BANGOR – Energy efficiency was the focus of a press conference Tuesday morning at Eastern Maine Medical Center.
Maine Medical facility representatives touted energy conservation as the way to provide better health care. “Usually they are driven not purely by efficiency but by the will and desire to improve patient comfort and staff comfort in the hospital,” stated Louis Deeneen of Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport. Deeneed is the Vice President of Engineering at the center.
Legislation in Augusta could change hospitals energy efficiency. Currently, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative helps pay for any supplies that help medical locations reduce spending. Known as an Act to Reduce Electric Rates for Maine businesses, it could take money out of the pockets of health care providers that was implemented from RGGI and Efficiency Maine Trust.
Executive Director for Natural Resources Council of Maine Lisa Pohlmann explained, “The proposal is to give rate relief and rate relief is sort of a one time transaction. Where this (RGGI) saves money, long into the future.”
Pohlmann said that the RGGI has saved Maine homeowners and businesses over $250 million in energy costs. But the kicker, she explained, is that the proposal would slash RGGI funding a great deal. “It would be taking away 80% of the funding from the energy efficient projects that goes towards being energy users like hospitals,” said Pohlmann.
No date has been set for a vote on the bill.