Maine launches program to make schools, municipal buildings more energy efficient
AUGUSTA, Maine (WMTW) - Gov. Janet Mills announced Friday morning that the state is launching a $15 million initiative through the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan to help Maine’s public schools, towns, cities, and Tribal governments make energy efficiency improvements and reduce their energy costs.
The announcement was made during the Communities Leading on Climate Conference in Augusta held by the Maine Climate Council.
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 expected to open in August.
The final phase – $3 million for nonprofit residential facilities – will follow this fall.
“This represents a historic expansion of Efficiency Maine’s capacity to support energy efficiency and clean heating in public buildings. We know transitioning to clean energy will cut costs,” Mills said.
These funds will be used primarily to reduce the consumption of heating fuel by switching to high-performance heat pump systems.
Funds can also be used to switch lighting systems to LEDs and upgrade refrigeration equipment.
“It’s a nice story for all of us who pay property taxes - that when we lower the costs of schools to operate we can save money on our property taxes,” said Michael Stoddard, Executive Director of Efficiency Maine.
Elementary and smaller middle schools will get the money first.
“We’re going to limit the size of each individual project to 50,000 square feet covered by the space heating system,” Stoddard said. “We will also allow bigger schools to fund a part of the project up to 50,000 square feet but this will enable us to spread the funds more widely.”
More information about the initiative for schools is now available on the Efficiency Maine website.
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