Efficiency Maine Launches New Incentives for Home Heating Solutions

eff.maine.logo.4CAugusta, ME – September 18, 2013

Efficiency Maine is rolling out a new suite of incentives to help Maine homeowners reduce heating costs and improve energy efficiency. Qualified homeowners can receive up to $1,500 toward the cost of qualifying energy upgrades to a home’s insulation or heating system.  Homeowners may work with their contractor to develop a custom energy-saving project or may select from a menu of eligible measures.

The incentives from Efficiency Maine’s Home Energy Savings Program (HESP) will help offset the cost of air sealing, insulation, qualified heating systems, and in some cases, energy assessments. The new offerings were made possible by the recently passed Omnibus Energy Bill and its requirement to help homeowners cost-effectively reduce heating demand by redirecting 35 percent of auction revenues that the State receives in its participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

Customers who select a custom path must first hire a certified professional to conduct a home energy assessment. If the suggested energy measures that are installed are sufficient to reduce energy savings by 20 percent, a homeowner can earn up to $1,000 in incentives. Reduced energy savings of 40 percent could yield a maximum of $1,500 in incentives.

Based on the average Maine home where 100 percent of the heating load is met by a 78 percent efficiency oil-fired boiler with an average annual consumption of 900 gallons of heating oil at $3.69 per gallon, a 40 percent savings could save more than $1,300 a year.

Alternatively, customers can select from a menu of prescribed options up to a cap of $1,500. For example, six hours of air sealing accompanied by an energy assessment may be eligible for a $400 incentive. Insulation installed in walls and/or ceilings may be eligible for up to $1,000 in incentives.

Efficiency Maine is also offering incentives ranging from $250 to $500 for qualified supplemental heating systems for the highest efficiency ductless heat pumps, pellet stoves, and wood stoves. Best-in-class  whole-house heating systems that run on natural gas, oil, or propane, or ducted air source heat pumps may be eligible for a $500 rebate, provided they are ENERGY STAR-rated and meet other standards. Furthermore, Efficiency Maine is offering a $100 “Next Step Bonus” for completion of one additional measure beyond air sealing and assessment.

“We are thrilled to have new authority to help Maine homeowners lower their heating bills through investments in energy efficiency, and we’re glad to launch the program before the upcoming heating season,” says Michael Stoddard, Executive Director of Efficiency Maine. “The menu of options offers solutions for multiple situations, needs, preferences, and budgets. If homeowners can only tackle one measure, such as air sealing, we can help them. But if they want or need to do bigger projects like insulating their attic or adding a high-efficiency heating system, we are offering rebates and loans for that as well.

“With new advances in heating systems and building science, homeowners have more choices than ever, and those choices can sometimes be daunting. Homeowners often seek guidance from an objective party such as Efficiency Maine. That’s why in addition to offering new incentives, we’ll be providing more information to homeowners on our web site in the form of calculator tools, informational videos, charts, and flyers describing heating options and systems.”

“Mainers are painfully aware of the fact that our population pays some of the highest heating costs in the country, which burdens our economy and undermines finite household budgets,” says Patrick Woodcock, Director of the Governor’s Energy Office. “Instead of simply providing heating oil subsidies to get through the winter, our state must facilitate the investment in lowering these heating costs for the long-term.  I am encouraged that these incentives, in particular a new loan program, will make a difference in assisting Mainers take the initiative to weatherize their homes, replace their heating system if appropriate, and grow the Maine economy.  With winter fast approaching, projections of high heating oil prices, and continued instability in the world oil market, this program is ideally timed for Mainers to make investments to reduce upcoming heating bills.”

Eligibility for all rebates is limited to non-seasonal residential properties with four units or less. Past participants of HESP who received rebates from 2010-2011 are ineligible. Incentives also require minimum co-pays from homeowners. Some homeowners may also be eligible for additional natural gas or electric program incentives outside of this initiative.

For more information and a full list of incentives and restrictions, visit www.efficiencymaine.com or call 866-376-2463.

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