NRCM news release
Statement of Dylan Voorhees, Clean Energy Director, Natural Resources Council of Maine
The House voted 138-1 to pass LD 1215, the one-word bill to correct a typo in the omnibus energy bill passed last session, in order to prevent a major cut to energy efficiency programs for homes and businesses.
“This year alone, Efficiency Maine is helping more than 10,000 homes cut heating bills and more than 3,000 businesses cut their energy costs. Energy efficiency is the most effective way to lower energy costs for Maine, and has had widespread support from business leaders, Maine people, and bipartisan policymakers.
“The omnibus energy bill was a remarkable example of bipartisanship to address complex energy issues and forge compromise that will reduce energy costs by unprecedented amounts. The one-word typo is universally understood as just that, a typo, that does not reflect the clear intention of the law. Hundreds of Maine energy businesses began hiring and expanding in order to deliver increased energy efficiency to Maine people and businesses. Those jobs are now at risk without a correction of the law.
“Legislators of both parties came together to recognize that the right thing to do was simply put the word back in, without attaching any new conditions to such action.”
Further background: The Energy & Utilities committee is currently working on LD 1221, which contains several other provisions, including the creation of a Maine Energy Office and making the director of Efficiency Maine a political appointee by the governor (as opposed to being hired by its Board of Trustees, who are nominated by the governor).