For Immediate Release
AUGUSTA - The association representing Maine pellet fuel manufacturers, heating equipment firms and retailers has commended Rep. Jeff Timberlake (R-Turner) for his proposal to establish a special program to enable low income families to purchase pellet stoves to replace heating systems using more expensive fuel.
Timberlake's proposal emerged as an amendment to Governor Paul LePage's bill to direct to Efficiency Maine some of the funds from the increased timber harvest to be undertaken on Maine's public lands.
"If we can responsibly harness Maine's natural resources to help low income families buy efficient pellet stoves to keep themselves warm, then it's a no-brainer as far as I'm concerned," said Rep. Timberlake. "Mainers need a low cost alternative to oil heat, which is expensive and fluctuates wildly in cost from year to year."
The Pellet Fuels Association also acknowledged the leadership shown by Governor LePage, his energy director Patrick Woodcock, and Efficiency Maine in seeking to assist Maine homeowners with this winter's staggering heating costs.
"The federal program to assist low income homeowners (LIHEAP) is critical," stated MPFA Executive Director William Bell, "but it does nothing to get these homeowners off of expensive fossil fuels such as oil and propane. Pellet heat is about half the price of oil, and less than half the price of propane."
Bell noted that Rep. Timberlake's amendment to the Governor's bill assures that Maine's public lands program will continue to be fully funded. "The issue here is how to constructively spend the additional funds, and nothing could be more in keeping with the original intent of the public lands, which were created by settlers before Maine became a state, than to use the wood from these public lands to keep our most vulnerable citizens warm during the winter."
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 205-7793