NRCM News Release
May 17, 2022 (Augusta, ME) – Maine homeowners and businesses will have expanded access to heat pumps, weatherization, and other programs that have been proven to save energy costs and reduce air pollution in a new $300 million, three-year strategic plan for the Efficiency Maine Trust approved by utility regulators today.
The investments made as part of the plan will help protect Mainers from the expensive and highly volatile energy prices of home heating oil and other fossil fuels, according to Maine’s leading environmental advocacy group, the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM).
“The investments made in this triennial plan will pay back many times over, opening up opportunities for all Mainers to lower their energy bills and benefit from the transition to clean energy while helping put Maine on a path toward energy independence,” said Jack Shapiro, NRCM Climate & Clean Energy Director.
Efficiency Maine continues to provide enormous benefits to the state, with each dollar spent generating five dollars in overall benefits. This triennial plan:
- Expands Efficiency Maine’s core energy efficiency and electric vehicle programs — helping Mainers reduce energy costs and their exposure to expensive and highly volatile prices of home heating oil and other fossil fuels;
- Integrates innovative new work in clean energy finance and electricity demand management; and
- Leverages federal funding to dramatically expand the low- and moderate-income weatherization program.
“Our energy system is in the midst of a generational change, and Efficiency Maine’s role couldn’t be more important. Its electric vehicle, demand response, and load shifting initiatives, as well as its critical work in the non-wires alternative process, continue to bring Maine toward the flexible, low-carbon, low-cost distributed energy grid we need to meet our climate and clean energy goals,” said Rebecca Schultz, NRCM Senior Advocate for Climate & Clean Energy.
Efficiency Maine has achieved enormous success since its inception in 2009 by directing funds to Maine people for weatherization, energy-efficient appliances, heat pumps, and rebates for electric vehicles. Its heat pump program in particular has received national attention for helping install more than 28,000 heat pumps in Maine homes and businesses last year. Mainers are highly dependent on expensive home heating oil, and heat pumps offer a more cost-effective and efficient heating option while also providing cooling in increasingly hot summer months.
The Efficiency Maine Trust is funded in part by the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which sets a carbon price on pollution from power plants and reinvests the money paid by polluters into energy efficiency programs in participating states.