Governor Mills and Efficiency Maine Announce $15 Million Jobs and Stimulus Initiative in Maine to Cut Energy Costs in Schools and Public Buildings

Governor’s Jobs Plan Investment Will Help More Maine Schools, Towns, Cities and Tribal Governments Reduce Energy Costs and Create Taxpayer Savings

Governor Janet Mills and Efficiency Maine today announced the launch of a $15 million Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan initiative to help Maine public schools, cities and tribal governments improve energy efficiency and reduce their energy costs.

Governor Mills made the announcement Friday at “Communities Leading on Climate,” a conference convened by the Maine Climate Council held at the Augusta Civic Center.

Efficiency Maine’s new initiative comes at a time of rising heating fuel prices and represents a significant investment in public sector energy efficiency that will reduce costs to ratepayers, increase energy cost stability and reduce emissions of carbon.

This energy efficiency initiative is just one of many Efficiency Maine initiatives funded by the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan. In May, Governor Mills announced a $4 million program to support energy efficiency upgrades for travel, tourism and hospitality businesses in Maine, which have been hit hard by the COVID pandemic. -19. In total, Efficiency Maine is receiving $50 million from the Governor’s Jobs Plan for Weatherization and Energy Efficiency in Maine Homes, Businesses and Local Government Buildings.

“Maine residents, businesses and communities are overly dependent on imported oil and gas from big fossil fuel companies, and nothing illustrates this more than the exorbitant prices we all now pay for them,” said Governor Janet Mills. “This funding through my jobs plan can be used by schools and municipalities to lower their energy costs, transition from fossil fuels and become more energy efficient – ​​a move that will also save taxpayers money. long term money. It’s a win-win. »

“The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan allocation of funds to invest in heating and cooling upgrades to Maine public schools and other public buildings couldn’t come at a better time,” said Michael Stoddard, executive director of Efficiency Maine. “Thanks to this initiative, eligible public buildings have the opportunity to get out of the roller coaster of heating oil and propane prices and reduce their carbon footprint.”

The first phase of this new program — $8 million for school efficiency projects — opens Monday, June 20 for public schools. The next phase — $4 million for municipal efficiency projects — is set to open in August. The final phase – $3 million for nonprofit residential facilities – will follow this fall.

These funds will be used primarily to reduce heating oil consumption by switching to high-efficiency heat pump systems. Funds can also be used to upgrade lighting systems to LEDs and upgrade refrigeration equipment. More information on the initiative for schools is now available on the Maine Efficiency website.

“We are constantly looking for ways to reduce heating and lighting costs for our schools,” said Andrew Madura, director of transport, facilities and catering services for SAD # 61 in Naples. “And as the cost of fossil fuels continues to rise, the impact on budgets is significant. Programs like this one from Efficiency Maine are just what we need to reduce our energy consumption and fund some of our capital projects.

“Energy costs for schools have increased exponentially. Helping districts control these costs will benefit both students and taxpayers. Less reliance on petroleum and propane, in general, will improve air quality, and that’s a benefit for everyone,” said Steven Bailey, executive director of the Maine School Management Association.

Applications for energy retrofit funds under the initial offer for public schools will be accepted until May 31, 2023 or until funds are exhausted. Projects must be completed by December 31, 2023.

Since 2019, more than 60,000 new high-efficiency heat pumps have been installed in Maine to address the state’s national dependence on fuel oil and reduce harmful carbon emissions. The state climate plan, Maine won’t waitaims to install 100,000 new heat pumps in Maine by 2025.

This new program builds on steps already taken by the Mills administration to reduce costs for Maine residents struggling with rising fuel oil and electricity prices due to volatile global fuel markets. fossils. These actions include:

Efficiency Maine is an independent administrator of programs in Maine aimed at increasing energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, primarily by providing financial incentives for the purchase of high-efficiency equipment or helping customers to modify their operations to reduce energy costs. Visit efficiencymaine.com for more information.

The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan is the Governor’s plan, approved by the Legislature, to invest nearly $1 billion in Federal American Rescue Plan funds to improve the lives of Maine residents and families, help businesses, create well-paying jobs and build an economy. ready for future prosperity.

It draws heavily on the recommendations of the Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee and the state’s 10-year Economic Development Strategy, turning them into concrete actions to improve the lives of Maine residents and strengthen the economy.

To learn more about Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, visit Maine.Gov/Jobsplan.

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