State and Local Policy Database

Maine

State Scorecard Rank

11

Maine

27.0Scored out of 50Updated 9/2016
State Government
Score: 5 out of 7
State Government Summary List All

Maine offers several financial incentives for consumer energy efficiency investments. The state government leads by example by setting energy requirements for public buildings and fleets and encouraging the use of energy savings performance contracts. Maine is one of the few states to adopt a residential energy use disclosure policy. Research focused on energy efficiency occurs at the Maine Technology Institute.

Financial Incentives List All

Financial incentive information for Maine is provided by the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE Maine) and State Energy Office contacts. Information about additional incentives not present on DSIRE is listed here. The state does enable Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing (PACE), but it does not have any active PACE programs. For additional information on PACE, visit PACENation.

Efficiency Maine Multifamily Efficiency Program (MEP): Offers rebates to multifamily residency building owners for improving energy efficiency. The program is now being administered as part of the Efficiency Maine Commercial and Industrial Prescriptive Program (CIP).  

Advanced Building Program: This program offers comprehensive strategies to help Maine property owners, developers, architects and engineers design new commercial buildings that will achieve significant energy savings.  New buildings designed and constructed according to the Maine Advanced Buildings Program requirements will be 30 – 35% more energy-efficient than the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code requirement.

Low Income Heat Pump Initiative: This initiative works directly with Maine's Community Action Programs to identify low
income homeowners with high fuel usage and install heat pumps in those homes.

Last Updated: September 2016

Building Energy Disclosure List All
  • Building type(s) affected: residential

H.P. 1468 requires the disclosure of an energy efficiency checklist and allows for the release of audit information of residential buildings. This policy is triggered at the time of rental.

Last Updated: July 2016

Public Building Requirements List All

Maine requires that construction or renovation of state buildings must incorporate green building standards that would achieve "significant" energy efficiency and environmental sustainability, provided that the costs of doing so are cost-effective over the life of the building. 

Maine Statutes Title 5, Section 1764-A also requires all planning and design for the construction of new or substantially renovated buildings owned or leased by the state include: (1) the consideration of energy efficiency, (2) an energy-use target that exceeds standards for commercial and institutional buildings by at least 20%, and (3) a life-cycle cost analysis over a minimum of 30 years that explicitly addresses the costs and benefits of efficiency improvements. 

Pursuant to a Legislative Resolve (Resolve 2009, Chapter 372), the State of Maine was charged with creating a task force to Advance Energy Efficiency, Conservation and Independence at State Facilities. The final report was issued in January 2010. The report concluded that energy efficiency, conservation and independence at the executive branch facilities of State Government should be improved by a number of means: continuing to attack and reduce consumption; conducting important and too-easily overlooked energy audits; diversifying the energy sources used at these facilities; reducing reliance on imported heating oil; and increasing the use of alternative and cost-effective renewable energy sources when possible.

Last Updated: July 2016

Fleets List All

Statute (MRSA Title 5 1812-E) mandates that except for cars and light-duty trucks purchased for law enforcement and other special use purposes, the State Purchasing Agent may not purchase or lease any car or light-duty truck for state use unless the car has a manufacturer's estimated highway mileage rating of at least 45 mpg and the light-duty truck has a manufacturer's estimated highway mileage rating of at least 35 mpg.

Last Updated: July 2016

Energy Savings Performance Contracting List All

In 1999, Maine enacted an energy savings pilot project, which used ESPCs to achieve energy efficiency goals.  In 2005, the governor of Maine joined the Energy Star Challenge, committing to encourage building owners and operators to improve energy efficiency by 10% using performance contracting and other mechanisms.  Today, all energy efficiency programming in the State of Maine is administered by Efficiency Maine.

The State of Maine has identified specific projects that could be part of a performance contract agreement.  The long term plans for the State include the development of additional Energy Saving Performance contracting at a variety of facilities and locations. BGS is working to determine the viability of Private Public Partnerships for renovation and energy improvements at older state facilities.

Last Updated: July 2016

Research & Development List All

The Maine Technology Institute (MTI)  invests in research and development. MTI defines their areas of focus as clusters and one of those is Energy and the Environment and explicitly includes energy efficiency technologies.  

Last Updated: July 2016

Important Links List All

DSIRE Maine

Buildings
Score: 3 out of 7
Buildings Summary List All

The Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code made the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2007 mandatory for residential, commercial, and public buildings, but enforcement varies by jurisdiction. The Technical Codes and Standards Board is currently working on the adoption of the 2015 IRC, IEBC, and IECC as well as the 2013 versions of ASHRAE 62.1, 62.2, and 90.1. There is an active stakeholder group and training for code officials.

Residential Codes List All

The Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code (MUBEC) was established legislatively in April 2008 through P.L. 699, setting the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2007 as the mandatory for residential buildings statewide, effective June 1, 2010 with a six-month transition period. In 2011, P.L. 408 changed mandatory enforcement requirements for the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code (MUBEC) to municipalities with populations over 4,000 starting December 1, 2010 for municipalities that had existing building codes and December 1, 2012 for municipalities that did not have existing building codes. For municipalities with a population less than 4,000 enforcement of the statewide code is voluntary. This change means that 89 of Maine’s 533 municipalities (based on 2010 census data) are required to provide enforcement of energy codes, representing 60% of the state’s residential population. The Technical Codes and Standards Board is currently working on the adoption of the 2015 IRC, IEBC, and IECC.

Last Updated: June 2016

Commercial Code List All

The Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code (MUBEC) was established legislatively in April 2008 through P.L. 699, setting the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2007 as the mandatory for commercial and public buildings statewide, effective June 1, 2010 with a six-month transition period. In 2011, P.L. 408 changed mandatory enforcement requirements for the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code (MUBEC) to municipalities with populations over 4,000 starting December 1, 2010 for municipalities that had existing building codes and December 1, 2012 for municipalities that did not have existing building codes. For municipalities with a population less than 4,000 enforcement of the statewide code is voluntary. This change means that 89 of Maine’s 533 municipalities (based on 2010 census data) are required to provide enforcement of energy codes, representing 60% of the state’s residential population. The Technical Codes and Standards Board is currently working on the adoption of the 2013 versions of ASHRAE 62.1, 62.2, and 90.1.

Last Updated: June 2016

Compliance List All
  • Gap Analysis/Strategic Compliance Plan: NA
  • Baseline & Updated Compliance Studies: In 2013, the Governor’s Energy Office surveyed all code enforcement officers in the 89 municipalities required to enforce MUBEC. For the 2012 calendar year, 99.7% of homes and commercial buildings constructed were in compliance (excluding buildings still under construction or awaiting final inspection).  Compliance was determined by number of building permits issued versus occupancy permits, or inspections performed by a third-party inspector.
  • Utility Involvement: NA
  • Stakeholder Advisory Group: The Maine Dept. of Public Safety, Bureau of Building Codes and Standards has an advisory board (Building Codes and Standards Board), comprised of stakeholders, to provide input on building energy efficiency.
  • Training/Outreach: There is advanced energy code training available; the cost is subsidized for code officials. This advanced training is a collaborative effort between the Dept. of Economic and Community Development, the State Fire Marshall, and the Energy Office. The state Dept. of Economic and Community Development offers training at the basic certification level (free to those applying for initial certification), as well as advanced energy code training. Once certified, code enforcement officers need to obtain training annually to keep their certification current. The Maine Building Officials and Inspector Association, as well as several regional organizations, seek out training opportunities for their members, and partially support the cost of these opportunities. 

Last Updated: September 2016

CHP
Score: 3 out of 4
CHP Summary List All

Maine has an interconnection standard that applies to CHP and includes CHP within its renewable energy standard. One new CHP system was installed in 2015.

Interconnection StandardsList All

Policy: Docket No. 2009-219 - Order Adopting Interconnection Rule

Summary:  In January 2010, Maine's Public Utility Commission (PUC) adopted interconnection procedures. These rules apply to all transmission and distribution utilities operating in Maine. The interconnection procedures set four tiers of review for interconnection requests for all eligible technologies and systems subject to Maine PUC jurisdiction. The four tiers are not subject to jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Last Updated: June 2016

Encouraging CHP as a ResourceList All

CHP in Energy Efficiency Standards:  Adopted in 1999, Maine’s Renewable Resources Portfolio Requirement allows electricity generated from efficient CHP systems and other systems that qualify as "small power production facilities" under the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) as eligible. CHP counts toward renewable resources in the state, provided it is at least 60% efficient. Maine electricity providers must supply at least 30% of their total sales as renewable resources. In 2007, Maine created mandatory standards for new generation resources, with a goal of 10% of new energy resources to be supplied by renewable resources by 2017.

Last Updated: June 2016

Deployment IncentivesList All

Incentives, grants, or financing: CHP is eligible for incentives through Efficiency Maine Trust’s Large Electrical Efficiency Program, an incentive program for large electrical efficiency and distributed generation projects. This competitive program solicits proposals for projects that reduce grid supplied kilowatt hour (kWh) consumption from Maine businesses, insitutions, and goverments. Incentive awards range from $100,000 and $1,000,000 per project.

Net Metering: All of Maine's electric utilities -- investor-owned utilities (IOUs), consumer-owned utilities (COUs, which include municipal utilities and electric cooperatives) -- must offer net energy billing (net metering) for individual customers. IOUs are required to offer net metering to eligible facilities with capacity limits up to 660 kilowatts (kW). COUs are required to offer net metering to customer-generators up to 100 kW, but, they are authorized to offer net metering to eligible facilities with capacity limits up to 660 kW at their discretion.

Net metering is available to owners of eligible, qualified facilities, including facilities generating electricity using eligible CHP systems. CHP systems must meet efficiency requirements in order to qualify for net metering: micro-CHP 30 kW and below must achieve combined electrical and thermal efficiency of 80% or greater, and micro-CHP 31 kW to 660 kW must achieve combined efficiency of 65% or greater.

Last Updated: June 2016

Additional Supportive PoliciesList All

Some additional supportive policies exist to encourage CHP in Maine. Efficiency Maine Trust supports CHP development by identifying CHP opportunities and providing free and focused technical assistance. Efficiency Maine also provides free scoping audits and funding for up to 50% of the cost of Technical Assistance Studies, which help qualify potential projects for the Large Customer Program.

Renewable-fueled CHP is also eligible for credit within Maine's Renewables Portfolio Standard, which involves the use of NEPOOL Generation Information System (GIS) certificates (similar to renewable-energy credits, or RECs) to satisfy the portfolio requirement.

Last Updated: June 2016

Utilities
Score: 10.5 out of 20
Utilities Summary List All

In 2010, the independent Efficiency Maine, managed by a stakeholder board,  assumed responsibility for administering energy efficiency and alternative energy programs across all utility territories in Maine.  The Legislature directed the Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) to provide oversight of Efficiency Maine’s administration as well as approve its three-year, strategic plans and budgets.  Legislation enacted in 2013 requires the utilities to fund Efficiency Maine’s budgets at a level sufficient to procure all electric and natural gas efficiency that is cost-effective, reliable and achievable.

The most recent budgets for energy efficiency programs and electricity and natural gas savings can be found in the State Spending and Savings Tables.

Last Updated: June 2016

Customer Energy Efficiency Programs List All

All electric utility customers—both of consumer-owned and publicly-owned utilities —are eligible to receive services through the statewide programs administered by Efficiency Maine. The purposes of Efficiency Maine include consolidating the funds for Maine's consumer efficiency programs for all fuel types; integrating delivery of electric and thermal efficiency measures to consumers; acquiring customer-sited energy resources (efficiency and alternative energy) at lower cost than traditional energy supply; and helping to transform the energy market in Maine by providing consumers with more efficient, affordable products and energy services. All utilities contribute funding to the programs.

Natural gas programs are also administered by Efficiency Maine, and serve commercial, industrial, and residential customers, including low-income residential customers. State statute was recently amended, as part of the Omnibus Energy Act passed in 2013, to extend these programs to each natural gas utility in the state, improving on an old law that had limited the program only to the state’s largest gas utility.

By rule, at least 10% of funds must support energy programs for low-income residents, and at least 20% of funds must support energy programs for small business customers. Historically, the PUC has assessed utilities to collect funds for energy programs and administrative costs. In addition, Efficiency Maine manages money from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and grants, such as those received from the Federal government's American Recovery Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in 2010. The funds for natural gas conservation programs are collected through a rate surcharge.

The most recent budgets for energy efficiency programs and electricity and natural gas savings can be found in the State Spending and Savings Tables.

Last Updated: June 2016

Energy Efficiency as a Resource List All

Maine has had a loading order that requires utilities to use energy efficiency before any other traditional resource (35-A MRS 3210-C (4)) when securing energy resources by means of long-term contracts.  In March 2010, the Governor signed Public Law Chapter 518, An Act To Enhance Maine's Clean Energy Opportunities. It goes beyond previous policy to set the goal for Efficiency Maine as “capturing all cost-effective energy efficiency resources available for electric and natural gas utility ratepayers”.

Efficiency Maine plans energy efficiency programs in three-year increments. The second Triennial Plan, from fiscal year 2014-2016, was approved by the MPUC in March 2013 (see Docket No. 2012-00449). The third Triennial Plan covering fiscal years 2017-2019 is pending approval.

Last Updated: June 2016

 

Energy Efficiency Resource Standards List All

Summary: Electric and natural gas savings of 20% by 2020, with annual savings targets of ~1.6% for electric and 0.2% for natural gas.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) approved the first and second Triennial Plan of Efficiency Maine, which develops, plans, coordinates, and implements energy efficiency programs in the state. In the second plan, Efficiency Maine set a path toward annual energy savings goals in FY2014 of around 1%, ramping up to 1.9% in FY2016. In its third Triennial Plan, Efficiency Maine projects the addition of 2.2% in savings annually.  The plan also includes savings targets for other fuels, including natural gas.

The 10- and 20-year targets established by statute are far-reaching and were incorporated into the strategy and budgets of the Triennial Plan.  Targets were revised in 2013, when Maine legislators overrode the governor’s veto to pass LD 1559. Targets include capturing all cost-effective energy efficiency (both electricity and natural gas); reducing electricity and natural gas consumption 20 percent by 2020; reducing oil heating use 20 percent in the same timeframe; and weatherization of all homes for which homeowners are willing to share the costs of cost-effective weatherization to a minimum standard.

Last Updated: June 2016

Utility Business Model List All

Efficiency programs in Maine are implemented by an independent trust - Efficiency Maine. Efficiency Maine is managed by a stakeholder board of trustees, with oversight from the MPUC.  It is considered a quasi-state agency. There are statutory provisions allowing decoupling and incentives. 35-A MRSA section 3195, subsection 3195 (1) deals with rate-adjustment mechanisms and subsection 3195 (1) (A) authorizes the MPUC to adopt a decoupling mechanism. The state’s largest electric utility, serving roughly 80% of statewide load, proposed and was granted decoupling in its rate case  in 2014.  (Docket No. 2013-00168)

Last Updated: July 2016

 

Evaluation, Measurement, & Verification List All

The independent evaluation of ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs in Maine is required by statute (Title 35a Section 10104 subsection 10). Evaluations are administered by Efficiency Maine. Requirements for these evaluations in Maine are articulated in Code of Maine Rules 65-407, Ch. 380 transferred to Code of Maine Rules 95-648, Ch. 380. Statewide evaluations are conducted. Maine relies on the Total Resource Cost (TRC) test and considers it to be its primary cost-effectiveness test. These benefit-cost tests are required for overall portfolio, total program, customer project, and individual measure level screening, with exceptions for low-income programs, pilots, and new technologies. The level at which benefit-cost testing is applied depends on the program.

Last Updated: June 2016

Guidelines for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs List All

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

LD-1559, passed in June 2013, states that Efficiency Maine Trust shall “target at least 10% of funds for electricity conservation collected under subsection 4 or 4-A or $2,600,000, whichever is greater, to programs for low-income residential consumers, as defined by the board by rule.” Efficiency Maine Trust is the independent administrator for energy efficiency and alternative energy resources programs in Maine and is funded primarily by electric and natural gas utilities, as well as the sale of carbon allowances under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Efficiency Maine Trust delivers energy-saving opportunities to low-income (LIHEAP-eligible) customers through four initiatives: consumer products (rebates and markdowns), HESP (weatherization and heating systems), food pantry light bulb distribution, and supplementation of Community Action Agency direct installation initiatives.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Maine does not have specific cost-effectiveness guidelines in place for low-income programs. However, the cost-effectiveness test for all programs requires consideration of non-energy benefits including “…reduced operations and maintenance costs, job training opportunities and workforce development, general economic development and environmental benefits, to the extent that such benefits can be accurately and reasonably quantified and attributed to the program or project.”

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

The Maine State Housing Authority administers the federal Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) for the state. State regulations require the Housing Authority to ensure effective coordination of WAP with the Housing Authority’s Central Heating Improvement Program (CHIP)—which finances energy-related repairs for low-income homeowners—as well as with other bill assistance programs. 2009 Public Law Chapter 372 requires that the Housing Authority must also coordinate WAP plans and use of federal DOE funds with the programs administered by Efficiency Maine Trust.

Last updated: April 2017

Self Direct and Opt-Out Programs List All

The largest customers that take transmission and sub-transmission service are automatically opted-out of paying into Maine's cost-recovery mechanism (CRM). However, revenues from the regional Forward Capacity Market, multiple settlement funds and money from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative have allowed Efficiency Maine to offer significant energy efficiency programming to the state's largest industrial customers. LD 1559, enacted in 2013, approved the first direct contract between Maine’s investor owned utilities and Efficiency Maine for the purpose of delivering new efficiency and distributed generation projects for large industrial customers.

More information on large customer self-direct programs can be found in the ACEEE report, Follow the Leaders: Improving Large Customer Self-Direct Programs.

Last Updated: June 2016

Data AccessList All

Guidelines for Third Party Access

In 2007, Maine's Electronic Business Transactions (EBT) Working Group prepared Standards for Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) in the Restructured Electric Industry, which includes procedures, electronic protocols and data formats to be used when transferring data among entities in support of retail competition. There is also ongoing Customer Data Dissemination Working Group to develop the policies and guidelines around customer AMI data. 

Requirements for Provision of Energy Data

Maine requires the provision of individual meter data to customers in an electronic format, and to third parties, upon authorization of the customer. Data is generally provided via spreadsheet through secure electronic transfer. Utilities cannot disclose customer information except for debt collection, credit reporting, usage reporting pursuant to state and federal law, law enforcement requests, and in response to a Commission Order. Third party eligibility depends on whether or not the party falls into one of these exemptions. Efficiency Maine has been granted access to individual meter data through a Commission Order.

Energy Use Data Availability

Energy use data may be requested by Efficiency Maine by submitting the request to the Maine Public Utilities Commission. The Commission will issue a Protective Order that ensures the confidentiality of the data. Efficiency Maine has the authority to request this data under the Efficiency Maine Trust Act (35-A M.R.S.A. §10104(4)(A)(1)).

Last Updated: July 2016 

Transportation
Score: 5.5 out of 10
Transportation Summary List All

Maine has set targets for reduced vehicle miles traveled, has standards for tailpipe emissions, and integrates transportation and land use planning. 

Tailpipe Emission Standards List All

Maine adopted California’s Low-Emission Vehicle Program in 2005, committing to a 30% reduction in average new vehicle greenhouse gas emissions from 2002 levels by 2016. The state has also adopted California's Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program, which requires increasing production of plug-in hybrid, battery electric, and fuel-cell vehicles from 2018 to 2025. 

Last Updated: July 2015

Transportation System Efficiency List All

Transportation and Land use Integration: Maine adopted a Growth Management Act in 1987 that aimed to encourage growth in certain areas of the state while also planning for and financing an efficient system of public facilities and amenities that would cater to added development. The Act also encouraged municipalities to plan for future growth by developing comprehensive local plans while keeping the regional impact in perspective. To encourage coordinated development by municipalities, counties and regions, the state has developed a fund disbursement system that gives preference to multi-municipal planning efforts. The state also implemented a complete streets policy in 2014 as a complement to their land use policies. 

VMT Targets: No policy in place or proposed.

Complete Streets: Maine has a state DOT policy help ensure that all users of Maine’s transportation system—our customers—including bicyclists, pedestrians, people of all ages and abilities, transit users, and motor vehicle users, have safe and efficient access to the transportation system

MAP 21 Freight Plans and Goals

The state has an integrated freight plan in place but it does not highlight concrete freight system efficiency strategies or include efficiency performance measures. 

Last Updated: June 2016

Transit Funding List All

The Maine Legislature created a dedicated revenue stream for multimodal transportation in 2012. Through sales tax revenues derived from taxes on vehicle rentals, Maine’s Multimodal Transportation Fund must be used for the purposes of purchasing, operating, maintaining, improving, repairing, constructing and managing the assets of multimodal forms of transportation.

Last Updated: July 2015

Incentives for High-Efficiency Vehicles List All

No policy in place or proposed.

Last Updated: July 2015

Appliance Standards
Score: 0 out of 2
Appliance Standards Summary List All

Maine has not set appliance standards beyond those required by the federal government.

Last Updated: July 2016