There was a time when I got all the news I needed either at the dump, at the store, or across the bed of a pickup truck. I guess now maybe things have changed somewhat.

News Updates


Peruse our compilation of news stories about Maine's evolution to a clean energy ecomony. You may also wish to view news sorted by topic categories from the community page of your choice.
Scroll to the end of this page for some energy-related RSS news feeds from other sites.

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Subscribe to the "News from Maine's Energy Frontier" to receive a "moonthly" digest of articles and events from the website. You can read archived issues here.

Efficiency Maine Increases Incentives on Heat Pump Water Heaters
05/01/2015 - 11:03am

diagram of a heat pump water heater image courtesy of US DOEEfficiency Maine has announced that effective April 15, 2015, the mail-in rebate on qualifying heat pump water heaters will be increased from $100 to $300.

This means that, after rebates, a $1,000 heat pump water heater costs only $300 more than a traditional electric water heater. With average savings of $250/yr, a heat pump water heater will pay for itself in 1.2 years - an 83% return on investment after taxes, according to Efficiency Maine.

Learn more here.

New Law Permits Maine EV Charging Stations to Charge for Power
05/01/2015 - 10:38am

The electric vehicle charging station at the South Portland Community Center in Maine photo by Kay MannThe Greater Portland Council of Governments reports that Governor LePage signed a new law allowing the owners of public electric vehicle charging stations to charge customers a fee for kilowatt usage when they plug in their Electric Vehicles.

The law will provide an incentive for more electric vehicle service equipment (EVSE) to be installed throughout the state, providing EV owners more places to charge their vehicles, over the current 44. The law will go into effect 90 days after the Legislature finishes its 2015 session.

Read more from GPCOG. And, see where the charging stations are at this time.

King Floats Hydrokinetic Bill
04/23/2015 - 3:04pm

Senator Angus King of MaineOn Earth Day, May 22, 2015, Senator Angus King re-introduced "The Marine and Hydrokinetic Renewable Energy Act" to encourage the research and development of renewable energy generated through waves, currents, ocean tides, and free-flowing water in lakes and rivers, known as marine and hydrokinetic power.

Maine has strong, hydrokinetic, natural resources and was the first state in the nation to connect a tidal energy generator to its power delivery infrastructure. Read the full story here.

Image source: Senator Angus King.

Dimmable LED Street Lights to Save Big at Brunswick Landing
04/16/2015 - 11:44am

A worker installs LED street lighting at Brunswick Landing in Maine image courtesy of Midcoast Regional Redevelopment AuthorityBrunswick Landing has become the first demonstration site in the US to use radio-frequency controls to dim LED street lights at times and locations of low traffic. Pemco Holdings, LLC, which managed and financed the project, announced its completion in April of 2015.

The cost of the conversion from sodium and metal halide fixtures to dimmable LED's will be paid for from the expected 85% savings on the cost of lighting at the former naval air station. Pemco has raised another $30 million to finance similar projects.

Read the full article here.

Image courtesy of Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority.

Public Utilities Commission Cuts Efficiency Maine Budget
03/22/2015 - 9:07pm

Efficiency Maine logoOn March 17, 2015, the Maine Public Utilities Commission voted 2-1 in favor of cutting the budget for Efficiency Maine's programs from $60 million to $22 million per year. Commissioners Mark Vannoy and Carlisle McLean, both LePage appointees, cast the 2 votes to cut the budget.

Michael Stoddard, Executive Director of Efficiency Maine, said of the cuts, "We would stop having heating programs or programs to save peoples' heating levels through weatherization and high-efficiency heating systems, plus we still wouldn't have enough to reach our electricity-saving obligations".

Environmental groups plan to appeal the decision.

Read the full story from the Associated Press.

Public Utilities Commission Releases Maine Distributed Solar Valuation Study
03/22/2015 - 5:00pm

installation of solar panels at University of New England photo courtesy of UNEOn March 1, 2015, the MPUC presented a report on the value of solar energy to the Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology in the Maine Legislature, fulfilling a request made in last year's session.

Weighing such factors as avoided energy supply costs, avoided transmission & distribution capacity costs, and most notably the social cost of carbon, SO2, and NOx emissions, the report sets the long-term value of solar energy at over 33 cents/kWh. By comparison, solar homeowners only receive a credit worth about 13 cents/kilowatt-hour on their bills. The report goes on to suggest implementation options and incentives that might speed wider adoption of solar technology in Maine.

Read an excellent analysis by Tux Turkel at the Portland Press Herald.

Read the report from the Natural Resources Council of Maine.

Read the report itself.

Economic Report on Energy in Maine Released
03/02/2015 - 10:23pm

Maine Development Foundation's Measures of Growth In Focus quarterly report image courtesy of Maine Development FoundationIn February 2015, the Maine Development Foundation and the University of Maine released their fifth Quarterly Economic Report on Energy In Maine. This series of quarterly reports explores the economic indicators in Measures of Growth In Focus, an  annual report issued by the Maine Economic Growth Council.

The Measures of Growth report’s Cost of Energy indicator tracks retail and industrial electricity prices for Maine, both of which have declined in recent years. Nevertheless, Maine’s costs of energy remain high relative to the nation. Download the report here.

Wind Power Jobs Predicted to Grow
02/01/2015 - 8:39pm

a wind turbine in Maine photo by Kay MannOn January 6, 2015, Maine Center for Business & Economic Research at the University of Southern Maine released a report, commissioned by the Maine Renewable Energy Association and Wind for Maine, that projects that the wind power industry will produce 4,200 jobs in 2015 and is poised to double over the next four years to 1,300 megawatts of power output.

The report also projects that total spending in Maine on wind power (excluding imported equipment) will total $1.28 billion by 2018.

Read the full news story from AP and download the full report here.

Island Institue Receives Grant to Upgrade Energy Efficiency
01/25/2015 - 4:58pm

the Island Institute building in Rockland Maine photo courtesy of the Island InstituteOn January 8, 2015, the Island Institute announced that it has received a grant of $90,285 from the Grants to Green Maine program for energy efficiency upgrades to its headquarters in Rockland. The grant will be used to make energy-saving retrofits to the historic building, including a new, high-efficiency wood pellet boiler. Work on the upgrades is expected to begin in January.

The Institute has already made several energy efficiency upgrades to the building over the past fourteen years, and completed an extensive energy audit of the building. Sally Perkins, the Island Institute’s facility manager, said “We are constantly working to reduce our energy consumption, in keeping with our mission. By enabling us to heat with wood pellets, this grant will help us dramatically reduce our use of fossil fuels.”

Read the whole announcement here

Maine Islanders Study Danish Energy Ways
01/18/2015 - 6:22pm

Samso Island, Denmarks Energy Academy photo courtesy of Samso Energy AcademyIn October of 2014, a group of 5 Mainers from Peaks and Monhegan Islands and 15 College of the Atlantic students traveled to Denmark's Samso Island to attend the Samso Energy Academy and learn about their "Fossil-Free Island" project.

Samso Island is becoming energy independent by using wind and solar power and geothermal and biomass heat. Read a great New York times article that details what they learned there.

Image: Samso Energy Academy photo courtesy of Samso Energy Academy.