jill Sorensen, Founder
Baltimore-Washington Electric Vehicle Initiative)
EV Infrastructure Developments in Maryland

Equity and Economic Justice

What opportunities for empowerment does the Grid of the Future hold?

Zafar Shah, Attorney
Public Justice Center

Lauren Friedman, Workforce development Program coordinator
GRID Alternatives

 Lynn Heller, Vice President
The Abell Foundation

1:55pm Achieving the Agenda

Defining clear avenues to achieve the future grid that we deserve.

Jill Tauber, Managing Attorney of the Clean Energy Program
Mapping the Grid of the Future in Maryland

Roger Berliner, President
Montgomery County Council

Tim Judson, Executive Director
Nuclear Information and Resource Service

2:45pm Conclusion and Next Steps Lyn Griffith Taylor
3:00pm Networking
(adjourn to happy hour at Ram’s Head Tavern)


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MEDA Marylanders for Energy Democracy and Affordability

Contact Us

Address: 6930 Carroll Ave, Suite 340, Takoma Park, MD 20912
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (301) 270-6477 x13