Governor Mills: A major milestone towards my target of installing 100,000 new heat pumps by 2025.

I am proud to announce that more than 28,000 high-efficiency heat pumps have been now installed in Maine buildings over the past year. This marks a major milestone towards my target of installing 100,000 new heat pumps by 2025.

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

Last year one of the significant actions we took to reduce our carbon emissions, our carbon footprint, and to advance clean energy in Maine was the enactment of LD 1766. That was the bill that put into law our goal of installing 100,000 heat pumps by 2025.

You know cold weather’s coming upon us pretty fast and we’ve got to be efficient and save money as we heat our homes and businesses.

And you know, Maine is the most heating oil dependent state in the country. $5 billion a year goes out of state, out of our pockets, and into the hands and pockets of big oil and gas companies. Let’s reverse that.

Transitioning to heat pumps instead of costly, inefficient and environmentally-harmful heating oil is creating good-paying jobs right now, it’s curbing our carbon emissions, and it’s cutting costs for Maine families across the state while making those families more comfortable in their homes, a hat trick for our state.

These high-performance heat pumps are affordable, efficient, and accessible. They are appliances that both heat and cool. And they do heat in very very cold temperatures. They work well in cold climates and are much more efficient than window air conditioning in the summer when used for cooling, and they are easy to use. 

The law we enacted in 2019 directed the Efficiency Maine Trust and Maine Housing to use existing revenues — that’s non tax dollars — to achieve our goal by adding 100,000 new heat pumps. Doing so is predicted to reduce your heating bill by between $300 and $600 a year. That’s between $300 to $600 a year per home. That’s a pretty big savings for all Maine families. And, there are rebates available. You can get savings and programs through Efficiency Maine Trust and through Maine Housing to install a new heating pump in your home.  

Expanding the use of high-efficiency heat pumps is also sparking a demand for heat pump installers and distributors and sellers. That in turn creates good-paying jobs and diversifies our economy  — which is a step towards achieving my goal of more than doubling Maine’s clean energy and energy efficiency jobs to 30,000 by 2030.

Already, hundreds of firms are registered on the Efficiency Maine website as heat pump installers, who serve customers from Madawaska to Millinocket to Munjoy Hill.

In addition to installing 100,000 heat pumps by 2025, we are expanding incentives for purchasing electric vehicles and we’re building more electric vehicle charging stations all across Maine; we are doubling the pace of home weatherization, equally important; and we are purchasing more renewable energy through the state procurement process.

We should all be proud of this milestone — 28,000 heat pumps in one year. That’s more than three times the number of heat pumps installed in Maine in 2018. This means we’re contributing to the global efforts against climate change, and we are reducing the use of fossil fuels, and we are building a thriving economy with good-paying, green-collar jobs all across Maine.

This is Governor Janet Mills. Stay warm and thank you for listening.