Maine Governor Mills Signs Bill Promoting Energy Efficient Heat Pumps in Maine
“Heat pumps reduce Maine’s dependency on fossil fuels, stabilize energy costs, and support energy efficiency jobs which will attract young families and skilled workers to our state,” said Governor Mills. “I thank Senator Lawrence for presenting this bill to the Legislature and lawmakers for giving it their unanimous, bipartisan support.”
“I want to congratulate Governor Mills for her strong leadership on this issue. I was glad to sponsor this bill, and I’m glad to see this bill signed into law,” said Senator Lawrence, chair of the Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee.
Maine uses more home heating oil per capita than any other state in the nation. High-performance heat pumps are an affordable, efficient and accessible heating and cooling appliance and an important component of reducing carbon emissions.
LD 1766 establishes a goal of installing 100,000 new high-performance heat pumps in Maine over the next five years. This will be achieved through additional Efficiency Maine Trust (EMT) incentives, funded through Forward Capacity Market revenues, and coordinated programming with Maine State Housing Authority, funded by a portion of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
Adding 100,000 new heat pumps in Maine in five years is expected to reduce heating bills between $300 and $600 a year per home. These savings are more likely to be spent on local goods and services, creating a multiplier effect on the local economy. One Maine utility provider estimates that for every 1,000 high-performance heat pumps added in their territory, it will have the effect of suppressing electricity rates by $300,000 a year.
“This is an excellent opportunity to help low-income Mainers be warm and comfortable in their homes and save their scarce personal resources at the same time. MaineHousing is delighted to participate in Governor Mills’ 100,000 heat pump initiative,” said Dan Brennan, Director, MaineHousing.
Many heat pump installers are being trained through programs such as the Energy Services and Technology degree program and non-degree heat pump training program offered through the Workforce Training and Professional Development Department at Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC). Graduates of the Energy Services and Technology program at KVCC are skilled in the installation and design of high-efficiency and renewable plumbing, heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems.
“KVCC is delighted to work with the public agencies and private energy firms to ensure the necessary training to help the State of Maine to meet its ambitious goal. Our lab and training capacity are ideal for this task. KVCC is located right on the I-95 corridor in mid-Maine, making this a convenient location for participants from north to south,” said Richard Hopper, President of Kennebec Valley Community College.
The law will take effect 90 days after the adjournment of the Legislature.