Testimony at the Maine Legislature
by Sue Jones, NRCM energy project director
Thank you for the opportunity to submit comments on behalf of the Natural Resources Council of Maine (Council). I am Sue Jones, and am the Energy Project Director for the Council. I live in Freeport. The Council is a public interest, nonprofit organization that seeks to protect and conserve Maine’s environment for now and future generations. As part of the Council’s work, we advocate for clean air and energy measures, including those that reduce global warming pollution.
L.D. 1198 proposes to restrict utilities’ practice of sending commercial messages to electricity consumers.
The Council supports LD 1198 because will help to reduce energy consumption and solid waste, and will have other environmental benefits.
For years, Maine largest utility, Central Maine Power, has sent advertising messages in its monthly bills to its customers promoting air conditioners, dehumidifiers, extra lighting, and other household appliances. The messages all encourage the purchase and use of additional appliances that use electricity. While recently it has started to advocate Energy Star-rated appliances, the message is the same: use more electricity.
Passing LD 1198 will help to restrict this practice to only those customers that indicate to the utility that it wishes to receive these promotional messages. This will reduce electricity which will lead to reduced impacts to our environment, namely in air and global warming pollution. However, because these messages are sent on paper, this effort will reduce the amount of paper and solid waste that accumulates. Lastly, as some of these appliances also use water, it will reduce water consumption in Maine.
We urge you to pass L.D. 1198.