Governor Mills: Cutting energy costs for Maine families, reducing our carbon emissions, and strengthening our clean energy workforce

November 5, 2021

Maine is the most heating oil dependent state in the nation. Every year, we send $4 billion out of state to fossil fuel companies to heat our homes and businesses. We pay the price for this every time we go to turn up the thermostat. And our environment pays the price for it too. But it’s something we can, and will, change.

Hello, this is Governor Janet Mills. Thank you for listening.

So this week, I announced some initiatives from my Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan. These initiatives will weatherize homes, reduce our reliance on harmful fossil fuels, and cut energy costs for Maine’s families.

First, we are providing $25 million in federal funds to weatherize more than 3,500 low-to-moderate income households in Maine. The funds will be distributed through the Efficiency Maine Trust, the independent agency charged with improving energy efficiency all across the state.

These rebates we’re providing will allow homeowners to weatherstrip doors and windows and insulate attics and basements to keep homes warm and save money on heating costs.

Weatherization alone can save families hundreds of dollars each heating season. And it’s not too late to start for this winter. With the rise in oil and gas prices that we are seeing for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the worldwide economy, boy weatherization could not be more important or more timely.

For more information about these weatherization rebates, please visit efficiencymaine.com.

In addition to the $25 million in federal funds for home weatherization, I’ve also created a Clean Energy Partnership backed by $5.5 million in federal funds from the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan for expanded training and apprenticeship programs focused on the clean energy sector.

This Clean Energy Partnership will bring together all players -- state agencies, employers, labor organizations, businesses, schools, community colleges, universities, communities and others -- to expand our clean energy workforce and strengthen our economy.

While we work to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and sending all that money out of state, help is also available for many people who cannot afford heating oil this winter. Maine has nearly $70 million in federal funds available for low-income heating assistance, and I encourage all eligible people to apply, no matter what your heat source is.

To apply or get information about available heating assistance, please go to mainehousing.org.

These investments to cut energy costs for Maine families, to reduce carbon emissions, and to strengthen our clean energy workforce are all important steps to reach our goal of carbon neutrality by 2045, while cutting costs for Maine families and keeping us warm. 

In the coming weeks, you’ll be hearing more from me about the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan and all of its investments in education and training programs, workforce housing, childcare, broadband, and help for small businesses, all of which will spur our immediate economic recovery from the pandemic and support our long-term economic growth.

So please stay tuned, stay warm, and stay safe.

This is Governor Janet Mills. Thank you for listening.