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$15 million initiative to help combat climate change

Governor Janet Mills and Efficiency Maine announced a new initiative to help combat climate change.
Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 8:42 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Governor Janet Mills and Efficiency Maine announced a new initiative to help combat climate change during the Communities Leading on Climate conference in Augusta.

“Today, I’m proud to announce an additional investment, an investment of 15 million dollars,” Gov. Mills said.

The initiative is through her Maine jobs and recovery plan to help public buildings become more energy efficient. The first phase of this new program is $8 million dollars allocated to school.

“Working with rural schools, smaller projects to convert from their current heating systems to something that is very high efficiency, very low carbon emitting and that is heat pump technology,” Michael Stoddard, executive director for Efficiency Maine Trust said.

Stoddard estimates that it can cost a smaller middle school or an elementary school up to $250,000 for the entire project but it is a shared cost.

“We are going to offer an incentive of about 60% of that cost,” he said.

He also said schools are the right candidate for the new heat pump technology because of capacity.

“They have spaces they would like to heat and to cool and heat pump is cheaper than the current system of oil and gas,” Stoddard said.

The federal law allows the budget to be spent within three years but Stoddard believes it will be gone before then.

“It is not nearly enough to do all the schools in the state, but we think it will certainly be enough to get started,” he said.

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