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New Solar Energy Law Takes Effect In Maryland

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Energy companies that sell electricity in Maryland will have to buy a higher percentage of their energy from solar sources under a new law that takes effect Saturday.

The law moves up the timetable for making solar energy part of the state's renewable energy portfolio standard. It could also result in the creation of jobs in the solar power industry while increasing Maryland's use of renewable energy to protect the environment.

The change is expected to increase the cost of residents' electricity in the next few years by about 5 cents a month. The average commercial ratepayers will pay an estimated 66 cents more each month.

Supporters of the law say it will prompt companies to invest in large scale solar production projects. Opponents argue that even a small increase in utility costs is too much for consumers to bear at this time.

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