Energy Efficiency

Maine’s government should subsidize home energy audits for Maine homeowners, renters and landlords.

The Problem

Maine has the oldest—and therefore least energy efficient— housing stock in the nation. Energy efficiency measures will reduce costs for homeowners, renters, and landlords, decrease our dependency on foreign oil, and put local contractors back to work. A home energy audit is the first step in educating homeowners on where their homes are leaking heat—and money. Unfortunately, many working Mainers are forced to choose between heating their homes and paying for a home energy audit.

Why Pass it

1.Subsidizing home energy audits will increase demand for this service, and subsequent retrofit construction, creating jobs for Maine’s contractors.

2.A home energy audit is the only way Maine homeowners can learn where they need to make retrofit improvements to save money and reduce oil, and electricity consumption.

3.For every $1 spent in energy efficiency, the government and homeowners see a $3-$4 return on investment.

Addressing Common Concerns

Currently, the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program offers free energy audits to people enrolled in the program. Unfortunately, this addresses the needs of a very small population of Mainers; thousands of Maine homeowners do not qualify for this program and cannot afford a home energy audit.

Maine is uniquely positioned to reduce “window shopping”—the idea that people will get an energy audit and not follow through with recommendations for retrofitting— by combining subsidy programs with participation in Efficiency Maine’s PACE loan program. PACE allows homeowners to take out low-interest loans to make energy efficiency upgrades.

Sources and Links to more information

Efficiency Maine:   

US Department of Energy:

Home Performance Resource Center: